Providers of support services to new immigrants announced
27 child care institutions were granted aid to learn Estonian
Jõhvi and Narva policemen exchanged their language and work environment for a month 
Support serving summer lunch to children in need in Narva!
Countrywide integration-related youth survey launched

Providers of support services to new immigrants announced

The Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) has altogether allocated 247,118 euro for the organisation of courses within the framework of the new immigrants adaptation programme and, for the first time, the provision of support services.

ImmiSoft OÜ was the winner of the first part of the project competition “Support services for new immigrants”, or the training courses part of the adaptation programmes, which was allocated aid to the sum of 217,132 euro by the decision of the assessment committee. The winner of the second part of the competition was MTÜ Johannes Mihkelsoni Keskus to whom the committee allocated aid in the amount of 29,986 euro for the provision of a support person service.

The objective of the competition is to support the adaptation to Estonian society of new immigrants that are third-country nationals and have come to live in Estonia legally less than three years ago.

The adaptation programme is a training course commissioned by MISA and developed by Tallinn University in 2009, aimed at improving the socio-economic coping abilities of new immigrants in Estonia. The adjuster will be prepared for entry into the employment market and general socio-economic integration during the courses. Different areas of basic training introduce the history, country and culture of Estonia as well as main customs and values of society. Further information about the current laws and rights of residents will be given and a 364-hour Estonian language course will be organised.

Concurrently with the adaptation programme, support persons specially trained in 2011 will provide a support person service to new immigrants. The main task of a support person is to consult the adjuster in matters like Estonian society, culture, daily life and other areas.

More than 60 people have attended the MISA-coordinated adaptation programme for new immigrants with an additional 45 people participating this summer. During the two years, 300 more new immigrants will have an opportunity to be involved in the adaptation programme and support services. The courses and the provision of support services commence in autumn.

The project competition is financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals and by the Ministry of Culture from the state budget within the framework of “Estonian Integration Strategy 2008−2013”.

For more information, please contact: Ruslan Prohhorenko, MISA Civic Education and Migration Unit, Coordinator, tel 659 9035, e-mail [email protected].

27 child care institutions were granted aid to learn Estonian

The Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) supported 27 pre-school child care institutions with more than 76,800 euro intended for the organisation of multicultural developing activities and learning Estonian.

The objective of the project competition is to expand the opportunities for children to improve their Estonian language skills and create a good language environment. The target group of the activities is children whose mother tongue is different than Estonian, their parents and teachers in pre-school child care institutions. The activities help support educational and teaching activities at pre-school child care institutions, the creation of a child-focused environment, refresher courses for teachers and collaboration between parents and educational institutions. MISA also facilitates using the aid for teachers’ salaries within the framework of the competition.

According to the decision of the assessment committee, aid was granted to the following institutions: Kindergarten Pääsuke, Kirju-Mirju, Tuvike and Aljonuška in Kohtla-Järve, Kindergartern Päikseke in Sillamäe, Lohusuu School, Kindergarten in Liblika Street in Pärnu, Kindergarten Sipsik in Maardu, Kindergarten Pääsupesa and Sitsi in Tallinn, Kindergarten Männi and Sipsik in Kohila, Kindergarten Ojake and Mesipuu in Tallinn, Kindergarten Rukkilill in Maardu, Loksa Kindergarten, Kindergarten Kakuke in Kohtla-Järve, Kindergarten Väike Pauliine MTÜ, Lohkva Kindergarten, Kindergarten Maasikas, Rakvere Elementary School, Lehola School, Järveotsa Kindergarten in Tallinn, Kindergarten Punamütsike in Kohtla-Järve, Kindergarten Vesiroos and Rõõmupesa in Tallinn and Kindergarten Punamütsike in Narva.

“Kindergarten Tuvike in Kohtla-Järve has planned to conduct language learning through a traffic education project “I am smart and polite in traffic”. In the course of the project, a meeting with rescue workers will be organised, children will learn how to behave correctly in traffic and a small-scale traffic park will be erected on the territory of the kindergarten. All the activities will be conducted in Estonian with their parents involved and will be carried out in the kindergartens,” explained the Coordinator of MISA Multicultural Education Unit, Marje Sarapuu.

