Table of Contents:
- Dmitri Moskovtsev: A busy autumn at the Integration Foundation
- The activities of Estonian Language Houses in Lääne-Harju and Lüganuse rural municipality are in full swing
- The integration conference focused on the prevention of segregation
- Test your knowledge on the Citizen's Day quiz!
- The feature film made with the participation of the language learners of the Estonian Language House in Narva premiered on 12 November
- Come and share your story on Globalestonian.com!
- The Language Learning Contract campaign brought in over 800 new applications
- A series of seminars introducing e-Estonia has been launched in cooperation with Nordea
- The Integration Foundation was awarded the Diverse Workplace label
- Viola Läänerand-Moisto is the new head of the service unit of the Integration Foundation
- There are several ongoing public procurements and calls for proposals
Dmitri Moskovtsev: A busy autumn at the Integration Foundation
According to ancient folk wisdom, chicks must be counted in the autumn. Autumn has always been a busy time for the Integration Foundation, when several of the year’s projects reach their culmination, many new initiatives arise, and preparations begin for the new year. We have reason to be proud of many of our ‘chicks’ this autumn too.
- Our Estonian Language Houses have brought their activities closer to language learners. In addition to the previous areas of operation, we also offer opportunities for language learning and communication language practice in the Lüganuse and Lääne-Harju rural municipalities.
- We invited people interested in receiving an Estonian citizenship to participate in the Language Learning Contract programme, where we offer language learning at the B1 level and, in addition, courses on the knowledge of the Constitution and the Citizenship Act. The information campaign brought in more requests than expected, and we are planning to hold the mentioned courses in the new year.
- We once again brought together internationally recognised researchers and experts in the field of integration to our annual conference, with whom we exchanged valuable knowledge and experiences in the study, prevention, and mitigation of segregation.
- We developed relations with the Estonian diaspora abroad and invited Estonians from all over the world to discover their Estonia through our website globalestonian.com.
- We brought the film Valik (Choice), made at the initiative of the Estonian Language House in Narva and with the participation of language learners, to the big screens. This is the first feature film made in Narva and by its residents.
- At the end of November, we will offer the opportunity to test your knowledge about Estonian life in our traditional Citizen’s Day online quiz. This time, people who participate in our social life but do not yet speak Estonian fluently can also take part. They will be able to participate in the quiz in English or in Russian.
- Our busy year will end with the recognition of outstanding people in the field of integration in December, where we will summarise this year’s activities and distribute integration awards.
While summing up the year, we are already planning for the next year and the year after. We are planning the details of projects and application rounds that support language learning and integration. We are also organising our service package and are definitely ready to offer plenty of new and exciting things to our target groups.
The activities of Estonian Language Houses in Lääne-Harju and Lüganuse rural municipality are in full swing
This year, the Estonian Language Houses of the Integration Foundation have made efforts to bring their activities closer to the target group. That is why the Estonian Language Houses in Narva and Tallinn are offering Estonian language and culture studies on site in the Lüganuse and Lääne-Harju rural municipality, respectively. Communicative language learning is conducted in Estonian using active learning methods.
In Lääne-Harju municipality, Estonian language courses for levels A2–C1 are offered from October to December to a total of 160 people. In addition cultural education is provided to 90 adults whose mother tongue is not Estonian. Lessons take place either in Paldiski or online. The duration of the course is 120 academic hours, which includes language learning as well as informal learning in the form of visits to cultural institutions or other leisure activities. The course groups were assembled in the cooperation of our regional coordinator and the trainer ImmiSchool.
Cultural education activities support language learning and enable practising the target language in a language environment and getting to know the Estonian cultural space. The cultural education offered to the residents of Lääne-Harju municipality consists of three study tours, where participants will get to know the birthplace of Forselius and the history of Estonian-language schools, as well as the history of Padise Monastery and Estonia’s earlier history, and the Arvo Pärt Centre and his works. The cultural study groups were assembled in the cooperation of the trainer and the regional coordinator of the Estonian Language House, primarily from among the students of the Lääne-Harju language courses and, secondarily, from those who signed up in the self-service of the Integration Foundation.
In Lüganuse rural municipality, Estonian language courses and cultural education will start in December–January. In total, we are expecting 320 adults for the Estonian language courses for levels A2–C1. In cooperation with the training partner Kersti Võlu Koolituskeskus OÜ, in-person learning will be offered in Lüganuse, Jõhvi, Kiviõli, Sillamäe, and Ahtme; training will also be offered in the form of an online course.
The cultural education programme of the Lüganuse rural municipality will take the participants in three directions, introducing the sights and cultural history of Kohtla-Järve, Narva, Iisaku, Avinurme, and Tudulinna. For example, the Kohtla-Järve Museum of Oil Shale, Purtse Castle, the Ontika limestone cliff, Oru Park in Toila, the Narva Museum, the Vaivara Sinimägede (Blue Hills) Museum, the Museum of Avinurme, and many other special places will be visited. Signing up for language learning and cultural activities in Lüganuse is possible through the regional coordinator and the self-service of the Integration Foundation.
