The story of the Fund goes back to 2005 and St. John’s Day (December 27) when a fellowship of Christian officers decided that beliefs and values should be expressed not only in words, but also in actions. The discussions resulted in quite a unanimous opinion that children must be helped in their educational journey.
Since the fellowship was small, support was aimed at one child – a year-old Carolin, whose father Arre fell in the line of duty.
In early 2006, a college fund was established for Carolin, to which contributions were made annually by the officers of the fellowship.
The idea evolved and it was decided that children of other brothers-in-arms who have been killed or severely injured in the line of duty should also be supported in their educational journey.
In the search for partners and sympathisers, two organisations emerged: the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association as a non-profit organisation operating in the field of defence and the Estonian Reserve Officers’ Association, whose membership included many members and comrades of the fellowship. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic and a true patriot and statesman, became the patron of the Fund. The negotiations resulted in the establishment of the Carolin Illenzeer Fund in 2011, which is now capable of supporting a lot more children, not just Carolin.
The Fund was established by the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association, the Estonian Reserve Officers’ Association, and OSMTH (a Christian officers’ organisation).