Fostering Estonians’ global awareness
Archived Articles 11 Jul 2008  EWR
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Although definitely flashy enough to grace the pages of Estonia’s social-gossip weekly “Kroonika”, Johanna, Kristina and Marje do not just socialise for socialising’s sake. Their networking is put to good use for the promotion of global education and civic initiative in Estonia. This meeting of like minds took place at last week’s Canada Day garden party, organised by the Office of the Canadian Embassy in Tallinn. Photo: Riina Kindlam       

Johanna Helin is currently setting the foundations for global education instruction in Estonian schools through the training of secondary school teachers and distribution of documentary films on subjects such as: developmental countries (arengumaad), climate change (kliimamuutus), sustainable development (jätkusuutlikus / jätkusuutlik areng) and civic initiative (kodanikualgatus) – all topics new to the Estonian curriculum and society as a whole. The website (“world school”) introducing such global topics has just made its debut on the internet! (The website’s designer is Canadian-born artist Elle Palumäe, who has made Tallinn her home for over a decade.) Johanna also sits on the board of and helped found the new Estonian organisation MONDO, which deals with humanitarian aid, developmental co-operation and global education.       

Kristina Mänd is a board member of the Network of Estonian Non-Profit Organisations (Eesti Mittetulundusühingute ja Sihtasutuste Liit), which she used to head. It is a national association of NGOs, aka non-governmental organisations (sihtasutused) dedicated to the development of civic initiative and Estonian civil society. Kristina is an expert in the field, having previously held the position of vice director of CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Civic Partnership (Kodanikeühenduste Ülemaailmne Liit) based in South-Africa.     

Marje Luup is Director of the Development Co-operation Division at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Priority countries of Estonian development co-operation (arengukoostöö) are currently Afghanistan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.      

Naturally there’s a link to Toronto: Johanna is married to Toronto native Andres Kasekamp, now professor of political science at the University of Tartu and Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, while Kristina’s step-father is University of Toronto history professor and Chair of Estonian Studies Jüri Kivimäe.        

Riina Kindlam, Tallinn
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