Integration Calendar - March 2008



Overview of the decisions of the supervisory board of the Integration Foundation and its plans for the year

In 2008 the foundation will be launching more than one hundred different activities which will contribute to better integration in Estonian society. The Integration Foundation’s key activities in 2008 are as follows:

Educational and cultural integration

  • PA project competition will see support for Estonian language teaching activities in 23 kindergartens and for the acquisition of teaching materials and resources;
  • 150 teachers will be taking part in in-service training;
  • The studies in general education schools of 50 new immigrant children will be supported;
  • A total of 120 teachers will undergo training on the teaching of new immigrant children;
  • A total of 1200 young Estonians and young speakers of other languages as their native language will take part in extracurricular summer language study projects;
  • Through a project competition and base financing, 170 national minority culture associations will receive funding, with 3 training sessions arranged for them;
  • 12 national minority native language and culture teachers will undergo in-service training in their motherlands;
  • 8 educational institutes will join the language immersion programme, making a total of 62 members by the end of the year;
  • The language immersion consultation system will be completed;
  • A total of 480 school and kindergarten teachers will receive training on language immersion methodology;
  • An international language immersion conference will be held in October 2008;
  • 80 students from higher education institutions will undergo further studies of Estonian;
  • 160 teachers who will be teaching subjects in Estonian will take a 10 CP training course, including:
    • 40 geography teachers
    • 40 music teachers
    • 40 social studies teachers
    • 40 history teachers
  • An online environment bringing together the teaching and methodological material for vocational education institutes will be set up at

Social and economic integration

  • 129 public sector employees from the police and rescue services who speak languages other than Estonian as their native language will take part in free language courses;
  • 262 officials will take part in working assignments to improve their skills in the national language;
  • Additional training will see 150 teachers of Estonian to adults boosting their competence to work with the target groupa.

Legal and political integration

  • 350 people will attend free language courses;
  • 2200 people will take courses on the constitution and citizenship laws of the Republic of Estonia;
  • Awareness-raising campaigns will be launched to boost people’s awareness of the conditions for obtaining citizenship, tolerance and equal treatment.

The projected 2008 budget comes to a total of 117,859,448 kroons, which may change depending on the funding decisions made by the European Migration Network and the European Social Fund.

For the purpose of simplification, the supervisory board took the decision to shorten the foundation’s name from the Non-Estonians Integration Foundation to the Integration Foundation. The new name will take effect when the registry details are changed.

The Integration Foundation was established on 31 March 1998 by the Estonian government with the aim of initiating, supporting and coordinating projects designed to promote integration in Estonian society. These projects are funded from the state budget as well as from external sources. The Ministry of the Interior held founder’s rights until 31 December 2007; these have now been assumed by the State Chancellery.

For further information please contact Mart Soonik from the Support Unit

New print-run of Citizen’s Handbook completed

Reaching users in the coming weeks will be 5000 copies of the Citizen’s Handbook, the updating of which was supported by the Ministry of the Interior. The book is published by the Integration Foundation.

The Citizen’s Handbook is designed to provide as many people as possible – including those who do not use the Internet on an everyday basis – with information in a convenient format about the running of the state and dealing with state institutions.

New to this edition of the handbook are links to institutions and organisations from which more information can be obtained if required. The book also includes more practical advice on coping in particular situations. A significant addition compared to previous publications is a list of key terms, which makes using the handbook much easier.

In terms of content, the new edition goes into greater detail on issues related to the labour market and legal matters. There are overviews of all state institutions and a brand new chapter on Estonia’s defence policy and national defence.

The handbook was first published in 2004 with the support of the Embassy of the United States of America. The new edition is the fourth to be published, having been updated to reflect changes in the law and to include new topics.

The print-run is being distributed free of charge to citizens associations, local governments, libraries, vocational schools and county development centres. The handbook will also be published this year in Russian.

