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NOVEMBER 2014
05.11.2014

Haapsalu Vocational Education Centre students attend integration field trip
Integration Foundation supports integration of Ida-Viru County doctors
Museum of Occupations showcases national minority history for students
Careers project helped 300 young immigrants choose a profession
Russian Cultural Centre presents children’s opera in Estonian and Russian
Russian-language special edition of Täheke magazine released in October 
Estonian language studies and teacher placement programme for vocational school teachers to resume this autumn


Haapsalu Vocational Education Centre students attend integration field trip

With the support of the Ministry of Education and Research, 35 students from Haapsalu Vocational Education Centre (HVEC) with different mother tongues were given the opportunity to attend a field trip to southern Estonia to learn more about the nation’s cultural heritage and to thereby boost their civic awareness.

The students, 10 of whom have mother tongues other than Estonian, went on the field trip to Tartu, Otepää and Äksi on 24 & 25 September to take part in a range of activities designed to promote integration. These included a visit to the Estonian Flag Museum, at which they discovered where the famous blue, black and white national flag originated, and the Estonian National Museum, where they found out how different cultures, faiths and traditions have shaped the Estonian nation and state. The students also visited the AHHAA Science Centre, the University of Tartu and the Ice Age Centre at Äksi.

The response to the field trip from both the Estonian-speaking students and those with other languages as their mother tongues was overwhelmingly positive. The students from other linguistic backgrounds said that an awareness of what had shaped Estonian customs, traditions and national identity contributed to a better understanding of the cultures of other people. A number of students from all linguistic backgrounds said after visiting the Estonian Flag Museum that they felt they were now better citizens for what they had seen and experienced there.

“The two days they spent on the field trip really gave the kids a tangible understanding of Estonia’s history and what it’s like today,” said Elle Teder, a teacher from the HVEC and the person behind the project. “It was a really useful trip in terms of integrating people from different backgrounds, because it allowed us all to get a better feel not only for other cultures, but also our own – meaning we understand each other better, too.”

More details of the HVEC field trip can be found online via this link (in Estonian). 

The ‘Who we are, where we come from, where we are going and who we will become’ project carried out by the Haapsalu Vocational Education Centre was supported by the Ministry of Education and Research and the Integration and Migration Foundation.

For further information please contact: Toivo Sikk, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9850 / E-mail: toivo.sikk@meis.ee

Integration Foundation supports integration of Ida-Viru County doctors

Under the aegis of the Ida-Viru Central Hospital foundation and with the support of the Integration and Migration Foundation and the Ministry of Culture, doctors and medics from Ida-Viru County attended Estonian language courses, got to know more about Estonian culture and took part in integration seminars and excursions to hospitals during the year. A total of 30 medical workers participated in the project.

A compendium was also produced as part of the project which provides workers in the medical field and anyone else interested with information about language learning, education and social services in Estonia and which shines the spotlight on the country’s social organisation, way of life and culture.

“The project’s been really valuable, because it hasn’t just boosted language and culture awareness among the doctors and medics taking part, but also their sense of community,” said Jana Tondi, director of the Multicultural Education Unit of the Integration Foundation. “And that will lead to a better and broader understanding of our medical landscape as a whole.”

The project was run with the support of the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals, the Ministry of Culture and the Integration and Migration Foundation.

For further information please contact: Maria Ratassepp, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9039 / E-mail: maria.ratassepp@meis.ee

Museum of Occupations showcases national minority history for students

The Museum of Occupations in Tallinn awaits visits from school groups so as to showcase for them the history of national minorities using interactive teaching materials designed especially for this purpose. The education programme in question was developed as part of the ‘Attacks and migrations’ exhibition, which highlighted the fate of national minorities in Estonia between 1940 and 1991. A short film was also produced for the exhibition that uses photos to tell the story of one family’s flight from Estonia in 1944.

The destinies of the Baltic Germans, Swedes, Russians, Jews, Ingrian Finns, Latvians, Roma, Belarusians and Ukrainians living in Estonia were influenced by World War II, mobilisations, deportations, escapes and post-war industrial immigration, which changed the population of the country significantly. The aim of the education programme offered by the Museum of Occupations is to showcase for representatives of the different nationalities living in the country their own story in Estonia – how and why their forefathers came to be here or why they were forced to leave.

“As 70 years has passed since the biggest forced migrations, it’s important that young people living in Estonia are reminded, in pictures and words, of what’s actually happened in this country,” said Heidy Eskor-Kiviloo, the director of the project. “The interactive teaching materials can be presented to students on tablets in workshops designed especially for them.”

To take part in the programme, groups should register in advance by e-mailing muuseum@okupatsioon.ee or calling Marika Pihel on +372 668 0250.

The ‘Attacks and migrations’ exhibition will re-open in spring 2015.

The short film which uses photos to tell the story of one family’s flight from Estonia can be viewed on YouTube in Estonian, Russian or English.

The ‘Attacks and migrations’ project carried out by the Kistler-Ritso Eesti foundation was supported by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals, the Ministry of Culture and the Integration and Migration Foundation.


For further information please contact: Maria Ratassepp, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9039 / E-mail: maria.ratassepp@meis.ee

Careers project helped 300 young immigrants choose a profession

A series of career training events and visits to workplaces and educational institutions around Estonia have been held as part of a careers project launched by BDA Consulting OÜ which was aimed at young people aged 16-26 with citizenship of third countries in Europe.

