Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers
The task of the Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers (Vao Centre and Vägeva Centre) is to arrange for the accommodation in local authorities of those receiving their services and international protection.
The centre arranges accommodation for asylum seekers as well as other services that help to support and maintain the individual’s ability to cope during international protection procedures. We help them adjust to life in Estonia through various activities, to learn the Estonian language and traditions, to find schools and jobs and to communicate with public institutions.
At the centre, the option of learning Estonian three times a week is offered and experience shows that those who participate in the lessons are able to communicate in Estonian within just 3-4 months.
Four times a month, an ‘Adjustment Café’ is held at the centres. This is a programme which provides individuals who have arrived from abroad with knowledge about such areas as local traditions, culture, learning and climate.
An employment mentor provides the residents with knowledge of the job market in Estonia and information on how to find a suitable job.
In Vao, the service is available for up to 70 asylum seekers at a time. In Vägeva, up to 50 asylum seekers can use the service at one time. Under exceptional circumstances, we are able to provide accommodation for a larger number of people with 24 hours’ notice. We are also able to provide transportation for asylum seekers moving between homes.
AS Hoolekandeteenused provides the accommodation centre service on the basis of a contract entered into with the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Police and Border Guard Board
Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Education and Research
International Organisation for Migration (cultural orientation training, assisting migrants who wish to return to their countries of origin)
NGOs dealing with refugees (translating and interpreting, sponsorship, joint activities, etc.) – the Estonian Refugee Council, the Johannes Mihkelson Centre, the Human Rights Centre and others.