Lauri Beekman of Tallinn, Estonia is publishing a newspaper for youth called “OK – Ole Kaine!” (Ole - Be Kaine - sober) about alcohol abuse. It is sent to all high schools in Estonia. LifeNets is helping sponsor this program. Lauri has a daily radio program about social issues in Estonia and he is head of the Estonian Temperance Union.
From 1994 to 2004 the use of alcohol has doubled among young people ages 11-15. Alcohol problems have grown also in Estonia. Every year in Estonia there are about 1500-2500 alcohol related deaths. 60% of injuries are connected with the alcohol use. According to the research conducted in Estonia in 1999, 85% of young people have used alcohol.
Stories below tell of his work and LifeNets involvement in helping.Updated December 22, 2008
LifeNets Co-sponsors Memorial Concert for Alcohol Victims (see the Estonian Website with photos)
Estonian Temperance Union organized 10th of October first Memorial Concert for Alcohol Victims. Every year about 2000 people die due to the problems with alcohol use. That makes about 35 000 deaths since 1991, when Estonia gained again its independence. Not only alcohol users themselves are among those numbers. Often innocent bystanders – victims of drunk-drivers, violence and accidents. Thousands of children are living with parents who have serious alcohol problems. Only now we are starting to realize how many children have been damaged already before their birth, because their mother drunk alcohol while pregnant. Anyhow, we are speaking about tragedies and the society thinks that there is nothing to do.
These statistical numbers are not coming from polls or from somebody’s opinion. These numbers are coming from hospitals, morgues and police. Behind these statistical numbers are ordinary people – sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. Somebody’s friends, somebody’s darlings. People, who might have lived...
Concert took place at the St Johns Lutheran Church in Tallinn and it was organized in cooperation with the network of Christian classical professional musicians Crescendo. Estonian National Youth Symphony Orchestra performed modern classical composers. The orchestra was conducted by Lehari Kaustel.
One of the co-sponsors of the project was also LifeNets International. This help has been warmly appreciated and we hope for good cooperation in the future.
Estonian Temperance Union
Government building where [nk] cafe is located
See and hear concert http://www.ave.ee/meenutus/
Our visit to [nk] alchohol-free cafe run by Lauri Beekman in central Tallinn on July 23, 2008. From left: Britton Taylor, Jim Franks, Beverly Kubik, Victor Kubik and Toomas Schvaak.
Updated October 30, 2007
My Visit to the Kohvik (Cafe) in Tallinn, Estonia on October 4, 2007
On Friday, October 4 on the way back from Saaremaa Island I stopped by to see the Noortekohvik alcohol and drug-free cafe in Tallinn. The Ministry of Social Affairs donated space in their building to start the cafe on the ground floor of a busy Tallinn street right next to Old Town. The location is excellent.
Lauri Beekman walked about 3/4 mile to get me at the hotel I was staying at and we both walked back to the cafe and talked over a latte. I was really impressed by the idealism and pro-activism of the young people who have gotten together to open this safe location for young people's socializing. The cafe is open from 4:00 PM until 10 PM. I really enjoyed watching and the different young people come in and interact. The youth did a lot of the work in painting and decorating the location for the cafe.
The cafe has a website and an English section at http://www.ave.ee/kohvik/?lang=eng.
Lauri and I talked for about an hour before I headed back. He is the head of the Estonian Temperance Union. He is a daily radio program on a Christian radio station that is heard throughout around the country. LifeNets is a sponsor of his Ole Kaine (OK) or "Be Sober" program targeted at teens. Below are a few photos of my visit.
- Victor Kubik
A comfortable place for young people to get together after school
Lauri Beekman outside the cafe
The cafe is located on a busy street in downtown Tallinn
Lauri Beekman and Victor Kubik chatting inside the cafe
UPDATED September 22, 2007LifeNets has continued to support the work of OK in Estonia this year. Founder / Director Lauri Beekman writes this report.
The time has passed and I´m happy to say that our organistion, Estonian Temperance Union, is growing and expanding quite fast.
One of the biggest advancements has been the opening of the first alcohol-free cafe in Estonia at the end of May, 2007. The place just in the center of the Tallinna, Estonia´s capital, has become a youthful place where young people can stay and
keep it as their own place, where there is no smoke nor alcohol allowed. Our aim is to create an environment where there is just no room for those legal and of course illegal drugs. You can visit our website http://www.ave.ee/kohvik/ and perhaps the gallerys are more understandable to you, since we dont have any English text there. Gallerys are http://picasaweb.google.com/kohvik
The cafe has been closely linked with the youth paper OK, that has been regurlarly supported by the LifeNets International. Young people who have been active in the paper have grown and found interest in helping with the cafe project.
A special subject that we have dealt with has been fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). It has been almost totally ignored here so far. Doctors are hesitant to speak about alcohol dangers with their patients. We published the first booklet about FAS http://www.ave.ee/fas/voldik.pdf and opened a special website about it http://www.ave.ee/fas/
See full size poster
In the middle of September we are launching a mediacampaign about FAS with TV ads, web-banners and printmedia coverage. 1500 posters of the kind on the right have been distributed. This is one of the biaggest projects that we have done so far. Also financially. And here we are happy to accept again help from LifeNets International. Thank you very much for that.
We are also planning a seminar for medical workers about FAS. The lecturer is planned to invite from France. We hope to get help from French Embassy.
Our cooperation in European level has also grown. We are official partners in the Alcohol and Health Forum of the European Commission. We are also participating in a European-wide project called Building Capacity.
International research has shown that alcohol advertsing is one of the main reasons for youth consumption. We have started a campaign to support the ban of alcohol advertising. We are gathering support letters from different NGO-s. The special web-site about the project and the growing list of the supporters is here: http://www.ave.ee/manifest/
With all the best wishes and if anyone is more interested in any of these mentioned projects, please let me know.
17 second You Tube video clip below.....