As of Wednesday, Estonia's Integration Foundation is now headquartered in the northeastern border city of Narva, a move which, according to foundation director Irene Käosaar, serves several strategic goals.
"First, it brings the state closer to the people of Narva," Ms Käosaar said. "I consider it a very positive thing when state institutions are located in various places all over Estonia. In the same vein, beginning today, our state is more present in Narva, and closer to its people."
The second objective, she continued, was to offer highly educated people opportunities to work close to where they live.
"For Narva, this means 20 new skilled jobs, which is the number of jobs the Integration Foundation will have in Narva," Ms Käosaar explained. "By the end of the month, 16 people will be working at the foundation's Narva office, most of whom will be from Ida-Viru County. Our hiring competitions have generally attracted large numbers of applications and been successful, indicating that we are awaited here."
The third most important objective, she continued, is the increasing of the availability of quality instruction in the Estonian language as well as the necessary support for integration in the region, which has a large number of residents who are not native Estonian-speakers.
"These people need more support from the state in learning the Estonian language as well as in other areas, and that's what we will be offering in Narva," Ms Käosaar stressed. "The Estonian Language House to open in Narva this summer will further increase the efficacy of our day-to-day work, and I hope that the people of Ida-Viru County will quickly find their way to us."
The Integration Foundation is currently temporarily located at Kerese Street 3, but will relocate this summer upon the opening of the Estonian Language House at Linda Street 2.
The foundation's Tallinn representation, which had previously been located in Ülemiste City, has relocated to the Estonian Language House in Tallinn, located at Rävala Avenue 5.
Editor: Aili Vahtla