APRIL 2017

What’s new in our organisation?
Find out who’s setting this year’s Citizens Day quiz questions!
Open days at national minority Sunday schools this April
A new opportunity for people who are currently unemployed
Support to be allocated to renowned national culture festivals

Come and share your migration experience

What’s new in our organisation? 

On 15 March 2017 the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People adopted a new, shorter name: simply the Integration Foundation.

The new name more clearly expresses the current focus of the foundation’s operations: promoting integration processes in Estonian society. The proportion of migration-related activities the foundation deals with has decreased significantly.

The foundation is also changing on the inside, moving ever further towards becoming a competence centre that initiates and supports activities aimed at the integration of Estonian society.

The foundation’s operations increasingly include the organisation of real activities (such as language cafés and international conferences) and programmes based on its experience and expertise. It is getting more and more volunteers and entrepreneurs involved and making the most of international competence in integration, as well as sharing Estonia’s own experience with the rest of the world. Via surveys it regularly collects data that it uses in planning its activities, and it also fosters cooperation with research institutes. Ever greater emphasis is being given to the inclusion and involvement of the Estonian-speaking population.

Apply now to become a member of our management board!

The Integration Foundation has launched a competition to recruit a new member for our management board, since the contract with the current director expires on 30 June 2017.

Applications are open until 17:00 on 14 April. The foundation’s supervisory board plans to make its choice in the second half of May.

Take a look at the job advertisement HERE.

Meet our newest team members!

Two new coordinators joinied the Implementation Centre at the Integration Foundation on 3 April: Sigre Rõuk and Teele Raja.

Sigre Rõuk graduated from Tallinn University with a Bachelor’s degree in teaching and a Master’s degree in educational science. She spent five years working on projects and foreign relations for Tallinn Education Board, coordinating the projects of both the board itself and those involving international partners. The focus of these projects ranged from the EU Structural Funds to the funds of specific countries. She also organised seminars, study trips and the like for school and kindergarten employees and education workers from foreign countries. Her most recent place of work has been North Tallinn City District Government, where she worked as a senior specialist in the City Economy Department. There she served, among other things, as a member of assessment committees on upkeep and renovation projects, as well as arranging matters connected with entering into leasing agreements for municipal and social residential properties. During her time with the City Government, Sigre came into contact with representatives of different layers of society and permanent residents of the country who speak languages other than Estonian. She feels that this experience will be of great use to her in her new position with the Integration Foundation.

Teele Raja is a graduate of the University of Tartu, where she majored in political science with a minor in economics. Adding to her academic knowledge, she has been gaining practical skills and experience in the public sector for more than six years. Most recently she has worked in the area of public procurements, doing so in both the Ministry of Justice and the State Shared Service Centre.

On 1 February Agnes Aaslaid took up the post of Head of Communication

Agnes Aaslaid is a tertiary-educated communication specialist who has more than a decade of experience. She has served as the Communications Manager at Molycorp Silmet in Sillamäe, as the Executive Director of the British-Estonian Chamber of Commerce and as a press officer with the Ministry of the Environment. She has also contributed to a number of ambitious projects – for example, she helped to carry out “Let's Do It World” as part of the global UN sustainable development conference Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro, and was the main organiser of a Talent Forum led by the Estonian Development Fund. 

Find out who’s setting this year’s Citizens Day quiz questions! 

The main person who compiles the Citizens Day quizzes for students from Grades 7-12 in general education schools and students from vocational education schools and who serves as the coordinator of the student-compiled Citizens Day quizzes for students from Grades 5 & 6 in general education schools has been Sulev Valdmaa, the director of the Civic Education Centre of the Jaan Tõnisson Institute.

Starting in 2017, however, the students themselves will be putting together two separate quizzes: one for students from Grades 5 & 6 in general education schools (30 questions) and the other for students from Grades 7-9 (50 questions).

The separate questions for students from Grades 7-9 constitute a new quiz that will be carried out for the first time this autumn.

Toivo Sikk, the head of civic education with the Integration Foundation, says the proposal to put together a separate quiz for students from Grades 7-9 in general education schools was made by the students themselves. “The idea of contributing to the questions came from them,” he explained. “So we now have two four-member teams of students from graduating classes who’ll start thinking up the questions for the quizzes. All of them have taken part in the quizzes themselves at least twice before.”

There will also be a separate Citizens Day quiz for students from Grades 10-12 in general education schools and students from vocational education schools.

Students will have from 20-30 November 2017 to complete this year’s Citizens Day quizzes, the results of which will be made known to everyone on the Integration Foundation website on 1 December. Participants will also be able to check their own personal results individually.