During the visits the young people came into contact with a variety of fields of work – from IT and logistics through to catering and the media. It was not only colleges and vocational schools that they visited, but companies like Skype, Tallinn Airport, the Ugala Theatre, DBT Muuga, TV3 and Swissôtel Tallinn. As part of the visits the youngsters were also exposed to voluntary work opportunities. Representatives of the Food Bank, the Red Cross and the Telliskivi Society, volunteer rescuers, assistant police officers, youth workers, people from the Black Nights Film Festival and the AHHAA Science Centre and many more shared their experiences with the attendees. A special website www.karjäärikompass.ee (in Estonian and Russian) was also set up as part of the project, helping the youngsters map out their career choices.

More than 300 young people from the target group were assisted in the planning of their careers by BDA Consulting OÜ as part of the project.

The project was financed by the Integration and Migration Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals.

For further information please contact: Maria Ratassepp, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9039 / E-mail: maria.ratassepp@meis.ee

Russian Cultural Centre presents children’s opera in Estonian and Russian

Under the aegis of the Russian Philharmonic Society, Estonian audiences will enjoy a brand new opera based on three fairytales as performed by Estonian- and Russian-speaking children at the Russian Cultural Centre on 22 November.

The opera is based on Pushkin’s The Tale of the Priest and his Workman Balda, Marshak’s The Tale of the Stupid Mouse and Samoilov’s The Baby Elephant Has Gone to Study, with the children performing in both languages simultaneously. The opera based on Pushkin’s fairytale will be performed in conjunction with professional soloists.

The aim of this bilingual musical spectacular is to showcase Russian poetry to Estonian children and to give Estonian- and Russian-speaking children the chance to mix and make friends. It also hopes to provide the children’s parents with a frisson of recognition of the texts themselves. Vladimir Ignatov, the director of the Russian Philharmonic Society, says the opera requires serious preparation in musical terms and will be of interest not only to the children, but also their parents and the public generally.

The opera will be staged at the Russian Cultural Centre at 16:00 on 22 November. Admission is free of charge.

The project is being supported by the Tallinn Happy Homes Programme and the Integration and Migration Foundation. The cost of renting the venue is being partially covered from resources of the base financing of national minority culture associations. The project’s partners are the Tallinn Slavic Cultural Society, the Russian Theatre School, Sed Arte, the Russian Cultural Centre, Tallinn English College and the harpsichord class of the Estonian Academy of Theatre and Music.

For further information please contact: Kristina Pirgop, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9024 / E-mail: kristina.pirgop@meis.ee;

Vladimir Ignatov, director, Russian Philharmonic Society / Mobile: +372 5561 2554

Russian-language special edition of Täheke magazine released in October

Cooperation between the Integration and Migration Foundation and the Kultuurileht foundation led to the release in October of a special Russian-language edition of the children’s magazine Täheke which was designed to showcase contemporary Estonian children’s literature to Russian-speaking children living in the country.

“Publishing a Russian-language version of Täheke is all about offering kids age-appropriate reading from much loved and up-and-coming children’s authors and developing reading culture among kids in Estonia, regardless of their mother tongue,” explained Ilona Kivirähk, a project manager with the Kultuurileht foundation.

The special edition of the magazine has been provided to libraries all over Estonia and can be found in their children’s sections. It has also been provided to hospitals and can be borrowed from their mobile libraries. Some of the print-run of the special issue will be presented at international book fairs in Bologna, Moscow and St Petersburg by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and the Estonian Publishers Association. Copies will also make their way into schools with Russian as the language of instruction via the Estonian Institute.

“And since all first-graders who visit a library will get a copy to take home with them as a gift, this latest release in the world of Estonian children’s literature will also reach teachers and parents,” Kivirähk said.

The ‘Täheke in Russian 2014’ project is supported by the Integration and Migration Foundation from the state budget resources of the Ministry of Culture.

For further information please contact: Marina Fanfora, Coordinator, Multicultural Education Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9068 / E-mail: marina.fanfora@meis.ee

Estonian language studies and teacher placement programme for vocational school teachers to resume this autumn

With the support of the Integration and Migration Foundation, teachers of vocational education groups with Russian as the language of instruction are taking part in a teacher placement programme and studying Estonian on 100-hour courses so as to prepare for the transition to Estonian-language teaching in vocational education.

Five teachers from the Ida-Viru County Vocational Education Centre resumed studies in September, starting a course in Estonian at the B2 level which will continue through to the end of November. This course will turn attention to the development of administrative writing skills, which are much needed by the teachers. The activities of the participants can be followed on an in-depth, well-illustrated blog (in Estonian) from which everyone taking part in the programme can draw motivation. A further 40 teachers from Lasnamäe Mechanics School in Tallinn, the School of Informatics and Computer Science and Narva Vocational Studies Centre are also attending Estonian courses, where in addition to ordinary classroom work they are being taken on field trips to vocational schools with Estonian as the language of instruction and to Estonian-language theatres.

Five teachers with mother tongues other than Estonian from vocational schools in Tallinn are taking part in teacher placements in other schools this autumn in order to broaden their professional horizons and gain exposure to other teaching methods. They have been placed in Haapsalu Vocational Education Centre, Tartu Vocational Education Centre and Räpina School of Horticulture for a period of 12 days. Before, during and after the placements the teachers will be working with support staff at their own schools and at the schools to which they have been appointed. You can find out what impressions the teachers participating in the placements took away from their experience in the December newsletter of the Integration and Migration Foundation.

The placements and Estonian language studies are supported through the ‘Language Studies Development 2011-2013’ programme of the European Social Fund.

For further information please contact: Liilika Raudhein, Coordinator, Lifelong Learning Unit / Telephone: +372 659 9841 / E-mail: liilika.raudhein@meis.ee