European Sustainable development week

The celebration of  European Sustainable Development Week in Estonia lasted logo-en from May 1st until June 6th 2017. It was a cooperation project between AIESEC in Estonia and NGO Mondo, Estonian National Coordination of UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (supported by UNESCO National Commision and Estonian Ministry of Education and Research).

The two AIESEC volunteers, Amy Corcoran and Wentao Pu both came to Estonia from Canada. In cooperation with Mondo’s experts we developed the following workshops:

1) Multuculturalilty in Canada

2) Orienteering game on SDGs

3) Comics on SDGs

4) Sustainable consumption


Project was devided in five stages:

2-5 May – Cultural preparation and introduction to #globalgoals

  • Arrival
  • Introducing SDGs
  • Global Education seminar day


8-12 May – School related preparation

  • NGO Mondo’s school workshops
  • Planning and preparing ESD workshops for schools
  • Call for visits for the schools

DSC_0022.JPG15-19 May – School visits

  • Finalizing ESD workshops
  • 05 Multuculturalilty in Canada at Paldiski Ühisgümnaasium – Grades 9-11, 35 students, 2 academic hours, contact teacher Riina Talvik

22-26 May – School visits

  • 05 Multuculturalilty in Canada at Ülenurme Gümnaasium – Grades 9-11, 110 students, 2 academic hours, contact teacher Milvi Tisler
  • 05 Orienteering game on SDGs* at Nissi Põhikool – Grades 5-9, 100 students, 3 academic hours, contact teaher Day-Lee Holm
  • 05 Orienteering game on SDGs at Narva Soldino Gümnasium – Grade 8, around 100 students, 4 academic hours, teacher Tatjana Okuneva. Overnight stay in Narva.

 Mondo koomiksite töötuba ÜG 6.-7.klassidele from Ülenurme Gümnaasium on Vimeo.

29 May -6 June – School visits

  • 05 Orienteering game on SDGs at Pala Põhikool – Grades 4-8, 80 students, 3 academic hours, contact teacher Grete Stina Haaristo
  • 05 22.05 Comics on SDGs at Ülenurme Gümnaasium – Grade 7, 70 students, 3 academic hours, contact teacher Milvi Tisler
  • 06 Comics on SDGs at Jüri Gümnaasium – Grade 8, 40 students, 3 academic hours, contact teacher Kristi Mänd
  • 06 Sum up meeting between AIESEC and Mondo

Altogether the ESD week activities reached over 550 students in differenet parts of Estonia adding up to 21 academic hours of workshops, exchanges and positive thinking!




Colourful World by Valga Gymnasium

A intruduction to project värviline maailma (colorful world)
Valga Gymnasium offers from last spring to valga city basic school students a career training courses. Course purpose is to help basic school students to choose what comes next, to introduce different jobs, and schools speciality, which is also the UNESCHO school status. The courses are everymonth on friday and last for 5 hours. Over the year there was seven school days. Two days of course we devoted Global Education themes. In the end of the course 64 students got a diplom.

In April we prepared lots of preparations ,because we wanted to do something special for that day and we wished that our students also would take part in organizing, listeners and also took part in them.

Sushi making workshop
The day started in the school kitchen, where students were waited by nori sheets, sushi mats and boiled rice. Luckily some of the students have already tried to made it and therefore they were also helping to organize. Half of the group spinned the sushi rolls and the second half made Japanese Fresh rolls. This fresh rolls were rolled to a thin rice leaves with hot water. In the iniside there was a cucumber, pepper, shrimp sticks, carrots and so on. The fresh rolls was a clear under the colorful of the inside.

With laughter and more fun hour and a half there was lots of tasty foods for later eating.

Tibetan in school
School had invited a adventurer called Roy Strider with a real tibetian Dolma and they bringed a Tibetian dog Karma.

All the school and the course students listened them with pleasure of their adventurous stories. Dolmas story was translated to the students by Roy Strider. Dog only slept all the day :). Questions didn’t want to end. Even after the course everybody asked lot of questions. That exotical person we haven’t seen in school before.

