The Ministry of Education and Research is providing more than €2 million in support for integration and language camps, which will provide exciting and educational leisure activities for more than 10,000 young people from Estonia and Ukraine during the summer and autumn holidays.

"We are very pleased that so many local governments, educational institutions, recreational clubs, youth centres as well as support organisations for war refugees have joined forces and envisioned meaningful, developmental and mentally beneficial activities that young Ukrainians and young Estonians can participate in together," said Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna. "Youth camps are definitely a good way to make new friends and practise speaking Estonian so that students can already continue their studies in Estonian schools come autumn."

There were 151 applications totalling €2,082,633 submitted for the call for camp proposals that closed in mid-June. With €793,176 in state support, 82 applications received positive funding decisions under the first phase. As some organisers are still in the process of finalising the camp documents, the grant decisions will be approved in two phases. According to the initial list, the camps will be able to host up to 11,357 young people from Estonia and Ukraine aged 7-19. Camps awarded funding will be listed on the Ministry's website by mid-July at the latest.

The youth camps take place in every county across Estonia. Most camps plan on hosting children from one county each, but many organisers also work with multiple regions. The majority of beneficiaries are general education schools (30%) and youth and education organisations (20%). Of the 82 camps approved to date, 9 will be run as overnight project camps and the rest as day camps. There is a minimum of 10 young people per camp rotation.

The camps offer a variety of activities with a topic-based focus for each day's program. One day might be spent learning languages and the next on sports and other recreational activities. The process of language learning will be playful and creative, in both group and individual settings.

As the camp grant is valid until 30 October 2022, camps can be held during both summer and autumn breaks.

With the supplementary budget, the state will allocate up to €2.8 million for summer youth camps to help young Ukrainians adapt more quickly to Estonian language and culture so they will be able to continue their education in Estonian-speaking schools in the autumn.

The hosting organisations will provide more information about the camps and notify the target groups.