We are looking for partners to teach the Estonian language and culture in families

The Integration Foundation is looking for partners among non-profit organisations to offer young people with a mother tongue other than Estonian the opportunity to learn the Estonian language and get to know the country’s culture in Estonian families. The foundation awaits applications until 17 March.

‘You can learn the Estonian language and get to know the everyday Estonian customs best by spending time with Estonians from day to day. That is why this year, we are once again offering young people with a mother tongue other than Estonian the opportunity to spend a few weeks in summer in Estonian families with children of the same age. We entrust the task of finding families, engaging young people, and making other necessary arrangements to non-profit organisations,’ said Jana Tondi, Head of Language Learning Activities at the Integration Foundation.

Non-profit organisations can apply for a grant of up to 50,000 euros from the Integration Foundation to organise learning Estonian language and culture in families. The Ministry of Culture has earmarked 100,000 euros to support all such activities.

‘We hope to welcome at least 200 young people to Estonian families this summer. We are looking for suggestions on how families can involve young people in joint activities, support their everyday communication, and help them integrate into the Estonian language and cultural space in the form of applications from non-profit organisations. This is all based on the prerequisite that young people with a mother tongue other than Estonian are aged between 7 and 19 and can live in a family for 10–14 days,’ added Jana Tondi.

The Integration Foundation awaits applications from non-profit organisations for supporting the organisation of Estonian language and culture education in families until 17 March. The detailed terms and conditions are published on the website of the Integration Foundation. Further questions can be sent to the contact details provided on the website or asked during the online information session on 7 March.

The Integration Foundation has been supporting the learning of Estonian language and culture in families and camps since 1998. To date, more than 20,000 young people have taken part in it.

Last year, 181 young people from Sillamäe, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Tallinn, and Viimsi, took part in Estonian language and culture studies organised in families with the support of the Integration Foundation. The training took place in Pärnu, Saare, Harju, Viljandi, and in Võru Counties. A total of 54 families from Võru County, Tartu, Kolga-Jaani, Pärnu, and Viimsi were involved in language learning. All Estonian families had children and grandchildren who acted as support persons.

For the young people who took part in the family studies, there were day trips to different places in Estonia, exploration games in the urban space, picnics, hikes on hiking trails in bogs and valleys, craft days or sports days, concerts with songs and instruments. Together, they also took part in popular events such as Midsummer Day celebrations.

Photo: In 2022, young people who participated in family education on a hike in Rõuge Ööbikooru. Photo: Pille Kulberg.