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Youth work

Tartu has a unique cultural life. The city is an ideal environment for people engaged with professional, folk and alternative culture. Tartu is home to interesting museums as well as theatres and concert halls with diverse repertoires. Interesting and exciting festivals take place all year round. Thanks to Tartu’s top athletes and major sports events, the city’s sports life is also well-known beyond Estonia’s national borders.

Department of Culture

+372 736 1360
ko@raad.tartu.ee

Raekoja plats 12, 51004 Tartu

General information
Grants
Recognition
Youth Council

Youth work in Tartu

Priorities

Youth work in Tartu is focussed on promoting constructive leisure activities for young people aged 7-19. There are about 13,500 people in this age group in Tartu, which is the primary target for activities organised by hobby schools and associations of recreational activities (approx. 14,000 participants), hobby groups in schools (approx. 7500 participants) and youth centres (approx. 2500 visitors annually).

The primary areas of youth work in Tartu are:

  • diversifying opportunities for involvement for young people and increasing their inclusion in the development of the city;
  • finding opportunities to enhance entrepreneurship, creativity, self-initiative and common activities among young people and to help them enter the labour market;
  • increasing the availability of youth work and supporting employment readiness among young people;
  • developing evidence-based youth work using appropriate environments and methods;
  • increasing the professionalism of youth workers and developing a system to value and recognise them.
Photo by Jaak Nilson

Recreational activities

Extracurricular education and recreational activities are systematic, instructed activities outside of school and work. People who take part in recreational activities gather once or twice a week to engage in a common hobby such as handicrafts, dance, theatre, craft work, brain teasers, circus, cooking, pottery or robotics. Click here for more information on extracurricular education. The Department of Culture of Tartu City Government provides funding to enable approx. 2000 young people to attend hobby groups organised by non-profit organisations. For more information on extracurricular education and recreational activities, see the trilingual publication ‘Youth recreation opportunities in Tartu’.

Extracurricular education

Extracurricular education and recreational activities are systematic, instructed activities outside of school and work. Extracurricular education can be obtained from hobby schools that hold a state-issued education licence to teach dance, sports, nature, art or technology or follow other extracurricular study programmes. Lessons usually take place several times a week. Click here for more information on recreational activities. There are around 50 hobby schools with around 14,000 students in Tartu. For more information on extracurricular education and recreational activities, see the trilingual publication ‘Youth recreation opportunities in Tartu’.

Open youth work

Open youth work is a flexible set of activities and methods that strive to give young people inspiring opportunities for self-development. The open youth work approach is used first and foremost by youth centres, providing an open space to meet friends and engage in club-related activities. Centres usually feature things such as table football, board games, billiards, Xbox, movie nights, cooking nights, photography groups, city camps and craft work groups. Supporting initiatives devised by young people – such as parties or collective trips to an animal shelter – forms an important part of what youth centres do. Youth centres provide opportunities for everyone to take part in recreational activities. Joining a hobby group or a club at a youth centre does not usually require prior registration or entail a membership fee.

There are municipal centres and centres managed by non-profit organisations in Tartu. These centres are annually visited by 2000-3000 young people.

Tartu also makes use of mobile street-based youth work. This service covers four areas: work on the streets; work in groups; specific cases; and community work.

Description of services at Tartu youth centres from 01.01.2018.

Employment readiness

Various services, ranging from career advice to summer employment opportunities, have been created to support the employment readiness of young people. Anne Youth Centre organises group employment opportunities for young people in Tartu: a youth work camp for 300-400 participants (www.noortelatern.ee). Important partners that help promote the employment readiness of young people are the Rajaleidja Centre, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and Tartu Business Advisory Services. These institutions help provide practical training opportunities for young people who do not speak Estonian or who have special needs, and also help with practical training, vocational education, the establishment of student companies and more.

Tartu Youth Council

Tartu Youth Council is a representative body for young people. It was established in 2005 and is designed to provide civic education. To this end, Tartu Youth Council works with Tartu City Government, commenting on various documents related to young people, organising debates between youngsters and politicians, giving advice on the funding of projects related to young people and conducting council simulations.

On average, there are 15-20 active members on the Youth Council.

Studies

Consistent monitoring of the situation of young people is considered important in the development of youth work in Tartu. Among other things, the City of Tartu promotes research on young people and youth work by granting awards for studies carried out by university students on the topic of youth work in Tartu. Most of the study results are only available in Estonian. Nevertheless, English-language summaries of theses written by students at the University of Tartu can be found in the DSpace database.

Last changed 29.10.2018

Grants of youth work

Recreational activities for young people

Non-profit organisations can apply for a grant to support recreational activities. In order to qualify for a grant, the organisation must arrange recreational activities for at least nine months of the year, including twice a week from January-June and September-December.

