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3000 youngsters to take part in civic awareness and tolerance projects
15.05.2015

PRESS RELEASE

A project competition launched by the Integration and Migration Foundation to boost civic awareness and tolerance among young people between the ages of 7 and 26 studying in general education schools and institutes of vocational education received 30 applications, of which 19 are to be allocated support.

“We’ve been supporting events, activities and teaching materials and resources that focus on civic awareness and tolerance since 2003,” explained Toivo Sikk, the director of civic education with the Development Centre of the Integration and Migration Foundation. “Over the years it’s been the students themselves who’ve championed and contributed to a number of important civic awareness activities. For example, youngsters of different ages have taken part in conducting quizzes on various themes, they’ve organised orienteering games and excursions for practical and illustrative studies of Estonian history and they’ve been involved in promoting tolerance among their peers. It’s great to see that all of the projects receiving funding this year are distinctive and that many of them have been launched by young people themselves – it shows that the students are interested in these subjects. And all of these ideas, if they’re implemented successfully, are a major step towards a stronger sense of civic duty among students.” 

This year 19 projects will receive funding in support of activities that will contribute to growth and diversification in the knowledge that almost 3000 Estonian- and Russian-speaking students have of Estonian society. Eight general education school projects are to receive funding: those of Haabersti Russian Upper Secondary School and Gustav Adolf Upper Secondary School in Tallinn; Lohusuu School and Iisaku Upper Secondary School in Ida-Viru County; and Kammeri School, Tartu Annelinna Upper Secondary School, Tartu Kristjan Jaak Peterson Upper Secondary School and Valga Jaanikese School in southern Estonia. Among institutions of higher education, the University of Tartu will also receive support. Vocational school projects are represented by Haapsalu Vocational Education Centre and Ida-Viru County Vocational Education Centre. The non-profit organisations that will be granted support are the Black Nights Film Festival, VVS Media Group, the Estonian National Youth Council, Sillamäe Society for Child Welfare and Plast Youth Association. Initiatives of Tallinn Central Library, the Art Museum of Estonia and Harju County Entrepreneurship and Development Consultancy will also receive funding. An overview of the projects to be granted support can be found on the website of the Integration Foundation.

Sikk says that the project being launched by students from Iisaku Upper Secondary School will prove very interesting, as it aims to bring together young people of different nationalities and from different backgrounds to examine to role of youngsters in society. As part of the project the students plan to work closely with Ahtme Upper Secondary School. “Another initiative worth mentioning is the ‘Bread unites us’ project of Valga Jaanikese School, which is targeted at Estonian- and Russian-speaking students between the ages of 7 and 17 who are intellectually challenged,” he said. “As part of the project the students will be visiting key cultural sites and other places connected to rye and bread. Then there’s the Estonian National Youth Council, who this year are aiming their activities at Ida-Viru County, where they plan to give lessons on civic initiative in 20 schools in the county.  And one other I’d mention is the Haabersti Russian Upper Secondary School project ‘I am a citizen of the Hansa Union’, whose target group is 120 kids from their own school and from Tallinn Järveotsa Upper Secondary School, who’ll be visiting the Hanseatic towns in Estonia outside of school hours to learn about the country’s history through concrete examples.”

The budget for the project competition is 50,905.79 euros, which is being financed from the state budget via the Ministry of Education and Research.

For further information please contact:

Toivo Sikk
Director of Civic Education, Development Centre
Integration and Migration Foundation
Telephone: +372 659 9850
E-mail: toivo.sikk@meis.ee