Supervisory board of Integration Foundation elects new chairman
Estonian language course participants selected for 2016
Awards ceremony to be held for Citizens Day quiz and essay competition winners
Russian Sunday school in Narva to organise classes for Estonian-language schools in region
Ukrainian associations arrange trip to Estonia for children of victims of war in Ukraine
Website for teachers supporting children with home languages other than Estonian
Institute of Baltic Studies to administer pan-European integration site EWSI

Supervisory board of Integration Foundation elects new chairman

The final meeting of the supervisory board of the Integration Foundation for 2015 saw the election of a new chairman and the approval of the foundation’s 2016 budget.

At the meeting, which was held on 15 December, Kristina Kallas – the deputy-director of Narva College of the University of Tartu – was elected as the new chairman. The supervisory board has eight members in total, with long-serving MP Mart Nutt continuing in his role as vice-chairman.

The meeting also saw the approval of the 2016 budget for the Integration Foundation, which is valued at 4.3 million euros. The foundation’s action plan will be approved at a meeting to be held on 26 January.

Estonian language course participants selected for 2016

The participants have now been selected for the free Estonian language courses at the A2, B1 and B2 levels being organised by the Integration Foundation in 2016. The first groups will begin their studies this month.

“At the end of last year we launched a procurement to find organisers for the free Estonian courses we’ll be offering to 2000 people this year, and the five winning bids were from OÜ Keelepisik, OÜ Mitteldorf, the EDUKOOL foundation, Folkuniversitetet Estonia and the NPO Atlasnet,” explained Jana Tondi, the director of language and cultural immersion with the Integration Foundation. “Throughout January they’ll be contacting those who registered for the courses over the phone and by e-mail in regard to testing their language level. They need to do this so that they know how well everyone can speak and understand Estonian already, and on that basis they can then put groups together.”

2000 people who registered for the courses on the Integration Foundation website last year will be participating in the language training in 2016. Courses for the first 50 groups or around 800 learners will start in the first part of the year all over Estonia – in January, February, late March and early April – ahead of courses commencing in late summer/early spring. The courses will be held in eight towns and cities: Tallinn, Narva, Jõhvi, Kohtla-Järve, Sillamäe, Ahtme, Tartu and Pärnu. Each course will last for 100 academic hours, with classes being held two or three times a week between Monday and Friday.

Free Estonian courses at the A2, B1 and B2 levels are intended to be held regularly until 2020. Organisation of language studies in the same volume is planned to continue so as to ensure that all those who registered for the courses on the Integration Foundation website in 2015 get the chance to undertake Estonian language studies. Those who are not accepted onto the courses starting in 2016 will be contacted by the foundation and provided with information about future language-learning opportunities.

Implementation of the Estonian language studies at the A2, B1 and B2 levels is being financed from the resources of the ‘Activities supporting integration in Estonian society’ project of the European Social Fund.

For further information please contact: Jana Tondi | Director of Language and Cultural Immersion, Integration Foundation | Telephone: 659 9069 | E-mail: [email protected]

Awards ceremony to be held for Citizens Day quiz and essay competition winners

The Integration Foundation will be recognising the most outstanding participants in the 2015 Citizens Day online quiz and essay competition in a ceremony to be held from 11:00-16:30 on 21 January at the House of the Blackheads in Tallinn. The ceremony will begin with an overview of previous Citizens Day quizzes for the participants and their mentors (their teachers). Musical entertainment will be provided by the Urmas Lattikas Ensemble.

An essay contest was organised for students in grades 7-12 of general education schools and from institutes of vocational education for the fifth time by the Integration Foundation last spring. ‘How can young people be of use to Estonian society?’ was the theme of the 2015 essay. 103 entries were received from 19 schools all over Estonia.

Students from grades 7-9 and 10-12 at general education schools and those from vocational education schools will be awarded individually at the reception at the House of the Blackheads: one 1st prize, two 2nd prizes, two 3rd prizes and an encouragement award for students from general education grades 7-9; one 1st prize, one 2nd prize, one 3rd prize and an encouragement award for students from general education grades 10-12; and the same for students from vocational schools. The two best mentors will also be presented with awards. All of the prize-winning essays will be published in a compendium with the same title as the contest: ‘How can young people be of use to Estonian society?’.

Also receiving awards at the ceremony will be the winners of the Citizens Day online quiz held between 23 November and 4 December 2015. The highest-scoring teams in seven categories will be recognised, as will the schools with the largest number of participants. More than 10,000 students took part in the 2015 quiz: 8648 completed it in full, of whom 2972 indicated Russian as their mother tongue.

