News
Print page
MAY 2014
08.05.2014

Reminder to organisers of youth camps: MISA invites your interesting projects!
The integration project of foreign labour force of technology companies at Technopol is thriving
Language lessons using role-play and cooperation at the Tartu Vocational Education Centre
Teachers at five vocational education institutions received funding for studying Estonian
A major Russian-Estonian cross-border project for the purpose of training speech therapists for Russian-speaking patients
Career training project for young non-citizens ended in March
Latvian National School in Tallinn invites everybody to a Mother's Day concert
International Union of National Cultural Associations LYRA organizes festival “Caucasian Rhythms”


Reminder to organisers of youth camps: MISA invites your interesting projects!

The competition for project applications on the topic  “Introduction of the Estonian cultural area in youth camps” is still open! Its goal is to introduce the country, history and language of Estonia to young people from the ages of 7–18 who live in Estonia but do not speak Estonian. Suitable projects will get a total funding of €44,900 in the competition.

The participants in the camp may also include young support people (young people from the ages of 7–18 living in Estonia and speaking Estonian as their native language) who support the language studies of the target group. Together, the young people may interact with their peers in the camp environment, participate in joint activities, get to know Estonia and its culture and participate in trips. “The previous projects have been very interesting and we are tremendously glad to see good ideas coming true. We encourage anyone with questions to contact us and send in your ideas to the competition,” commented Jana Tondi, the Head of the Multicultural Education Unit of the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA).

In the competition of the previous year, funding for introducing the Estonian cultural area was given to Kurtna Youth Camp, Lastekaitse Liidu Lastelaagrite OÜ (a company belonging to the Estonian Union of Child Welfare and organising children’s camps) and the non-profit association Fän Clab. A total of €15,000 was spent for organising the camp activities. Tondi offered an example: “In August 2013, the non-profit association Fän Clab organised a project for introducing the Estonian cultural area at a 6-day youth nature camp in Käsmu. 25 Russian-speaking and 25 Estonian-speaking young people participated. The six days were used for promoting and shaping the skills, experience, values and attitudes of the young people in using the Estonian language and managing in an Estonian-speaking environment. The young people joined in competitions, adventure games, hikes and workshops that gave the feeling of success to every participant in the camp regardless of their language skills.” Tondi added some examples of activities: “Separate Estonian lessons were organised in the form of games, crosswords and various active and integrated types of language study.”

The deadline for the competition is 12 May at 16:00.

The competition is aimed at organisers of youth camps with an activity licence from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and organisers of project camps.

Additional information regarding the terms and conditions of the project competition and the necessary documentation may be found at the MISA website.

The competition is supported by the Ministry of Culture.

Additional information: Jana Tondi, Head of the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, phone 6599069, e-mail jana.tondi@meis.ee


The integration project of foreign labour force of technology companies at Technopol is thriving

In September last year, Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol launched a project for the social integration of foreigners working at companies connected to the Science Park (Skype, Gamefounders, LDI, Cloutex, Karl Storz, Protobios and many others) in Estonia. In the framework of the project, various thematic events and trips are organised for people who have come to work and live in Estonia from abroad. The aim of such events and trips is to facilitate getting to know the local cultural area, customs and traditions.

Külle Tärnov, a project manager of Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, commented on the project: “Joint activities support interaction and new connections between the foreigners.” Tärnov added that several trips have already been organised in the framework of the project: for example, foreign employees were shown the sights of the Eastern Viru County and could visit various organisations. “We have already visited the Bank of Estonia, the Saku Brewery, Tallinn Old Town and the Town Hall and the Estonian Open Air Museum. Our next target is to introduce Southern Estonia, the islands of Estonia and various Estonian companies. We shall certainly organise thematic evenings and joint activities as well,” Tärnov described the past and future activities.

In addition, a new Activity Lab was opened in Science Park Tehnopol in the end of January. It is meant for use by foreign employees as a place for meeting and trying out handicrafts and the construction of smart items.  “Our Activity Lab has everything necessary for performing small-scale woodwork, metalwork, electronics projects or textile work. There are 12 workstations and various tools at the disposal of anyone interested. The Activity Lab may also be used for trainings or joint workshops,” Tärnov said.

In addition, it is equipped with the ventilation appliances necessary for electronics work. “Our goal in furnishing the Activity Lab was to meet the needs of construction of initial prototypes. All tools and appliances are for use in the Activity Lab only and each person should bring the raw materials themselves,” Tärnov added.