In addition to new activities, the Estonian Language Houses in Narva and Tallinn will organise free language practice events in their operating area – Narva, Sillamäe, Kiviõli, Tallinn, Paldiski, Pärnu – as well as online. For example, you can practice communicating in the target language at the parents’ club, on Library Fridays and movie nights, in chat rooms, in language training, or at game nights online. Check out all of these events in our online calendar and sign up early!
The integration conference focused on the prevention of segregation
The Integration Foundation organized a conference 'Together or Apart: Searching for the Middle Ground' in Tallinn on 10 & 11 November. The event brought together internationally recognised experts from Finland, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and of course Estonia.
The day started with a performance by the tandem choir of the Estonian Language House in Narva. The conference was opened by Ambassador Kairat Abdrakhmanov, High Commissioner for National Minorities of the OSCE, and the opening speeches were given by Minister of Culture Piret Hartman and Dmitri Moskovtsev, the Director of the Integration Foundation.
The conference programme included presentations and panel discussions where experts in the field, researchers, policy makers, and representatives of civil society organisations analysed the processes of segregation, its possible dangers, and consequences.
The Ene Hion Foundation announced the recipient of its annual scholarship on stage – Natalja Mjalitsina, the founder of school for Ukrainians on Räägu Street, a branch of the Lilleküla High School, who was also one of the speakers at the conference. Her surprise was big and sincere. Congratulations and thank you for consistently shaping a civil society that takes multiculturalism into account!
The conference ended with a debate between Estonian politicians, where Jürgen Ligi, Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski, Viktoria Ladõnskaja-Kubits, Eduard Odinets, Aleksei Jašin, and Jaak Valge discussed segregation in Estonian education and proposed possible solutions to make the school system more unified. The lively debate was led by ERR journalist Jüri Nikolajev.
Test your knowledge on the Citizen's Day quiz!
From November 21st, you can participate in the annual e-quiz of the Integration Foundation. The quiz is dedicated to the Citizen’s Day celebrated on 26 November. The quiz takes place from 21 November to 5 December on the website of the Integration Foundation and it focuses on interesting facts, events, and life in Estonia.
We invite anyone interested to test their knowledge about the topics of social life, statehood, civil rights and civic duties in Estonia. The quiz will definitely expand your knowledge, as you can search the answers from the internet. We are organising the quiz for the twentieth time already. To celebrate the anniversary, we also used the most interesting questions from previous years. Answering them requires creativity, logical thinking, and a sense of humour in addition to knowledge.
The quiz is available in Estonian, English, and Russian on the website of the Integration Foundation. The quiz has 50 questions. You have 60 minutes for completing the quiz. Ten participants with the best results will get a prize from the Integration Foundation in December.
The internet-based Citizen’s Day quiz is organised by the Integration Foundation since 2003, i.e. for the twentieth time this year. The organisation of the Citizen’s Day e-quiz is supported by the Ministry of Culture.
The feature film made with the participation of the language learners of the Estonian Language House in Narva premiered on 12 November
The film Valik (Choice), produced at the initiative of the Integration Foundation’s Estonian Language House in Narva, had its gala premiere at the opening ceremony of KinoFF, a side festival of PÖFF, in Kohtla-Järve. The film is the result of the language learning and integration project of the film academy of the Estonian Language House in Narva and is the first professional feature film created in Narva and by its residents. After the premiere, the film will be screened in Apollo cinemas in various Estonian cities.
In spring 2022, the Estonian Language House in Narva launched a film academy project, in which 38 Estonian language learners were able to hone their language skills in a new way, gaining new knowledge in the field of film and learning acting. They were guided by professionals who have proven themselves in the Estonian theatre and film world. Following the final exam of the film academy, the top 10 got a part in the feature film Valik.
‘The purpose of the Estonian Language Houses is to offer language learners an Estonian-language environment where they can learn and practice communicative language not only in traditional courses, but also through non-formal learning – learning the language and getting to know Estonian culture by various joint activities,’ said Anna Farafonova, the Head of the Integration Foundation’s Estonian Language House in Narva.
The creative team of the film featured professionals as well as Estonian language teachers and learners. The creation of the film was supported by the Viru Film Fund.
The authors of the idea and screenwriters are Julia Viirsalu, a teacher at the Estonian Language House in Narva, and Krismar Rosin, an adviser at the Ministry of Culture. The film was shot by local filmmakers: director Jelena Pazilina, composer and sound director Dmitri Piibe, cameraman and editing director Sofja Kostenkova, designer Tatjana Sonina, lighting technician Aleksei Zemskov, make-up artist Signe Viilop, producer Julia Viirsalu, and Anna Farafonova, Head of the Estonian Language House in Narva as administrative director.