Japanese workshop
Japanese workshop aim was to but the students to a new situation. The classroom was made a japanese style with Geishas. In the room was a incense smoke and the fresh air gave cherry blossoms. To the room you could enter from a 66cm door, you needed to bent down to get in.

When you enter you had to take your shoes off and but them near the door. Visitors were hosted by the house ladies, who bented down and silently leaded visitors to their carpet on the ground. When the visitors had sit on the carpet then they offered some Chinese tea. Popcorn and rice and good smell made the tea tasty. Students shared their cups like the traditional japanese way and prayers.

Japanese tradition showed our geishas who were actually our 11 grade students with silent waving water and music they shared the visitors eating sticks and visitors tried to eat what they had made in the morning

In the workshop there was 25 students so silent and were so impressed by the food and they enjoyed it. And when the lesson ended the bented opposite with the women and turned around and left the house.

Tibetian workshop
This room had a tibetian flag and some good prayres on the pages Students were sitting on the carpets and pillows and then listened to the tibetian women who talked about high mountains. Also there was Tibetian music. In the middle of the classom there was butten a camping stove, because when Dolma talked she could make some traditional Jaki tea. Students looked impressed because they hadn’t seen it before. They had never seen that a butter and salt was butten in there so much.dog2

In the building the smell was rich and different. When the tea was ready everybody tried it. Who said it was good and some said it was disgusting nobody felt cold about the tea or Dolma and Roy’s story- Visitor also singed us a children song, which was really old song. Tibetian dog Karma still sleeped all the time when we talked. Everytime they changed the workshops with differend groups so that both groups can get their.

Also to make the day more colorful, in the kitchen there was some Asian food. After the workshops there was a poll and this global education workshop winned every heart. The Project was helped by MTU Mondo. The Career days were made by the wonderful team, were belonged Andrus Murumaa, Pille Olesk, Meelis Oja and Triinu Ugur. In the workshops were project helpers from the 11. grade students.


Thai cuisine workshop at A. Kitzberg Gymnasium


During our event, Thailand’s kitchen was introduced by the chefs at the restaurant Vaga Mama. They showed the students different techniques how to make different Thailand dishes. Additionally the students could create their own dish. When the food was ready it was time to eat. The food was very delicious and everyone was satisfied.

Estonian School lunch at Kongo Primary School

The primary school class 5 students from Miina Härma Gümnaasium draw pictures of their school lunch and sent them with two Estonian ladies to Kongo, Ghana for a display at Kongo Primary School.Kongo PS_MHG (1).jpg

The Mondo teacher John Bire organised the exhibition on 15th of December 2015. But first the pupils had to discover from the pictures the items of food that are common for both Estonian and Ghanaian students like chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, bread and carrots. But there was also a lot to discover for Kongo students: beloved fruits like cherries were even unknown for the teacher. Another aspect the pupils found bizarre was the fact that most Estonian students drink milk with their lunch.

Kongo Primary school is one of the lucky schools that benefits from the national school feeding programme. Not all schools and students have this luxury. When you take a look at the poster, notice also the section dedicated for hygiene in the lower left section and how all of the family is involved in the process: father is farming, mother is cooking and children are happily in school!

Kongo Prim Deco (5)

Take a look at the menu and go check what foods were banku and okro! Also compare the menu with yours at school and to the recommended food pyramid.

Kongo Prim Deco (3)

Estonian pupils are eager to receive replies to discover more in detail the Ghanaian food!



Are school introduced fruits from around the world as part of the world’s week

On Friday, 27th November 2015 Year 8 students presented different fruits from around the world and the entire school took part of the lecture. It was possible to listen, look and taste the fruits. More than 20 different fruits were introduced: where and how they grow, how the plantations look like, who the major manufacturers are, why these fruits are good for you and how they can be used.


Students and teachers could taste avocado, persimmon, tangerine, pomelo, grapes, pomegranate, grapefruit, melon, kiwi, orange, watermelon, banana, pineapple, lime, physalis, kumquat, and papaya. Dragon fruit, carambola, feijoa, and lychee were also shown. Many looked the exotic fruits suspiciously and dared to taste only the familiar ones. The purchase of fruits was financed by MTÜ Mondo and the members of student representative board came to school early in the morning to clean and prepare the fruits.


