Minu Unistuste Päev: "Emotional support is extremely important for sick children and their families, because it gives them strength to fight the disease as well as hope and faith for a better future."28.04.2016
What does Minu Unistuste Päev do?
Minu Unistuste Päev (My Dream Day) is a charity fund established in 2011 that makes dreams come true for seriously or chronically ill children in Estonia. The objective of the fund is to offer emotional support to these children and their parents. Organising individual dream days is our main activity. It is the day when a child nominated by a doctor can do the things they like the most or they’ve secretly been dreaming about. We also organise fun and educational group events in hospitals to bring joy and positive experiences to the children who have to spend their days between hospital walls. Minu Unistuste Päev also organises exciting family days, where families can escape from their daily routines and spend quality time with their loved ones, as well as communicate with other families that have similar concerns.
Why is it important to draw attention to your topic?
Emotional support is extremely important for sick children and their families, because it gives them strength to fight the disease as well as hope and faith for a better future. Many families on our target group are not in a strong position financially, and they have to spend all of their time and energy on solving everyday problems. Our role is to help these children and families and to bring some joy and laughter into their lives.
What is the most recent activity or event that has taken place with the help of donors?
The most recent event that was organised with the help of MAA donors was the dream day of teenager Ann-Mari in late November 2015. Her biggest wish was to visit the Harry Potter Museum in London. You can read more about the event on our website.
The next event will take place on 4 May in Tallinn Children’s Hospital, where Teater Kohvris will pay a visit to the little patients.
Last year, Minu Unistuste Päev organised 150 dream activities with the help of generous donors. 38 of them were individual dream days. Our fund organises events all year around.
What is your view on the present donation culture in Estonia? Can donors tell the difference between capable and less capable organisations, or is donating something emotional?
It seems to me that the donation culture in Estonia is still in its infancy, but we’re moving in the right direction! This can also be seen in the attitude of companies, where donations are chosen instead of corporate gifts or people are asked to make donations on the company’s birthday instead of buying flowers and wine. I believe that there is something for everyone in terms of what they would like to support. There are a lot of charity organisations in Estonia. I think most people aren’t even aware of them. Larger and older organisations dominate.
Donation is certainly an emotional activity, but you should always make sure that the organisation is trustworthy and uses the donated money for the purposes it was raised. Donating becomes more active at Christmas time, when everyone suddenly decides they have to do something good. It’s great, but support and help are needed all year round, not just before Christmas.
What is the most valuable gift ever made to your organisation?
Happy families and laughing children are the measure of our activities! Personally, it really matters to me when a family sends us heartfelt and grateful feedback after an event, or they keep us in mind with self-made gifts or Christmas cards. This is a sign that we’re on the right path and doing something people need, and that many children and families have found some strength and inspiration thanks to the dream day.
How much do you need volunteers?
At present, we have 60 volunteers in our fund who work in Tallinn, Tartu and Ida-Viru County. Minu Unistuste Päev is an organisation based on volunteers. We could not exist without volunteers.
What makes a good volunteer?
A good volunteer is committed, not afraid to take responsibility, professional in the performance of their tasks and ready to show initiative. They are good at time management and teamwork. Good communication skills, courage and empathy are also important in our field.
Can you remember a good story about volunteers?
Can’t think of anything right now. What I would like to say is we really value all volunteers at our fund. To volunteer requires inner motivation, but it’s also important for us to motivate them within the organisation. Minu Unistuste Päev regularly organises various kinds of training and team events to guarantee a good team spirit among the volunteers and give them the skills and knowledge required in being a volunteer. Our people are exceptionally nice and full of joy, and the synergy in our organisation is good.