The desire to preserve Estonian identity in commmunities abroad remains strong
In May of 2023, the Integration Foundation opened a call for proposals for projects launched on the initiative of foreign Estonian communities to strengthen their ties with Estonia, contribute to the preservation of Estonian identity among Estonians around the world and increase awareness of diaspora activities in Estonia.
Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the application round for proposals had a total budget of € 50,000, with a maximum of € 5,000 being allocated to any one project.
According to Kaire Cocker, Head of the Compatriots Service at the Integration Foundation, the application round that took place this spring was very successful - 23 projects out of 25 evaluated projects received funding. The projects will be happening in Estonian communities across the world including Australia, Canada, Englad, Finland, France, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Moldova, Norway and Sweden.
"We’ll be supporting activities that boost the sense of belonging between foreign Estonian communities and their homeland," explained Kaire. "They could be anything from cultural, business and research projects to a wide range of events as well as increasing the awareness of diaspora activities in Estonia. A priority of the project support program will be activities aimed at youth and young people."
After the difficult lockdown years, the renewed activity of Estonian communities is clearly apparent - there is a desire to carry out joint activities, bringing together several generations, to enjoy Estonian culture and to talk to each other in Estonian.
See who received support for their projects in 2023 here (in Estonian).