The last day of the year is good time to look back and reflect on the year that is about to end. So we did and well, it was quite a year! Successfully passing the development process of European Capital of Culture – Tartu 2024, training teachers, developing our social enterprise Köömen and many other things. More than 700 people participated in our activities!

We want to share our insights from 2021 with you, and we of our activities this year and we are looking forward to meet you in the next year!

Photo: Jelisaveta Dzigurski
Photo: Jelisaveta Dzigurski

Our joint home Tartu

We want the people from other countries to feel at home in Tartu and in Estonia. We also want people who share the same city to better know each other! Therefore, in 2021 we had several programs and events that provided an insight into Estonian culture and also brought together different people, be it to discuss science fiction and poetry at the book exchange or going to Tõrva Lights Festival together. All in all, 400 people participated in our events. We were also happy to learn that some participants said they were happy to visit again the places they discovered and that some new friendships emerged from out activities!

Foto: Mana Kaasik

Tartu 2024

In the summer, we crossed the finish line of the development process by Tartu 2024 – European Capital of Culture in which we participated with our Diversity Land Line idea, so it could become part of Tartu 2024 core program. The night of 19th to 20th of May, the deadline of submitting our proposal, we never got to sleeping, still trying to see if we did not miss anything important, still trying to polish the whole thing. The noon of 22nd of June we opened the mailbox and seeing the email, it really was a moment of holding our breath: what it the result of our year long work?! And… hurray! The Diversity Land Line, which according to the creative council is “an intriguing program that brings together people from different backgrounds who live in the region” will be the part of Tartu 2024 official program! You´ll be hearing a lot about it in the coming years, and hopefully some of you will also have a chance to become part of it!

Foto: Jelisaveta Dzigurski

Köömen, the social enterprise that indulges the taste buds!

Köömen has grown since last year: instead of two chefs, we now have four chefs which means that we have been able to take on big or overlapping orders! In addition to catering and cooking workshops we now also have a small take-away place in the center of Tartu, so just drop by! And in the summer, Köömen took part in the Car-free Avenue offering authentic & exotic taster from around the world. Cuisine, cultures and workshops from India, China, Vietnam could be enjoyed all through the event. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.

Teacher trainings

For Estonian schools to better be able to work with migration background families we carried out two training cycles for educators. The trainings were attended by 105 teachers, school leaders and support specialists from 22 Estonian schools, out whom 99 managed to get through 32 hours of new knowledge, discussions and home works! The topics ranged from teaching methods that are more suitable for kids who do not yet speak Estonian to mental health and community connections. Thanks to all participants and lecturers, and also to foreigners who shared their experience with Estonian school! We are ready to continue our work with the aim of Estonian schools becoming increasingly good at dealing with migrant families.

Sport! Sport!

Starting from the second half of the 2021 we have been providing people who have come from other countries opportunity to learn more about sports opportunities in three Estonian cities and try out some of them. The last four months we arranged 10 events where around 250 people participated, both foreigners and locals. We know that playing badminton together, or trying out archery or skating can be a way to get acquainted with one´s new home and develop one´s network. If you are into sports, join our FB groups Sports in Tallinn, Sports in Tartu and Sports in Pärnu!

Measuring our impact

During the 5 years of our work as International House we have always tried to check on the impact of our work. To be able to better measure our impact we have together with the Center of Applied Anthropology and Stories for Impact developed methodological framework that allows us to learn in a more systematic way what are the results of our work and what we could do better. We have been happy to learn that many people who have participated in our events said that they now know Tartu more and feel more local! It was also good to hear that our events provided new experiences and helped to diversify the everyday routine. Thanks to everyone who has taken time to give us feedback, that´s how we become better!

See you again in 2022!