For further information please contact Ülle Kraft at the Transition Facility Support Unit

Competition launched for the funding of extracurricular language study projects

Extracurricular language studies are conducted on the basis of age-appropriate teaching methods with the aim of developing the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes of young people for the use of Estonian.
Applications can be submitted by non-profit organisations, foundations and public law organisations and institutions. The competition documents and application forms are available from the Integration Foundation website at The deadline for applications is 11.00 am on 14 March 2008. Further information will be available from the project manager until 5 March by e-mailing [email protected].

In her 2007 reports, Kristi Tamm, responsible for the monitoring of language study projects, highlighted the fact that “studies of the national language in schools have improved markedly over the years, as can be seen in the way the language skills and willingness to communicate of children from schools with Russian as the language of instruction are getting better every year.” Thus all kinds of language learning-based activities involving children are supporting their language use and skills, be they excursions, camps, plays, handicraft, hiking or role-playing, Tamm added.

The Integration Foundation has supported the participation of around 24,000 children in language camps, family studies and other extracurricular language study activities over the last 10 years as part of the extracurricular language study projects.

For further information please contact Lianne Ristikivi from the Project Unit

Dozens of children with Estonian roots able to study the language in Estonia again

Dozens of children whose families have roots in Estonia will again have the chance to come to Estonia this summer to study Estonian in language camps, get to know Estonian culture and the country and meet their Estonian peers.

Language camps for young people with Estonian roots are organised in the country by the Integration Foundation in accordance with the state’s countrymen programme, which is designed to support Estonians living outside of Estonia and mutual cooperation.

Between 2000 and 2003 and between 2005 and 2007 the foundation organised Estonian language and life camps for children and young adults with Estonian roots living in the CSI states, Latvia and Lithuania. Almost 300 young people from different parts of the former Soviet Union have taken part in such language camp projects.

Unlike in previous years, the chance to take part in the 2008 language camp will be offered to young people with Estonian roots wherever they live outside of the country. Integration Foundation project manager Eduard Odinets says that this means summer should see the arrival of young Estonians wishing to study the language in the country from further afield than merely Russia or Ukraine. “The only restrictive factor here might be the budget, as the cost of getting the kids here will vary widely depending on whether they’re from St. Petersburg, Sweden or Canada,” he added.

The activities of language camps to date have been funded by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Education and Research. In 2008 the camps will be financed by the State Chancellery.

For further information please contact Eduard Odinets from the Administrative Unit of the Structural Funds

Competition launched for integration-based development grants

The Integration Foundation has launched a competition for three integration-based development grants valued at 20,000 kroons each. The grants are awarded in recognition of the development of integration work. Applications are open to all funding recipients with whom the Integration Foundation entered into project support agreements as part of project competition in 2007 and whose agreement has come to an end by the time they apply.

Applications can also be made by institutions and organisations who submitted and carried out projects and the people who took part in them.

The grants will be awarded in three categories:

  1. Public law institutions (including those under the jurisdiction of state or local governments);
  2. Third sector organisations;
  3. National culture associations.

Written applications will be accepted by the foundation until 12 March 2008. A committee will be formed for the allocation of the grants which will evaluate the applications based on the content of a project, how innovative it is and the opportunities to use experience. They will also assess how many target groups were included and what the participants thought of the projects. The winners of the 2007 development grants will be announced at the beginning of April during the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Integration Foundation.

For further information please contact Kristina Pirgop from the Project Division

National minority culture societies can apply for base financing

The Integration Foundation has launched the round of applications for the base financing of national minority culture societies. Applications can be made until 4.00 pm on 4 March 2008.

These associations are supported through the application round in covering their running costs, thereby increasing the stability of their development of culture and educational life. Other goals are raising awareness of the multicultural nature of Estonia, introducing people to the unique natures of national minority cultures and developing cooperation between cultural associations.

Since 2006 the State Chancellery and the Integration Foundation have worked together in distributing more than 7 million kroons in support of more than 150 national culture societies.

The budget for the 2008 application round is 4 million kroons, including information days and training for societies. This year the foundation is paying closer attention to training for the improvement of the administrative sustainability of these societies in terms of both their actual and financial operations. The accountants from the societies’ umbrella organisations will also continue to be trained as part of the programme which began in 2007. The foundation would also like to provide training on project writing and management for the directors and project leaders in these societies.

