Estonian Association of the SOS Children’s Village
Established in 1994, this NGO is financed via local government support measures for foster care and from donations made by individuals, companies and international organisations. The Children’s Village is designed to boost the welfare of children and families in Estonia and around the world. When the first SOS village was founded in Estonia in 1995, the tradition of the spouse of the head of state serving as its patron was also instituted when Helle Meri took on the role. Since then, first ladies Ingrid Rüütel, Evelin Ilves and Ieva Ilves have all served as patron, as well as Kristi Kallas. Sirje Karis has been the village’s patron since May 2022.
University of Tartu Foundation
The main aim of the University of Tartu Foundation is to support the research and coursework of students via the awarding of scholarships. Sirje Karis has served as the foundation’s patron since June 2022.
Maternity Hospital Fund
Established in 2000 as the legal successor to the Pelgulinn Maternity Hospital Support Fund and financed via donations, the Maternity Hospital Fund does everything it can to ensure that newborns are supported not only by the love of their parents, the expertise of doctors and the care of midwives, but also by a contemporary environment equipped with smart apparatus. The fund assists maternity wards in hospitals around Estonia in acquiring the innovative devices they need and ensuring that their staff receive vital training. Sirje Karis has been the fund’s patron since December 2022.
Patron for the fostering of children and young people’s talent
Every youngster must be taught according to their needs and abilities, including those who are ahead of their peers in terms of their skills and knowledge in one or more areas. For this reason, the Ministry of Education and Research drew up the ‘Action Plan for the Recognition and Support of the Talents of Children and Young Adults’. It aims to accommodate the differences in young people’s needs and abilities and to take steps to ensure that talent and the creativity that comes with it are fostered in Estonian schools, kindergartens, youth centres and venues for extracurricular activities. The patron’s role is to help make a success of undertakings aimed at talented children and to champion the recognition of bright youngsters among their parents, teachers and peers.