In the framework of the project, an intranet portal for common use has been set up to provide systematic information about coming to Estonia and staying here. The Intranet is available at www.workinestonia.eu, and additional information may be found in a Facebook group “WorkingInEstonia”.

The Activity Lab is open Mon-Fri 09:00 – 20:00 and it is located in the Tehnopol building of Cybernetics (Akadeemia tee 21), 2nd floor of block IV.

For additional information about the project or use of the Activity Lab, contact workinestonia@tehnopol.ee

The project “Integration of foreigners working at companies connected to Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol” is funded by Integration and Migration Foundation Our People, the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals.

Additional information: Maarja Mänd, Coordinator at the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, phone 659 9853, e-mail maarja.mand@meis.ee


Language lessons using role-play and cooperation at the Tartu Vocational Education Centre

Once again, the Tartu Vocational Education Centre offers Estonian language refresher courses for students of various fields of study. The training course for students whose native language is other than Estonian consists of three study sessions using the psychodrama method, a two-day summer school and a study trip.

The activities are supported by a programme of the European Social Fund called “Language Learning Development 2011–2013” that provides additional Estonian language courses for students at vocational education centres with other native language than Estonian in 2014 as well.

Tartu Vocational Education Centre as the organiser of the language courses encourages the students of various fields of study to learn Estonian using the elements of psychodrama. “Together, we can experience more. With the support of the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA), we have provided language studies using role-play and cooperative element at the Tartu Vocational Education Centre already since 2012," said Ellen Aunin, the Estonian language teacher of Tartu Vocational Education Centre. “According to our experience this far, the development of language skills of students with a native language other than Estonian depends most on the motivation and support people of the students. Weak language skills are one of the decisive factors in dropping out and our students have acknowledged that their progress at school depends directly on their Estonian language skills. Exciting lessons full of activities and our new method, museum learning, are inspiring and fun,” Aunin said.

In addition to using the psychodrama method, a learning trip is organised.  The students of the Valga County Vocational Education Centre are also invited to the joint learning trip. Together with support students whose native language is Estonian, they visit the Ice Age Centre, the Alatskivi castle and the Russian Old Believers’ museum at Kolkja.

The learning trip, the summer school and the psychodrama study sessions are organised in the framework of the activity “Additional language studies for students of vocational education institutions and adult students of upper secondary schools” of the European Social Fund programme “Language Learning Development 2011–2013”.

Additional information: Tea Kotkas, Coordinator at the Lifelong Learning Unit of MISA, phone 659 9061, e-mail tea.kotkas@meis.ee


Teachers at five vocational education institutions received funding for studying Estonian

Funded by the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) and the European Social Fund, nearly 50 teachers from five vocational education institutions whose Estonian language skills are not sufficient will be able to participate in Estonian language courses.

During the suggestions round in March, the best suggestions for language courses in terms of content and activity plan were submitted by the Narva Vocational Training Centre, the Tartu Vocational Education Centre, the Tallinn School of Service, the Tallinn Lasnamäe School of Mechanics and the Tallinn School of Economics. “Estonian language courses are organised for teachers who wish to improve their Estonian language skills to the level necessary in their profession,” commented Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator at the Lifelong Learning Unit of MISA. “Teachers of vocational education institutions can study the official language in various ways, including classroom language study in combination with study trips and a course containing elements of psychodrama. Each vocational education institution had an opportunity to develop a course that would suit their teachers best, taking into account the terms and conditions and objectives of the language learning programme,” Raudhein said.

The MISA coordinator added that the volume of each planned course is at least 100 contact study lessons. “The language course must be organised as an intensive course during spring and autumn of 2014, because all activities in the framework of the language study programme must be completed before the end of this year,” Raudhein said.

In this year’s suggestion round, a total of eight suggestions for language courses were submitted by vocational education institutions. Educational institutions in Tallinn were the most active, submitting a total of six suggestions for courses. “The total amount of the suggestions was nearly €36,000 – this indicates that the need for courses exceeds our resources,” Raudhein added.

This year, the language study programme provides funding for language study courses for teachers at vocational education institutions in the amount of €25,000.

The activity “In-service training for pedagogues at vocational education centres” is implemented in the framework of the Language Learning Development 2011-2013 programme of the measure “Language Learning Development” in the European Social Fund Human Resources Development Operational Plan’s priority axis “Lifelong Learning”.