At the end of the lecture, teams of students from Year 1 to 5 had to complete a quiz on their mobile phones using Socrative, an online learning environment.


Though this kind of event was organised for the first time, it proved to be a success and some thoughts have been already gathered for the next year.


Ingela Uussalu, the spokeperson of student representative board

World Food Week brought fresh ideas and tastes to Väike-Maarja

World Food Week in Väike-Maarja (in Lääne-Viru county) took place on 16th to 20th of November in 2015. The activities stroked senses and encouraged to think about food and its origin.

On 17th of November we had meetings, lectures and cooking classes with an inspiring guest, Mrs Liina Saaremäe, a representative of NGO Mondo. The subject of the day was “Food in Ghana and Ghanaian food”.

The day began with Liina’s meeting with our pupils in elementary scool (1st-4th classes). We learned that Liina is an Estonian school teacher, who was deployed by the NGO Mondo to the Republic of Ghana in West-Africa to do volunteer work. As an introduction, every child had to choose a candy: raisin in cocoa, almond in cocoa or hazelnut in cocoa. They were told about the cocoa and the fact that in Kalevi kommivabrik nearly 70% of cocoa comes from Ghana, a country which was the main topic of the day. Pupils learned about Ghanaian life, society and food. The best questioners were awarded a bookmark-rulers and teachers received different proverbs to discuss their significance in classes. The pupils were shown and given to sniff a kalebass – a bowl made of pumpkin, from which people in Ghana are eating.


Liina's lecture to the 5th-12th graders and students from vocational school
Liina’s lecture to the 5th-12th graders and students from vocational school

On the same day, we had a next meeting in Väike-Maarja with Liina and our older students from 5th-12th classes and vocational school. At first, Liina opened the meaning of volunteering. Her volunteer work in Ghana took place in 2014. As we learned, her responsibility was to develop cooperation, global education and humanitarian assistance. Her specific tasks in Ghana were teachers methodical training and food projects, plus additional lessons to teach children to read and write. With numerous images and stories she shared her moments in Ghana – so called ice cream (or frozen juice in a plastic bag), Ghanaian national dishes, custom to carry things on your head, we all learned the Ghanaian hello “toma-toma” and the Ghanaian approving rhythmic clap. It was eyes-opening and interesting to learn that food and eating is of vital importance in Ghana, and a private activity – even so private, that the dinner guest is left alone to eat in the hut. Our students were directed to think about the one billion people in the world who live below the poverty line.

IMG_5642As in Väike-Maarja we also have a vocational school, Liina held a cooking course for vocational students and their supervisors. Together they prepared a Ghanaian dish called „red-red“ that was served with fried bananas. The participants all agreed – the result was delicious. Liina had only positive words about the active cookers, who were even ready to take a next cooking lesson by the end of the class.


Degustation of different countries breads

During the week our pupils had a possibility to taste various countries breads, participate in photo competition of world food and recipes. Food provided by the school canteen was also by the week theme, from different regions of the world – Ukrainian, Italian, Chinese, the Mediterranean, Estonian. Primary school added a playful nuance – a guessing game about the region of the food for the children.  Different nationalities from the Vao refugee center nearby came to school to introduce, share recipes and offer their snacks – Ukrainian pancakes with cottage cheese, biscuits from Afghanistan and Dagestan.


There’s no doubt, World Food Week brought new tastes and ideas to Väike-Maarja. We are grateful to all the people, who contributed to the success of the World Food Week, especially to you, dear Liina, and NGO Mondo!


Heili Nõgene

Public Relations Specialist

Väike-Maarja Gymnasium

Ghanaian food in Peetri School

This event took place as a part of world month named “World’s Different Faces”, read more here:

Few weeks ago, when it was our cooking class, we got to meet a volunteer from Ghana. At the beginning she introduced us Ghana’s traditions and different foods and then she introduced us what we were going to cook. So the meal was made of fried bananas and some spicy sauce called „red-red“. It was a bit surprising that African people don’t eat bananas as a dessert. Bananas are considered as a salty food or a dish.

