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Village for adults with autism to spring up in Liikva

Disabled people from nearby Estonian municipalities and Tallinn will live, work and rest in log houses made in Finland

  • November 12, 2019 20:30
  • Author Plamen Petrov
Medium log cabin 1594361 1920

Construction is about to commence of a dedicated village for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Down syndrome and other rare and debilitating disorders in Estonia. It will be built on the grounds of the Harku Municipality village of Liikva in Harju County, local media reported.

The planning phase for the project began two years ago and the village is expected to be completed in 2020. Construction cost is over €4 million. Project funding was secured from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Estonian state and donations.

The village will consist of laminated log houses made in Finland that need just one week to assemble. The parts of the traditional Nordic homes are expected to reach Estonia next month.

Finland's Kontiotuote OY produces over 1,000 log houses per year and exports them to many countries. The company is quick to point out that the Estonian project is the first such order it has received, as the structures serve a special purpose and must be highly energy efficient and healthy.

Project beneficiary - Liikva Päikesekodu foundation – has reached an agreement regarding initial construction. Outfitting of the village and arrangements for living there will be addressed in the next stage.

Russian-speaking residents are welcome

The village will consist of three family homes for ten people each. One of them will be dedicated to residents belonging to the 320 000-strong Russian minority in Estonia. An additional building will be intended for recreation and work purposes.

The new village is meant first and foremost for people with autism from nearby municipalities and Tallinn, according to Liikva Päikesekodu foundation. The foundation plans initially to offer day- and weekly care, which at a later stage will transition to permanent services. The latter will be needed in case a child or client loses one or both of their parents.

Close to 150,000 people in Estonia or 10.9% of the population have a disability. Legislative reforms passed in early 2016 aimed to increase employment opportunities for disabled people, whose employment rate was meagre 25 %, but according to a study at the time, limited progress was made.

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