Additional information: Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator at the Lifelong Learning Unit of MISA, phone 659 9841, e-mail liilika.raudhein@meis.ee


A major Russian-Estonian cross-border project for the purpose of training speech therapists for Russian-speaking patients

This April, a project of refresher courses for Russian-speaking speech therapists was completed. The project took place in the framework of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) Eesti-Läti-Vene piiriülesest programmist for the period 2007–2013. The leading partner in the project was the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA).

MISA, the Narva College of the University of Tartu and the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia joined forces to give two years of refresher courses to speech therapists working with native Russian-speaking children, students writing their master's thesis in speech therapy, teachers with special needs education skills and teachers who did not have a higher qualification in special needs education but who wanted to work with native Russian-speaking children. A total of 55 people participated in the refresher courses. This also included a training program in St Petersburg to get more information about the work and special education of speech therapists in Russia.

The refresher courses were conducted by lecturers at the University of Tartu and the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia. The volume of the trainings was 156–390 hours and the main emphasis was on the most important topics and updates in the field of speech therapy. As a result of the training, speech therapists can now better help both children and adults.

The employees and students of the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia were on a three-day visit to Estonia to get more information regarding the development of the field in the example of Estonia. The study visit was organised by the University of Tartu, a project partner, and led by Marika Padrik, lecturer of speech therapy. The group visited schools, kindergartens and other institutions providing special education in Tartu. The guests also visited the study activities at the Narva College of the University of Tartu.

In October 2013, the seminar “Education in Estonia and in Russia for Russian-speaking speech therapists” was held in Tallinn to disseminate information about the project activities and to summarise the project. The participants in the seminar were experts and students in the field of speech therapy from Estonia and Russia. The seminar discussed research papers and the newest methods for preparing the specialists for their work with children with special needs and also covered the concept of education provided to children with special needs, their speech problems and bilingualism. The collection of presentations from the seminar was published in the beginning of 2014.

This is the first time for such a large-scale project for Russian-speaking speech therapists.

“One objective of the project was to develop a new curriculum of special needs education and speech therapy in cooperation with the University of Tartu and the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia for future students in Estonia and the Russian Federation,” commented Tatjana Babanskaja, the coordinator of the project on behalf of the University of Tartu. She added: “The project period also included meetings between the experts of the universities for discussing subsequent cooperation activities in order to improve the quality of special education, especially the education of speech therapists in both countries.”

According to Babanskaja, this is the first time for such a large-scale project for Russian-speaking speech therapists. “A few small courses with presentations from experts in the field have taken place. But in general, Russian-speaking speech therapists have no opportunities to study speech therapy in Estonia on the basis of the Russian language,” Babanskaja said. She also added that this is the first course where the participants get both theoretical and practical professional training, receive information about new methods and techniques and have an opportunity to practice their skills in St Petersburg.

According to estimates, 15 percent of pre-schoolers and basic school students need speech therapy service in the Russian language. There is an increased need for speech therapists with contemporary training in both the Estonian and the Russian language. In addition to teaching children, speech therapists are also needed in the healthcare system, for example for adults who experience post-stroke complications.

The project budget was nearly €200,000 and it was financed from the ENPI Estonia-Latvia-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme of 2007–2013 (90%) and from the Estonian state budget via the Ministry of Education and Research (10%).

Additional information: Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator at the Lifelong Learning Unit of MISA, phone 659 9841, e-mail liilika.raudhein@meis.ee


Career training project for young non-citizens ended in March

Career training courses for young non-citizens of 16–26 years were completed in March. Two-hundred and five people participated in the project. The young people also filled out a career tendency questionnaire (TASk) to get an idea what their potential careers might be. They also passed a two-day career training course and learned to complete their curricula vitae. All participants had an opportunity to participate in a study trip and visit potential employees or education institutions.

Nelli Randver, an expert-lecturer with the project, said: “The unemployment rate among young third-country nationals and people with undefined citizenship is quite high – 37%. This causes pessimism and apathy towards the future among the youth.” According to Randver, the most difficult task was to motivate the target group and bring them out of their shells. “The first problem is the language barrier, the second is the lack of knowledge about their opportunities, and so on,” Randver said. The lecturer added that the breakthrough mostly occurred after the tests, when young people got an idea of their potential for the first time ever. “Their potential was often totally different from what they themselves would have guessed. After that, the progress was quicker,” Randver commented.

The activities took place in the framework of the project “Enhancing labour market competitiveness of young people, activities for European third-country nationals" and the project was supported by the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People, the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals and the Estonian Ministry of Culture. The project was implemented by the Narva College of the University of Tartu.

