At Estonia's Bank Of Happiness, Kindness Is The Currency
Eestlased Eestis 22 Jul 2013  EWR
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SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, npr
Estonia's capital, Tallinn, is considered one of the world's leading "smart" cities, where the government and businesses alike rely heavily on computer technology.

But one group in the Estonian capital is using the Internet for something completely different: an online forum that markets good deeds.

It's called the Bank of Happiness, but it doesn't involve money or credit. Founded five years ago in this Baltic city, it's a forum in which more than 2,000 civic-minded individuals from Estonia and other countries connect to offer or receive services free of charge.

The site carries more than 500 ads in English, German and Estonian from people offering or seeking all kinds of things, including tutoring, tips on baking and business, and even juggling lessons. The website is also translated into French and Spanish.

Founder Airi Kivi says the goal is to make people think and act with their hearts.

"I thought, 'We need something like this Bank of Happiness, where people can meet each other and do something cool,' " says the 39-year-old Kivi, who is a family therapist and clinical psychologist.

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