No. 5




Charity work in today’s Estonia

Like our other social organisations, charity is still in an embryonic stage in Estonia.

A strong element of social work is one of democracy’s foundations, but ours is not yet that strong. Unfortunately the areas shared by the public and social sectors are undefined and undiscussed. Instead of going forward hand in hand, there is poor communication and suspicion between the two.

Social work and charity, especially in the social sphere, needs to be better recognised by the state and better applied.

Having been active in charity work for years, I can say that charity and charity organisations are necessary in even the wealthiest societies, not only because there are always people needing assistance (there are) but also to change societal mores.

We must understand that by helping others we help ourselves. We gain knowledge of a hidden side of society and improve our own conscience, also serving as good role models for children.

When fund are raised for charity, it is important top define what the purpose and who the recipient is, and accounting must be transparent, down to the last cent. It is after all a voluntary donation, and the donor must know what his money is used for. The state also requires accounting, especially our state, since funds have sadly been misappropriated. Because of this, our tax laws do not favour charity, an extremely bad development from the standpoint of society and democracy.

I believe that man is inherently good. We are willing to share with others what we have. There are few who dedicate their lives to helping others as Mother Teresa did. There are more of us who help and give because they themselves have enough to give. The desire to help out is largely self-fulfilment and provides a positive experience.

Full article in Estonian