Students from Grades 7-12 in general education schools and students from vocational education schools will also be able to take part in a civic-themed essay competition from 25 September-13 October 2017. The theme of this year’s essay will be announced on 25 September on the Integration Foundation website.

For further information please contact:
Toivo Sikk, Head of Civic Education, telephone: +372 659 9850, e-mail: [email protected]

Open days at national minority Sunday schools* this April

Armenian Sunday school awaits visitors on 8 April

Many Estonians heard about the Maštots Armenian Sunday school for the first time when the ensemble Dvin, which is based at the school, won the ETV talent show ‘Family Party’. For the first time in 35 years, songs in Armenian were heard on ETV. The children also sang very well in Estonian.

The Sunday school will be opening its doors to visitors at 12:30 on Saturday 8 April at Rävala pst 8 in Tallinn. The theme for the event will be spring and Mothers Day.

Come along to the open day to... 
...find out more about the Armenian language
...make handmade cards with the students
...learn elements of Armenian folk dance
...enjoy a concert given by the students
...try some Armenian sweets.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to register at [email protected].

For further information please contact: Džanna Šahbazjan | Director, Maštots Armenian Sunday school | E-mail: [email protected]

Ukrainian Sunday school awaits visitors on 22 April

The Labora Sunday school attached to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in the Old Town will be opening its doors to visitors at 10:30 on Saturday 22 April at Laboratooriumi 22 in Tallinn.

Those attending the event will get the chance to...
...find out more about Ukrainian culture
...hear for themselves what the Ukrainian language sounds like
...make and try Ukrainian dumplings
...take a look at the students’ classrooms and an exhibition of wooden horses.

The Labora School of Monastic Arts is a unique complex at the heart of the Old Town which is well worth visiting. Anyone interested in attending is asked to register at [email protected].

For further information please contact: Anatoli Ljutjuk | Director, Labora School of Monastic Arts | E-mail: [email protected]

Korean Sunday school awaits visitors on 23 April

Students at the Korean Sunday school learn Korean, study the ancient history of the country and practise drawing and calligraphy techniques, since it is important that the children are able to write Korean characters correctly. Mixed in with their studies are listening to and learning songs in Korean and staging traditional fairytales from the country in their own puppet theatre. They learn dance moves, find out about costumes and ornaments and are taught about Korean cuisine. Since there is a lot in common between the ancient fortresses of Estonia and Korea, excursions are also arranged. Students from the Sunday school also attended a reception held by the Korean ambassador in Helsinki at which they performed the songs and dances they had learned. The ambassador was so impressed by them that he presented the Sunday school with a number of national costumes, a drum and a fan.

The Korean Sunday school will be opening its doors to visitors at 15:00 on Sunday 23 April at Kaera 21 in Tallinn.

Attendees will have the opportunity to...
...hear for themselves what the Korean language sounds like
...find out about Korean culture
...learn how to prepare Korean carrot salad
...try the salad as well as traditional sweets.

For further information please contact: Kristina Pirgop, Head of Partnership Relations, Integration Foundation,  e-mail: [email protected], telephone: +372 659 9024

Pushkin Institute’s Russian-language school awaits visitors on 30 April

The pupils at the Russian-language school of the Pushkin Institute study Russian language and literature and work on their speech. They attend performances at the Russian Theatre, go on excursions to historical sights connected to Russians (such as Kadriorg Park and the Pühtitsa Uspenski Convent in Kuremäe) and take part in workshops producing traditional Russian dolls.

Their open day will be held at 11:30 on Sunday 30 April at Maneeži 7-4 in Tallinn. Please register your attendance by 21 April by e-mailing [email protected].

The theme for the day will be Russian fairytales and folklore. There will also be a workshop in which the participants will make a traditional toy known as the Spring Bird. Attendees will be treated to tea and pastries.

For further information please contact: Anetta Keviš, Project manager, Pushkin Institute, e-mail: [email protected], mobile: +372 5563 1362

*Educating future generations is an important task of national minority Sunday schools. During their weekend lessons, children and teenagers are taught the languages, cultures and customs of their forefathers. Sunday schools help to preserve national traditions and handicraft skills that are being forgotten in today’s world.

The activities of national minority Sunday schools are financed from the budget of the Ministry of Education and Research.

A new opportunity for people who are currently unemployed

This February the Integration Foundation launched a pilot mentoring programme for unemployed people known by its Estonian acronym TEMP.

