Print page
Estonia’s most outstanding contributors to integration have been announced

The recipients of the 2017 Integration Development Prizes were announced on the evening of Thursday 16 November. Three 1000-euro prizes and the non-monetary Baltic States Integration Award were presented. The integration prizes are designed to recognise innovative approaches in getting people from different national backgrounds working together.


One of the prizes was presented to Natalia Ermakov for her promotion of the cultures of the national minorities living in Estonia to the Estonian public. Ermakov is the head of the Estonian-Mordvan association and has made a significant contribution to promoting the customs, music and dances of the national minorities living in Estonia – Armenians, Bashkirs, Belarusians, Buryats, Chuvashes, Kabardians, Kazakhs, Maris, Mokshas, Russians, Udmurts, Ukrainians, Ursas and others.

Another of the prizes was awarded to the NPO Ethical Links/Tartu International House for fostering cooperation between Estonian native speakers and speakers of other languages residing in the country with the aim of generating greater contact between communities. Worthy of particular recognition is the NPO’s effective inclusion of volunteers: students, lecturers, migrants with limited language skills, children, adults and pensioners. Evenings showcasing the cultures of Estonia and other countries and shining the spotlight on the local community have been organised, as well as group food preparation events, sports activities and language cafés.

The third prize, in the category of ‘Shaping opinions supporting integration through media projects or the initiatives of opinion leaders’, was awarded to Estonian literature translator Veera Prohhorova. Thanks to Prohhorova’s rich and figurative translations, Russian-speaking readers in Estonia and Russia alike are being exposed to the work of Estonian authors, thereby bringing Estonian culture closer, and making it more understandable, to native speakers of Russian. The books she has most recently translated include Toomas Vint’s Some Strange Women, Markus Saksatamm’s children’s books, Armin Kõomägi’s Lui Vutoon and Jüri Kolk’s Man and Pumpkin.

Presented for the first time this year was the Baltic States Integration Award, which was won by Joriks Studio & Theatre from Latvia. Its performances encourage the audience to look beyond stereotypes, making it a good example of how to bring people from different target groups together. Alongside professional actors, national minority amateur groups also perform on the Joriks stage, as well as children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 21 from different national backgrounds.

A total of 24 nominations were received for the prizes. The international experts included in the judging for the first time this year were also attending the integration conference held in Tallinn on 16 & 17 November.


The Integration Foundation has been awarding the Integration Development Prizes since 1999. The awarding of the prizes is supported by the Ministry of Culture.


For further information please contact:

Kristina Pirgop

Head of Partnership Relations, Integration Foundation

Telephone: +372 659 9024