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The Tallinn #AddingColorToLives mural is complete!

The Tallinn Children Safety Center

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Getting to know one another takes time. Sometimes, it’s a short time, while other times a bit longer. The youth group at the Tallinn Children Safety Center are relatively new to their environment. Through a rehabilitation program designed for youth with alcohol and drugs addiction problems, the team there provides a safe environment for youth while they deal with tough issues.  A strong team of psychologists, social workers and teachers works with the youth to overcome the challenges they face. There at the center, the youths can study and if needed, the center helps place them in a new school. This program makes sure these young people focus on study while also working to obtain important social skills. They can eat and sleep in the center, and are also given clothes and other things if needed. Around 80% of youth go back to their families after receiving help, while some youths are directed for adoption with foster parents. It all takes time to adjust, and with Adding Color to Lives, there is support for their next step!

#AddingColorToLives Tallinn Children Safety Center

Location for mural - Tallinn Telliskivi_Wall

Here you can see the site of the mural before adding some color!

The project kicked off with a workshop headed by Artist Joel Berger who introduced the youth to the world of murals. With the support of his translators Olga and Pritt, Joel broke the ice by discussing the hobbies of various youths present. Then everyone participated in a fun game of Pictionary. Actually, the first rough sketch of the mural was developed while playing the game. That was followed up with a serious brain storming session and discussion regarding the community. Soon, the outline of the mural emerged and the drawings made by the youth started to fill up the wall. The main features of the mural evolved into nature, flying squirrels, balloons, music, friendship, freedom and Kalevipoeg…

After a successful first day, Joel had received plenty of input to work with. The main goal of an Adding Color to Lives project is to give young people a voice through art. One reoccurring element of the mural in in Tallinn is the battle between the negative and positive influences in each person’s life. Many of the youth in the project here in Tallinn come from troubled backgrounds.

The youth were asked to express these feeling through various parts of the mural. One of the larger elements of the mural is Kalevipoeg, a hero giant from Estonian folklore. In one of the sagas, Kalevipoeg is fighting a three eyed demon. The fight depicted in the mural represents the battle against addiction. It became clear that the main theme of the mural is that struggle that many of the youth face.

Together with the youth of Tallinn Children Safety Center, volunteers from Park Inn by Radisson Meriton celebrated the successful completion of the Mural. During the unveiling, David Mohren, General Manager of Park Inn by Radisson Meriton showed his appreciation to all volunteers and youths as a proud supporter of the project. Olga Ottsik who worked as project manager, expressed her feelings about the process of the mural how new friendships were created.

Joel Bergner offered more insight into how this mural is actually a transformation of the negative and positive aspects of our environment. He explained that through this kind of transformation a piece of street art developed. He also spoke about the struggle of Kalevipoeg to overcome the three eyed demon and walked us through some of the dreams of the youth.

Priit from the Tallinn Children Safety Center thanked Park Inn by Radisson Meriton and Joel Bergner. He explained that the youth have enjoyed the project and some even found a new passion. The hotel will continue to build a lasting relationship with the youth center to keep ‘Adding Color to Lives’.

So next stop is Krakow, Poland, where Joel will continue the journey of Adding Color to Lives. But for now we congratulate Tallinn with a new piece of art in its community.

tallinn 2

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