In the lead-up to the Opinion Festival, the Advisory Center of the Integration and Migration Foundation will open the Opinion Café in the Narva Castle Park on Saturday, May 30. Taking part in the discussions at the festival will be the foundation’s director Dmitri Burnašev and media manager Natalja Kitam.
"The idea that the organisers and activists from Ida-Viru County had in hosting the opening event of the region’s first opinion festival in Narva is a great one," Burnašev said. "I hope the debates are meaningful and fruitful, producing something that’s important for the county, that’s worth implementing and that has the potential to last a long time. A civil society that manages to keep its members active is the foundation of a strong and democratic country. But in order to participate in social life it’s important that people are informed, that they’re interested in and capable of contributing to the development of their community, the state and the world, sharing responsibility in the process. That’s why we shouldn’t underestimate the role of civic activity in society, and why we need to contribute more to it functioning effectively."
Burnašev will be talking about civic initiative and what it means to be a citizen in greater detail on Saturday when he takes part in a discussion entitled ‘Why do we need civic initiatives and social responsibility?’ Kitam will be participating in a discussion entitled ‘Can information space be created for people or do people create it themselves?’ The discussions at the Opinion Festival will take place in two areas and be divided up into six broad themes.
Starting from 12:00 on Saturday, the Advisory Center of the Integration Foundation looks forward to welcoming all those interested to the Opinion Café – an information marquee which is to be set up in the park at Narva Castle so as to share information about advisory services and activities. Visitors will also be able to find out more about the clubs that operate at the Advisory Center, including the areas of interest they cover and when they get together, and join discussions about them.
The center has been hosting two clubs at its offices in the Keres Center in Narva since mid-May: the Language Café, which offers non-formal studies of Estonian and meets every other Monday; and the Culture Café, which focuses on cultural events and meets every other Wednesday. Everyone who visits the Opinion Café will have the chance to express their thoughts on the kinds of activities and training that would help them improve their everyday Estonian and boost their social inclusion. Anyone who fills in a questionnaire or shares their views will receive a cup of tea or coffee for their troubles, courtesy of the Integration Foundation. The marquee will be situated not far from the park’s fountain.
Editor: M. Oll