More than 200 young people from Ida-Viru County and Tallinn will get a chance to practice the Estonian language and better get to know Estonian culture by spending ten days living with ethnic Estonian families in Võru County in the country's Southeast this summer.
The family learning organized by the Integration Foundation is an effective method for providing a closer look at Estonian culture to young people between the ages of 7-18 whose native language is not Estonian, offering them opportunities to practice the language as well as establish contacts with Estonian-speaking peers.
The three tenderers chosen to provide family learning this summer are the nonprofits MTÜ Volonta, MTÜ Veeda vaheaeg Võrumaal and MTÜ Lapsele oma kodu.
Jana Tondi, head of language and cultural immersion at the Integration Foundation, said that in addition to a very good opportunity to practice the Estonian language, ten days spent living with an Estonian-speaking family provides youth with the opportunity to experience a different living arrangement.
"An exciting program will be planned for the young people so that they will definitely not lack in things to talk about," Tondi said, noting that program participants will have the opportunity to visit and hike to local sights, take part in campfire evenings and go on picnics, care for animals and play sports. "In addition to the weather, the children's wishes will also be taken into account when choosing activities," she added.
The Integration Foundation has supported the teaching of the Estonian language and culture in families and at youth camps since 1998. To date, some 20,000 children and youth from various parts of the country have participated in the foundation's program.
The Ministry of Culture has contributed €85,240 toward the program.
Editor: Aili Vahtla