Tallinn Youth Work Centre (TYWC) belongs to the Sports and Youth Department working under Tallinn City Government and was officially established in the beginning of February, 2003. The oldest youth centre in our structure – Lasnamäe youth centre – was established in 1998. TYWC is the umbrella organisation that organises regional youth work in Tallinn through its departments – youth centres, youth information centre and youth counselling centre.
The target group of TYWC is 7–26-year-old youth from different socio-economic backgrounds from Tallinn and Harju county. The aim is to support and create possibilities for development of youth through self-initiative and developmental activities. There are about 50 employees in TYWC, most of them youth workers, youth information workers and career counsellors.
The organization is collaborating with non-governmental organizations and other institutions working in the youth field to implement various activities and projects.
According to "Joint Intentions‘ Agreement" signed in 2003, all the youth centres in Tallinn work as one effective collaboration network that enables to use the common membership cards and tightens the collaboration between the centres.
The work of Tallinn Youth Work Centre can be divided into four fields: Youth centres, Youth information and counselling, International projects Youth workers training and youth work development
YOUTH CENTRES are the places that can be visited voluntarily by any youngster regardless of their social and/or economic background with the aim of free communication and self-development. It is possible to communicate, play, seek information, get advice and help from the youth workers.
The youth centres offer different clubs and studios, youth events, projects and programmes, regional town camps and international youth exchanges. The work of the youth centres is based on the open youth work method. In order to participate in the activities, projects and programmes that Tallinn Youth Work Centre offers, youngsters are obliged to own a membership card. There are both, Estonians and non-Estonians (mainly Russians) visiting the youth centres. 60% of the visitors are boys and 60% are aged 14–18.
YOUTH INFORMATION AND COUNSELLING One department of TYWC is Tallinn Youth Information Centre (TYIC) that was established in August 2003. The aim of TYIF is to collect and distribute youth information in Tallinn that helps young people to organize their spare time. TYIC offers information concerning following domains: free time facilities, youth employment, hobby schools, youth entertainment and events, international study and work possibilities, also counselling services for youth, their families, teachers, social workers and youth workers as well. Tallinn Youth Information Centre cooperates with youth centres, hobby schools, sports clubs and youth organizations. These institutions supply updated information that will be set up in TYIC. Tallinn Youth Information Centre is coordinating the youth information portal of Tallinn that can be found in the address www.taninfo.ee and is currently visited by 5000 persons in a month.
Youth Councelling Centre offers psychological counselling and career councelling to the youth, parents and people who work with young people.
INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS Tallinn Youth Work Centre has been working with international projects since it’s creation in 2003. During this time TYWC has been an European Voluntary Service sending AND HOSTING organization to many volunteers going to and coming from all over Europe. Among the projects there have been short-term projects, also individual and group projects. TYWC with it’s youth centres has also been a hosting organization for volunteers from AMICUS programmes and the Erasmus Placement Programme.
TYWC has sent young people to many international youth exchanges in Belgium, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Turkey, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Portugal and Spain. Also, TYWC has been organizing youth exchanges in Estonia, for example “Europe goes green” in 2009 and “Hey, I’m an active European” in 2010. For youth workers TYWC has offered possibilities to participate in international trainings.