The awards for the 13th Citizens Day quiz will be presented to a total of 21 students, five mentors/teachers and 22 educational institutions. There will be separate awards for students from Grades 5 and 6 at general education schools with Estonian and Russian as the language of instruction and students from Grades 7-12 at general education schools and from vocational education schools with Estonian and Russian as their home language.

The organisation of the Citizens Day essay competition and quiz is financed from the state budget via the Ministry of Education and Research.

For further information please contact: Toivo Sikk | Director of Civic Education, Development Centre | Telephone: 659 9850 | E-mail: [email protected]

Russian Sunday school in Narva to organise classes for Estonian-language schools in region

This academic year has seen the launch of cooperation between teachers from the Russian Sunday school in Narva and Estonian-language schools in Ida-Viru County. The aim is for the teachers to promote Russian culture and traditions to the students – and to thereby foster tolerance and understanding – by giving guest lessons at the schools.

The first Sunday school event will be held at the Estonian Upper Secondary School in Narva in early January. “To add something new to the mix in terms of the way they study and learn, we’ll be holding a separate lesson for kids from Grade 10, who are mostly all Sunday school students as well, on the customs of the Russian Christmas and New Year,” explained Alla Matvejeva, one of the teachers from the Sunday school. “We’ll be telling them how people celebrate the winter holidays in Russia, what the most common customs are, and the kinds of songs and games they involve. We’ve also invited Guselki, a folk ensemble, to take part in the lesson. They’ll be presenting traditional folk songs, led by Nadežda Moskaleva and Valentin Terentjev.”

A second lesson will be held in January, this time for younger students at Sinimäe Basic School. They will find out all about the most popular games, contests, songs and dances accompanying Christmas and the Epiphany, which on the Russian Orthodox calendar fall between 7 and 18 January. Music will again be provided during the class by Guselki. “The lesson will give the kids a great opportunity to learn about a variety of Christmas traditions,” said Matvejeva. “Hopefully it will broaden their horizons and foster tolerance as well.”

The guest lessons at the Estonian-language schools will be given by Russian Sunday school teachers Alla Matvejeva and Jelena Kukkur.

The Russian Sunday school in Narva was established in 2004 as part of the Svätogori Association of Slavic Culture, an NPO based in the city. The school focuses on what makes Russian culture unique, with the students being given the opportunity to study history and learn about special days, folklore and traditions. An excursion to Tallinn is planned for the Sunday school’s students in early 2016 during which they will be introduced to some of the greatest figures in Russian culture and places connected to them. They will also meet with students from Sunday schools in the capital.

For further information please contact: Kristina Pirgop | Director of Partnership Relations, Integration Foundation | Telephone: 659 9024 | E-mail: [email protected].
Alla Matvejeva | Director, Russian Sunday school, Narva | E-mail: [email protected].

Ukrainian associations arrange trip to Estonia for children of victims of war in Ukraine

The Ukrainian Women’s Association of Estonia, in cooperation with other Ukrainian organisations operating in the country, has organised an excursion to Estonia for children who have lost one or both of their parents in the Ukrainian crisis. The aim of the excursion was to show the children what Estonia is like as well as what Ukrainians do and how they mark their traditions in other countries.

15 Ukrainian children between the ages of 11 and 14 visited Estonia in the first week of January, all of whom have lost one or both of their parents in the fight to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The organisers put together an exciting programme for the children and provided them with accommodation in their own homes and with the families of students from Ukrainian Sunday schools operating in Estonia. The children who made the journey to Estonia were found with the help of a volunteer organisation in Kyiv that deals with children who have lost a parent or become orphaned as a result of the war.

Excursions to Tallinn’s Old Town and the Riigikogu were arranged for the children, as well as to the Seaplane Harbour and to KUMU art museum. They also got to watch the ballet Cinderella at the Estonia National Opera. They were visited by workers from the BLRT Group, with whose help the return flights from Ukraine were purchased for the children and their chaperones. Private donations also helped make the trip possible.

The children also visited Tartu, where they discovered the exciting world of the AHHAA Science Centre through hands-on exhibits and fun activities.

During their visit the children also found out what Ukrainian associations and organisations in Estonia do. They met with students from the Ukrainian Sunday schools in the country on 5 January at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre and on 9 January at the Association of Ukrainian Organisations. The Estonian youngsters they met told them all about what they do and got to practise their Ukrainian with them.