Sarapuu added that there are many fun projects; for example, the kindergarten in Liblika Street in Pärnu has linked the activities to food. During the project, the traditions of various countries and preparing food will be introduced and the children, teachers and parents will be involved in the activity. Thematic weeks such as bread week, pancake week, chef’s days and theatre week will be organised.

“During the theatre week, plays related to food with protagonists such as a bun, gingerbread, egg, turnip, etc. will be performed. By the end of the project, the children will compile a collection of recipes in the kindergarten,” added Sarapuu.

The activities will commence in September and continue until July of next year. The competition is being financed by the Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the area development plan “Estonian Integration Strategy 2008–2013”.

For more information, please contact: Marje Sarapuu, MISA Multicultural Education Unit, Coordinator, tel 659 9852, e-mail [email protected].

Jõhvi and Narva policemen exchanged their language and work environment for a month

20 employees of the East Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board whose mother tongue is different than Estonian will spend a month living and working in Rakvere and Iisaku to improve their Estonian language skills.

Since April, the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) has already supported the accommodation and work of 15 policemen in Rakvere, and five more policemen from Narva and Jõhvi will be sent to Rakvere or Iisaku in August. The policemen that have changed their environment perform their regular police work during their assignment, but they are assisted by a specially appointed support person whose first language is Estonian.

Going to theatre and museums in free time helped

Ilja Masljakov, a detective with the criminal investigation bureau at Jõhvi Criminal Investigations Department, admits that learning a new language at the age of 44 is not an easy task with the added problem of having very few opportunities to practice Estonian.

“We learn the Estonian language, but unfortunately there are very few opportunities to use Estonian in our region, and so, in order not to forget the language, I wanted to live for some time in another Estonian town where I will not hear Russian and have an opportunity to hear pure Estonian and to try talking with people,” he said.

According to Masljakov, people in Ida-Viru County are quite often afraid of talking with Estonians in Estonian, and due to their limited vocabulary they are tempted to switch to Russian, because almost everybody understands Russian in Estonia.

“I gladly took the opportunity to live in Rakvere for a month, because although born in Estonia and having visited Rakvere with my family, living a month in this town gave me plenty of opportunities to stroll down small streets, talk to locals, and visit cosy, peaceful cafés and museums,” added Masljakov.

He also visited Rakvere theatre, which he found useful, because in addition to interesting plays the actors use a good standard of language and pronunciation that really helps a language learner.

More courage!

According to Piret Jõgi, the manager of AS TEA Keeleõpetus, which acts as a MISA partner in organising language learning and supported the participants by providing learning materials, the policemen had to do various exercises individually or together with their support person. The Estonian language teacher also gave feedback on the completed exercises after their assignment.

Jõgi stresses that language learning during an assignment is not a traditional classroom lesson and the main emphasis is on intensive practice in the language environment. What makes this assignment project special is that the participants are accommodated in Estonian families where the policemen that wish to improve their skills have an opportunity to practice the official language even more.

“What the participants mainly needed was conversing in Estonian as much as possible to improve their language and professional knowledge. Based on the preliminary and final tests that have been delivered to us, we can say that Estonian language skills have improved, and almost all the participants stated on their feedback forms that they now have more courage to speak in Estonian,” commented Jõgi.

The feedback showed that in addition to increased readiness to communicate in the other language the policemen felt stronger in daily and work-related vocabulary. The participants also discovered useful new professional knowledge and acquaintances, and several of them expressed their wish to go to Rakvere on an assignment in future.

“The feedback also revealed that such projects should be conducted at least once every six months and that the staff was friendly and helpful,” added Jõgi.

Detective Ilja Masljakov is satisfied with the outcome: “Participation in the project gave me communication experience and enriched my vocabulary. I am not shy to use Estonian any more; it doesn’t matter that my Estonian is not always grammatically correct because only through communication can one improve his/her skills.”