Anyone interested can take part in the programme as either a mentor or mentee. The aim is to support Estonian residents who are out of work and for whom limited skills in the national language, a restricted network of contacts and other factors represent obstacles on the labour market. The programme provides the participants with an opportunity to communicate with people from outside of their ordinary circle of acquaintances. This allows them to see things from a different angle and to receive the push they need to make positive changes in their lives.

Read more http://www.meis.ee/news?news_id=1002

Support to be allocated to renowned national culture festivals

This year the Integration Foundation will be providing 90,500 euros in support of the projects of national minority cultural associations. A total of 23 projects will receive funding.

The most widely known traditional festivals that will receive support are the ‘National Cultures Creative Pot’ in Jõhvi, the international festival of Ukrainian culture for children and teenagers ‘Kvity Ukrainy’, the international festival of Slavic culture ‘Svetotš 2017’ and the international Orthodox music festival ‘Credo’. Support has also been allocated for the organisation of the 18th International Izabella Yurieva Competition for performers of Russian romance and festivities marking the 80th anniversary of the Russian Choirs of Estonia in Narva.

66 applications were received in total. In addition to major festivals, a number of other events will also be receiving funding. They include a language and culture camp for the children of Estonia’s Ingrian Finns in Ida-Viru County in summer; a series of concerts and the issuing of a CD celebrating the 25th anniversary of the folklore ensemble Žurba in Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Oisu and Kärdla; and the publishing of a book entitled Belaja Lestovka on the funerary customs of Estonia’s Russian Old Believers.

Kristina Pirgop, the Head of Partnership Relations with the Integration Foundation, says that the competition is designed to contribute to the preservation and showcasing of national minority languages and cultures in Estonia. “National cultural associations enrich our cultural landscape with the music, dances, handicrafts, art and literature of a wide range of nationalities,” she said.

The competition supports the implementation of the ‘Integrating Estonia 2020’ development plan, which contributes to the cultural diversity of Estonian society and to the sustainable operating and development of organisations representing national cultures. The competition is being financed by the Ministry of Culture.

For further information please contact:
Kristina Pirgop, Head of Partnership Relations, Integration Foundation, telephone: +372 659 9024, e-mail: [email protected]    

Come and share your migration experience

Dear person with migration experience!

Whether you are an Estonian abroad, or a foreigner in Estonia, descendant of a migrant, emigrant or ex-emigrant; whether you have recently left your home country or lived abroad for decades; whether you are a long-term or short-term migrant; whether you live permanently in one country or you are in constant move between different countries; whether you are adult or juvenile – this announcement is for you!

We plan to develop a new methodological tool for Estonian schools, which would support teachers in explaining the topic of migration to pupils. This tool would reflect as well topics about why people leave their home country as how migrants and/or their descendants feel themselves in the new society, and how they understand their own identity.

Would you be willing to help us? We would like to hear about your personal story regarding your travels, or about how your ancestors’ migration has affected you.

Try to find one precise topic of focus for your writing. In the process of choosing, consider what could be the most engaging and interesting plot from a reader´s perspective. Try out how it is to be a writer and add juicy details to your story!

- Maybe you can talk about an event that is important for you and that influenced you in deciding to leave your home country?
- Or you can talk something about the process of choosing your new homeland, or how did you end-up in your new country?
- Or maybe you have something to tell regarding how you feel in your new homeland? What have been the strange things in there that differ from things at home, what do you miss the most when living abroad?
- Maybe you would like to verbalise the feelings that you have regarding how it is to live abroad when your mother-tongue/cultural background/religion/skin colour etc. is different from the majority?
- Or would you like to talk about why you have decided to stay forever in your new homeland; or the other way around - why you regret your decision or at least you consider moving back home or to some other country? What stops you in doing that?

We also welcome those stories where the author tries to connect one or more separate topics. In that case it is important that those topics would be closely linked to each other and would convey together some concrete message.

Please write your story in Estonian, English or Russian with a length of around 15-20 sentences, and submit it by 17th of April to: [email protected].

From all received migration stories we will choose the ten best ones. We will have a professional writer who will help with the editing so that the stories would be more easily readable. Therefore, the final stories could have some literary additions. Every story will have supportive illustrations with the help of wonderful children’s books illustrator Marja-Liisa Plats. By autumn 2017, the final version of the project will be freely available in the internet. In addition, 200 Estonian schools will get free A2-size poster-sets that support them in talking about the topic of migration in the classroom or in making an exhibition in the hallway.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the project manager Ingi Mihkelsoo via email: [email protected] or by phone: +372 525 8702.

This project is being managed by the Estonian Refugee Council and the University of Tartu Centre for Ethics in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Research, and it is being funded by Council of the Gambling Tax.