The group visited the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church in Tallinn and the blacksmith, woodwork and paper workshops that operate as part of the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, where they also got to try their hands at calligraphy. At the Association of Ukrainian Organisations the youngsters got to make traditional protective dolls, and the artist Dmytro Dobrovolsky taught them how to paint icons on canvas.

Working with other Ukrainian organisations in the country, the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Estonia would like to continue organising similar trips and supporting those who have suffered in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

For further information please contact: Kristina Pirgop | Director of Partnership Relations, Integration Foundation | Telephone: 659 9024 | E-mail: k[email protected].

Liliya Ivanchenko | Member of the management board, Ukrainian Women’s Association | E-mail: [email protected].

News from the Integration Foundation’s partners

Child with another mother tongue - supportive web environment for Educators

Author: Ave Härsing

SA Innove has created a new website under the web environment "Child with another mother tongue", which gathers information about the organization of education for newly immigrated and Roma children living in Estonia, who study in schools or kindergartens.  The new environment has been designed especially for teachers and educational workers, but also for parents. The environment was created as a part of the project “Improving the quality of counselling for newly immigrated children and Roma children”.

The environment provides centralized information, helping to improve the counselling of educators teaching children of foreign and Roma origin and to increase the competence of supporting professionals. The aim is to improve the capabilities of schools and to make the necessary information availability at a local level.

The new environment gathers the information concerning possibilities and experience for the education of children with another native tongue It is possible to find science based articles, course works, descriptions of experiences by teachers, compilations, extracts from public media and good practical advice from there. The information also supports the education of Estonian children abroad.

“Children with another mother tongue” is a follow-up of the web page “Tere-tere”, which supported teachers during 2010-2015.

The web environment has been divided to following subtopics:

1. Concerning studies here and away

  • Jurisdiction
  • School
  • Kindergarten
  • Estonian children abroad
  • Experience from abroad

2. Who's who?

  • A children with a native language other than the studying language
  • New immigrants
  • Returnees
  • Romas
  • Asylum seekers and applicants of international protection

3. For teachers

  • Methodological recommendations
  • Study assets
  • Teacher to teacher
  • Collaboration with parents
  • Cultural events: traditions and customs, religion

4. Misc

  • Researches
  • Links
  • Archive

5. nformation
6. News

About the project

The web environment "Child with another mother tongue" is created as a part of the project "Improvement of education counselling for newly immigrated and Roma children”. To improve the quality of the educational counselling and to receive the service at a local level, supervisional seminars, additional schoolings and class observations are being organized, and the exchange of information is enhanced.

The project is carried out by the NGO ProDia, foundation Omanäolise Kooli Arenduskeskus and the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People, during 2014-2016. More information can be found on the project website: http://prodia.ee/projektid/emp.

The project is funded through the opened application round “ Involvement and Interventions in the Education System“ within the European Economic Area (EEA) grants program "Children and Youth at Risk”. The program is jointly conducted by the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Affairs. The program is brought to life by the Estonian Youth Work Centre and partnered with regional authorities of Norway and the Union of Regional Authorities. Additional information can be found on the website of the program www.entk.ee/riskilapsedjanoored/ and in Facebook www.facebook.com/RiskilapsedJaNoored.

Institute of Baltic Studies to administer pan-European integration site EWSI

Author: Kristjan Kandur

Institute of Baltic Studies is the national coordinator for the European Website on Integration (EWSI) since its launch in 2010. The aim of EWSI is to help improve the effectiveness of integration policies and practices in the EU by sharing successful strategies and supporting collaboration and cooperation between practitioners. EWSI acts as a platform for sharing integration-related news, best practices, legal documents and other materials. By sharing the successful integration practices, EU countries can learn new ideas and solutions that can be put to practice in other member states.

In addition, every year EWSI analyses a topic which is currently relevant in the integration field. In 2015, the analysis focused on volunteers/citizens’ initiatives that support immigrants’ long-term integration and/or are opening the public up to integration matters and diversity. Topics planned for the future are related to the political participation of immigrants and ethnic minorities, highly-skilled migration, innovative solutions for the monitoring of integration etc.

You can subscribe to the monthly EWSI newsletter here. As the login is directed through ECAS (European Commission Authentication Service) site, you first need to make an account there.

For additional information or if you wish to share your integration-related news or good practice via EWSI, please contact the Institute of Baltic Studies: [email protected]