Additional information: Maarja Mänd, Coordinator at the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, phone 659 9853, e-mail maarja.mand@meis.ee


Latvian National School in Tallinn invites everybody to a Mother's Day concert

On 17 May at 15:00, a Mother’s Day concert organised by the Latvian National School in Tallinn TAURENIS will take place in the hall of the Tallinn Nõmme Gymnasium. The event takes place for the fifth time. This year, the concert “For Mommy and Daddy” is given by the students of the Riga Children’s Singing Studio KNĪPAS UN KNAUĶI.

For ages, KNĪPAS UN KNAUĶI has been one of the most popular Latvian Children’s ensembles – in 2011, it celebrated its 40th birthday. Most of the creation of the ensemble has made it to the list of classical Latvian songs for children and is now being sung by other bands as well. The songs have also been included in the music study programmes of schools and kindergartens.

The first Mother’s Day concert of the Latvian National School took place in the second year of the school. The performers were the students of the school and the audience consisted of their mothers and grandmothers. “In the following years, we invited other members of the Latvian community in Estonia to the Mother’s Day concert as well. This has become a wonderful tradition,” commented Dita Lince, the head of the Latvian National School in Tallinn TAURENIS. In 2013, the school decided to invite guest performers from Latvia to the Mother's Day event. “A play called ‘Sprīdītis’ (Tom Thumb) by the theater studio ZĪĻUKS of the Riga Pupil’s Palace was a real gift for children and adults alike. Our students had also learned the final song of the play and we performed it together with our Latvian guests. We will continue this tradition – this year we will join the Latvian children in the song ‘For Mommy and Daddy’,” Lince added.

The Latvian National School in Tallinn TAURENIS was established in 2008 and has over 20 students this year. The objective of the school is to provide opportunities for studying the Latvian language and cultural heritage, traditions and history to children of Latvian origin living in Estonia and help them preserve their identity as Latvians. The teachers of the school come from the town of Salacgrīva near the Latvian-Estonian border.

The concert will be held on 17 May at 15:00 in the Hall of Tallinn Nõmme Gymnasium (Raudtee 73) and everyone is welcome.

The concert is supported by the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People.

Additional information: Dita Lince, Head of the Latvian National School in Tallinn TAURENIS, phone 5668 6166, e-mail dita@green.ee and Kristina Pirgop, Coordinator at the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, phone 659 9024, e-mail kristina.pirgop@meis.ee


International Union of National Cultural Associations LYRA organizes festival “Caucasian Rhythms”

The annual traditional festival of LYRA “Flight of the Bluebird” has gained momentum each year. The event, originally just a concert, has become a festival and an exciting competition. This year it will take place from 31 May until 1 June.

“Each year, many people and groups have been eager to participate in the international competition ‘Flight of the Bluebird’ in various fields. But since it is not possible to expand the competition to every direction, we decided to emphasise the Caucasian topic this year,” commented Ilona Thagazitova, the project coordinator.

“Caucasia is a popular topic in which many groups want to participate,” Thagazitova added. She said that the festival participants performed songs and dances of the peoples of the Caucasus and they included Georgians, Kabardin, Lezgians, Avars, Talishis, Ossetians, Azeris and Armenians.

The festival “Caucasian Rhythms” will host groups from Tallinn, Pärnu, Valga, Tartu, St Petersburg, Riga and Armavir.

The festival will be held during the Tallinn Old Town Days with the support of the city project Citizen’s World with the following programme:

31 May 2014
12.00 - 14.00: Performance of groups on the stage of the Russian Cultural Centre
14.30 - 15.00: A costumed procession from the Viru Gate to the Town Hall Square
15.00 - 16.00: Performance of groups in the Town Hall Square

1 June 2014
14.00 – 16.00: Performance of groups in the Bastion’s Garden.

In addition, the teachers of the group Iriston consisting of Ossetians living in St Petersburg will organise an advanced lesson of Caucasian dances. More information for anyone interested at 5300 2256.

The International Union of National Cultural Associations LYRA was registered in 1993. The Union comprises 32 organisations and many different nations, such as Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, but also Koreans, Chinese, Setos and many others. The main objectives of LYRA are the preservation of national identity and integration into Estonian society.

The activities of LYRA are supported by the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People.

Additional information:
Ilona Thagazitova, Coordinator of the project “Caucasian Rhythms”, phone 5300 2256, e-mail info@lyra.ee and Kristina Pirgop, coordinator at the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, phone 659 9024, e-mail kristina.pirgop@meis.ee