The language learning of public sector employees is supported in the framework of the programme “Improving Language Learning 2011−2013” of the measure “Language Learning Development” of the priority axis “Lifelong Learning” of the European Social Fund “Human Resources Development Operational Plan”. Language learning is granted to public sector authorities operating in the areas of security of society, public order, public administration, education, healthcare and others.

For more information, please contact: Jana Tondi, MISA Life-long Learning Unit, Coordinator, tel 659 9069, e-mail [email protected]

Support serving summer lunch to children in need in Narva!

MTÜ Pro Consensio calls upon kind people to donate money so that the summer soup project in Narva can continue within the framework of which free lunch is offered every day all through the summer to children who are at risk.

“We started to distribute food on 18 July with a lunch for 100 children. The first weeks have shown that the need is actually 50% greater because already 150 children gather every day,” is written in the MTÜ PRO Consensio’s call for help.

One meal costs 1 euro and the project’s resources allow for serving summer lunch to only 100 children. To offer summer soup to 150 children, additional finances to the tune of at least 800 euro are required. For half of this sum, disposable tableware will be purchased and the rest will go towards the provision of lunch. All the rest is organised through the help of volunteers.

Up to 14:00 each day until the end of August, children have an opportunity to receive a hot meal in the premises of MTÜ Virumaa Heategevuskeskus at 17 Võidu Street and 40 Kreenholmi Street.

According to the information given by the project implementer, there are eight hostels in Narva, where around 200 children live, many of whom are at risk and for whom lunch at school is the only proper daily meal they receive. As school lunch is not provided in summer, people may make their donations to the bank account of MTÜ Pro Consensio (Swedbank, 221055545218, MTÜ Pro Consensio) and support serving lunch to children.

If more donations are collected than currently required, MTÜ Pro Consensio guarantees that the money will be used for the implementation of the same project. According to the project manager, Urmo Reitav, the rest of the money will be transferred to the following year’s summer lunch project or children will be offered more varied food besides soup during the summer.

For more information, please contact: Urmo Reitav, MTÜ Pro Consensio project manager, tel 5532539, e-mail [email protected].  

Countrywide integration-related youth survey launched

Led by the Estonian National Youth Council (ENYC), a consultation round of the European Commission coordinated pan-European structured dialogue was once again launched in Estonia. In the current half-year, the goal of the round is to map the situation of young people that are not native Estonians and their involvement in Estonia and find means to increase the level of integration to Estonian society.

ENYC has organised consultation rounds in Estonia since the beginning of 2010. During this time, such topics as the election age, the innovativeness of youth organisations and collaboration with young people from neighbouring European countries, among other things, have been discussed with young people in the course of six rounds. At the end of each round, the Estonian structured-dialogue working group has prepared a report through which the viewpoints of young Estonian people are made visible in the European Union.

“Youth consultations or a consultation round of the structured dialogue is a good tool through which to collect the opinions of young people on important topics across Europe”, said the project manager of the structured dialogue, Kristo Peterson. “With each round, we get better and better answers from young Estonian people, and from more than 1,500 young people in the last round. The input from the rounds helps us show the leaders of Europe as well as Estonia the actual current situation and what our Estonian young people think.”

Young people between the ages of 13–30 may take part in the survey.

Information related to the structured dialogue consultation round is available on the home page of the Council and on Facebook on the youth survey page  

The Estonian National Youth Council is an umbrella organisation that unites more than 63 youth organisations in Estonia. The main objectives of ENYC are to represent youth organisations and shape social opinion as well as create a legal environment that is supportive of young people. ENYC represents the youth policy interests of its members in Estonia and internationally, and it enhances the active participation of young people in society.

For more information, please contact: Kristo Peterson, project manager of the youth survey of the Estonian National Youth Council (Eesti Noorteühenduste Liit), tel 503 0220, e-mail [email protected]