Anastasiia Pylaeva plays the protagonist. In addition to her, the film also stars Tanel Saar, Aleksandr Zhilenko, Gerhard Saks, Marina Malova, and people who graduated from the film academy of the Estonian Language House in Narva.
The plot of the feature film Valik is based on actual events from the late 90s and tells the story of a young border guard who must choose between love and the law.
The film will be on the big screens from 27 November. Film sessions will take place in Narva, Jõhvi, Pärnu, and Tallinn.
Additional information, the trailer, and other visual materials can be found at integratsioon.ee/valik.
Come and share your story on Globalestonian.com!
The Integration Foundation, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, launched a campaign to introduce the possibilities of the information portal Globalestonian.com and invites you to find Estonian communities and contribute to creating content.
The updated page now has a section called ‘Global Estonian stories’, where every Estonian who is living abroad or who has returned can submit their story to encourage and inspire other Estonians to obtain a wider perspective of the world.
In addition, you can read and subscribe to the Global Estonian newsletter on the portal. It is a monthly newsletter both in Estonian and in English that reflects the most important news of the Estonian and global Estonian communities as well as upcoming events and relevant scholarships and application rounds.
The Language Learning Contract campaign brought in over 800 new applications
The information campaign carried out by the Integration Foundation in October was especially successful this year due to increased active interest and resulted in a larger number of applications to sign a Language Learning Contract than usual.
As of 2019, the state offers free Estonian language lessons for people who wish to become Estonian citizens. In the programme, it is possible to learn the Estonian language until passing the level B1 exam. In addition, the state compensates up to 20 days of unpaid study leave, which allows you to devote yourself to language learning and, for example, prepare more thoroughly for language level exams. Read more about the programme and the conditions for language learning here. To date, more than a thousand people have started language studies, and around 300 of them have received an Estonian citizenship.
In October, the Integration Foundation carried out a campaign to raise awareness of and introduce the programme. The state has introduced the programme on a wider scale every year, but this year, people’s interest has increased, and the foundation has received over 800 new applications in one month. We had to bring in additional in-house staff to offer counsel to such a large number of applicants. To begin language learning, a contract must be signed with the state so the language learning journey can begin in the new year. In addition to language learning, we also offer a preparatory course for the exam on the Citizenship Act and the Constitution, as well as advice and support in the process of becoming an Estonian citizen. It is possible to become an Estonian citizen in just six steps.
A series of seminars introducing e-Estonia has been launched in cooperation with Nordea
In cooperation with the Integration Foundation, volunteers from among Nordea Group’s financial specialists are hosting a series of seminars – ‘E-Estonia, e-services, and preventing financial fraud’ – to support war refugees, thereby aiding them in adapting in Estonia and helping to recognise possible financial fraud.
The next seminar will take place on 13 December in the premises of the Integration Foundation’s Estonian language house in Tallinn.
The seminars were developed within Nordea Group’s initiative ‘Community engagement programme for supporting refugees’. The Integration Foundation has made a substantive contribution to understanding the needs of new immigrants within the framework of this project and given communication assistance to reach the target group.
The first events took place on 21 October in the Integration Foundation’s Estonian language house in Tallinn on 16 November online. We received confirmation of the necessity of this initiative based on the participants’ feedback.
The Integration Foundation was awarded the Diverse Workplace label
The diverse workplace label is awarded to employers who respect equal treatment and inclusive organisational culture and whose efforts in guiding diversity are an example to others.
The label reflects an organisation’s dedication to supporting diversity and thereby a better working environment and society. The diverse workplace label was created by the Ministry of Social Affairs and is awarded by the Estonian Human Rights Centre.
Viola Läänerand-Moisto is the new head of the service unit of the Integration Foundation
The task of the head of the service unit is to shape the existing services supporting integration into an even more user-friendly whole and to contribute to the development and launch of future services.
Viola deeply cares about supporting people’s well-being, both through her work and volunteering. In recent years, she worked in the Child Protection Department of the Estonian Social Insurance Board on topics related to the well-being of children and families, being one of the initiators of the National Child Protection Unit and the services related to it.
There are several ongoing public procurements and calls for proposals
In November, we are expecting offers for the tenders ‘Estonian language courses (in Estonian) for adults 2023’, ‘A1-level Estonian language learning for the recipients of temporary protection III’, and ‘Ordering Estonian language training services’.
In addition, we will announce the tender ‘Introduction of the Estonian cultural space to poorly integrated permanent residents and new immigrants living in Estonia 2023’.
Information on the announced calls is published on the Integration Foundation's website.
Information on events that take place by our organisation, participation or support, can be found in the calendar published on our website.