In addition to the base financing of minority group cultural societies, the Integration Foundation organises annual project competitions for national culture associations to implement culture projects such as exhibitions, seminars, concerts, festivals and newsletters. The foundation also supports national culture association Sunday schools and the in-service training of their teachers both in Estonia and their motherlands. It is also with the support of the foundation that the Rahvused Eestis /Nationalities in Estonia/ book series and Etnomosaiik /Ethnomosaic/ television series are produced. The foundation supported the promotion of minority education and culture in 2007 with 6,350,000 kroons of funding.

For further information please contact Iris Järv from the Project Unit

Book on Uzbeks published

March will see the publication of The Uzbeks as part of the Nationalities in Estonia series by AS Kirjastus Ilo. The book provides an overview of Uzbekistan and its peoples’ traditions, food and more. The book will be distributed to all schools throughout March.

For further information please contact Eda Silberg from the Centre for Educational Programmes

Seminar-camp for geography teachers from schools with Russian as the language of instruction

A seminar-camp for geography teachers from schools with Estonian and Russian as the languages of instruction will be held from 13 to 15 March. The camp is designed to give Russian-speaking teachers the chance to improve their willingness and ability to speak Estonian, to promote cooperation between teachers from Estonian-language and Russian-language schools and to allow their knowledge on matters related to school life and the education system to be shared. In addition to the seminar work, the camps will also include excursions and study trips to southern Estonia.

For further information please contact Ave Osman from the Administrative Unit of the Structural Funds

Final of the student play competition

The grand final of the short play competition based on Estonian literature will take place on 29 March. Participating are students from schools with Russian as the language of instruction in two age groups: those in years 7 to 9 and those in years 10 to 12. The three best plays in each age group will be selected by a panel of judges in a preliminary round to compete in the final, which will decide the overall winners. Details are available from

For further information please contact Ave Osman from the Administrative Unit of the Structural Funds

Methodology training

A second group will commence training on language immersion methodology for teachers from schools with Russian (or English) as the language of instruction on 28 and 29 March. The training will be held in Russian and primarily directed at teachers who give lessons to language immersion classes. The 80-hour course is to take place in the Language Immersion Centre on the basis of its study programme. Participants will gain an overview of the history and principles of language immersion, team work, the creation of the learning environment and teaching materials, active learning methods and children’s development. The course will be led by Liina Norit and Anna Sele.

For further information please contact Marju Randlepp from the Language Immersion Centre


Support for Estonian-language subject teaching

For the fifth year running, the Integration Foundation’s Centre for Educational Programmes is organising a competition designed to support Estonian-language subject teaching in schools with Russian as the primary language of instruction.

The target group this time is basic, municipal and private school projects which contribute to consistent and systematic Estonian-language subject teaching in schools with Russian as the language of instruction.

For further information please contact Tiina Kuurmaa at the Centre for Educational Programmes

In-service training of national culture society Sunday school teachers in their motherlands

Applications can be made for the funding of in-service training for national culture society Sunday school teachers in their motherlands.

The competition will help finance such things as travel and visa costs, accommodation and the cost of purchasing study materials. The amount of the grants that can be applied for from the foundation is 80,000 kroons.

National culture society Sunday schools who would like their teachers to take part in further training must submit confirmation from the university or higher education institute in the motherland that they will accept the teacher. More detailed conditions can be found in the competition guidelines.

For further information please contact Eda Silberg from the Centre for Educational Programmes

In-service training for teachers in kindergartens with Russian as the language of instruction

The general aim of the tender is to offer additional training to teachers who are involved in the teaching of Estonian in kindergartens so as to make them better prepared to teach Estonian.

The direct goal of the tender is to broaden the knowledge and experience of the participants in the following areas:

  1. Children’s linguistic development;
  2. Teaching methodology for Estonian as a second language;
  3. Producing individual study programmes.

For further information please contact Marje Sarapuu at the Centre for Educational Programmes