Funding applications for recreational activities must be submitted in the national language. For this reason, see the Estonian version of the website for more information.

Photo by Heikki Leis
Photo by Heikki Leis

Youth work programme

The youth work programme supports activity programmes targeted at young people that last for no fewer than six months. In order to receive funding for such a programme, applicants must take into account that at least 25% of the total cost of the programme must come from self- or co-financing. Self-financing can also take the form of voluntary work.

Youth work programme applications must be submitted in the national language. For this reason, see the Estonian version of the website for more information.

Youth work projects

Youth work projects support the organisation of extracurricular concerts, competitions, round tables, meetings, campaigns, workshops, information days and other events aimed at young people. In order to receive funding for such a project, applicants must take into account that at least 25% of the total cost of the project must come from self- or co-financing. Self-financing can also take the form of voluntary work.

Youth work project applications must be submitted in the national language. For this reason, see the Estonian version of the website for more information.

Youth self-initiative projects

Youth self-initiative projects are projects initiated by young people from Tartu aged 14-18 in order to bring to life their ideas on improving the living environment in Tartu. Such projects support the organisation of concerts, competitions, round tables, meetings, campaigns, workshops, information days and other events and undertakings that are aimed at the community.

Youth self-initiative project applications must be submitted in the national language. For this reason, see the Estonian version of the website for more information.

Youth mobility projects

Grants allocated to youth mobility projects serve to advance learning mobility and international cooperation between young people by covering the costs of representing the City of Tartu at international festivals, competitions, contests and the like taking place abroad. The costs incurred by a youth worker accompanying the young people may also be covered as part of such a project.

Youth mobility project applications must be submitted in the national language. For this reason, see the Estonian version of the website for more information.

Last changed 11.04.2017

Recognition of youth work

Honorary youth work titles

Annual honorary titles are a way for the City of Tartu to recognise people and organisations for their noteworthy actions in the preceding 12 months in the field of youth work. The titles and awards cover three categories: Youth Worker of the Year; Young Person of the Year; and Child- and Youth-friendly Deed of the Year.

Anyone can nominate people for honorary titles. A joint committee comprising politicians, officials, young people and youth workers is convened to select the winners, who are announced on Tartu’s website. The awards ceremony for the honorary titles is held in December each year.

Photo by Juhan Voolaid
Photo by Juhan Voolaid

Awards for papers written by university students on the subject of young people and youth work in Tartu

Awards for papers written by university students on the subject of young people and youth work in Tartu are a way for the City of Tartu to recognise authors whose work raises questions about and studies topics that are relevant to young people or youth work in Tartu. Authors can submit their own work to apply for the award. A joint committee comprising politicians, officials, young people and youth workers is convened to select the winners, who are announced on Tartu’s website. The awards ceremony for the honorary titles is held in December each year.

Last changed 11.04.2017

Tartu City Youth Council

Tartu City Youth Council elections will be held for the first time from 16–18 January 2019, in Tartu.

The Youth Council is a participatory body with the right to make suggestions operating alongside the City Council, which represent the interests of the youth of Tartu. The Youth Council is comprised of 15 members who are elected for a term of one year.

The right to stand for election and be elected to the Youth Council belongs to a young person whose place of residence according to the population register is the City of Tartu and who is 14–20 years of age at the time of the election.

The bases for the functioning of the Tartu City Youth Council, approved by the Tartu City Council, can be found here.

The Youth Council is elected by a public vote held in the VOLIS environment (in a manner similar to the voting for the Participative Budget). In order to be able to practice your right to vote and check the validity of your passwords, you can participate in the test vote taking place from 15 October – 15 November in the VOLIS environment.

Timeline of the founding of the Tartu City Youth Council

  • As of April 2017 discussions;
  • 12 January 2018 – meeting with the Chairman of the City Council;
  • Starting in April 2018, the work group began to prepare the legislation;
  • 25 April 2018 – public seminar, which was opened by the Chairman of the City Council;
  • 11 October 2018 – legislation in the Tartu City Council;
  • 20 September - 08 November 2018 – introductory seminars in upper secondary schools and youth centres;
  • 15 October – 15 November – ID-card campaign;
  • 07–08 December 2018 – training for those interested in standing for election;
  • 9 January 2019 – deadline for submitting candidacy applications to the election committee;
  • 16–18 January 2019 – first democratic election of the Tartu City Youth Council;
  • 1–2 February 2019 – orientation training for City Youth Council members;
  • February 2019 – first session of the Tartu City Youth Council.

Last changed 01.11.2018