When it was time to start cooking, we were told what to do and then we started. At first, some of us fried the raw bananas and the others were making the sauce. Our food was smelling so good that some teachers even came and peeked into our kitchen to see what we were doing. Besides cooking African food, we got to hear different stories about volunteering life in Africa. Finally it was time to eat our delicious meal and we were positively surprised about the good taste of fried bananas with „red-red“ sauce. We are thankful for that fun experience.

Peetri kooli toidupäev

Cultural Identity – A Project Day in Paldiski schools

The town of Paldiski is located on the shore of the Paldiski Bay, some 50 km from Tallinn. Convenient geographical location, an excellent place for landing, short ice period – all of this attracted people to settle near the local harbour. There have been educational institutions in our town from the year 1770 to the present day. Today, there are two schools at our schoolhouse – Paldiski Basic School and Paldiski Gymnasium. Paldiski is a bilingual town.

The school’s objectives are updated annually – this year, we wanted to introduce different nations and their culture to our students. Because of this, on 6 November 2015, we arranged the project day ’Cultural Identity’ for classes 5 through 12. The purpose of this day was creation and shaping of positive attitudes towards different cultures and people, development of tolerance, and prevention of biased attitudes. The importance of cultural diversity as means for mutual enrichment of cultures was also emphasized. The pupils had a chance of reflecting about their own cultural identity.

On the project date, the pupils were arranged an out-of-the-ordinary, less structured study day at school. We invited guest lecturers from MTÜ Mondo, Estonian Refugee Council, and the Estonian Association of Gestalt Therapy. The pupils met foreign students from Albania and Turkey, who currently study in Tallinn. We played board games providing information on different countries of the world. There was a comic workshop with interesting group assignments and discussions on difference and similarity.

For the elementary school pupils, a lecture on the national cuisine of Ghana by Liina Saaremäe, a former volunteer in Africa, was especially memorable.

The pupils also had the chance of preparing a Ghanaian beverage. The project day ended with some movie watching.

Liina Saaremäe loeng Ghana vabariigist4
Students trying/tasting natural shea butter made by Ghanaian students in Sekoti School

The exhibition ComiX4 = Comics for Equality was displayed on the third floor of the school building to celebrate the project day.

World Education month „Over the World, Over he Land“ together with Valga Museum

For many years Valga Gymnasium has collaborated with Valga Museum to conduct the world education month. The target group for this month were elementary and basic school students and teachers from Valga County. The citizens of Valga also took part in the event while visiting the art gallery at the museum.

The aim was to acknowledge different cultures and pay attention to sufficient supplies of food. While planning the event in spring, we could not foresee how important such a positive event woulbe, considering the refugee crisis.

During this month, a collaboration day for the county teachers was held, where they shared their experience and a small DIY workshop took place.

The opening of the exhibition „Over the World, over the land – Burma“

The World Education month began with the opening of Burma exhibition. Valga was lucky to be the first place where Kair Käsper’s new photo exhibition was displayed. Kair Käsper volunteered in Burma via the non-profit organisation Mondo. The opening was contemporary as the author was in Valga via Skype. Still he was able to share his exotic experience from Burma and the participants could ask questions.

To make the opening more stylish, the participants were served rice from a big pot and the tea was from Burma, picked from a village, 2000 metres above the sealevel.


Picture: The opening of the exhibition. The author shares experiences virtually.

The guests were offered exotic fruit and Burmese music played.

The Worlshop for Making Lipsticks

During the time when the exhibition was on, lipsticks were on sale. The lipsticks were made by the students of Valga Gymnasium in their Globalising World and Chemistry lessons.


In the picture: The worlshop for making lipsticks

The money that comes from the sales goes to two children, Doinee and Ibrahim, in Kenya to support their way to education. The tuition fee for one year is 40€, which evolves school uniform, sandals, studying materials and exam fees. The students of Valga Basic School are following how the two children are doing. View more about the charity and voluntary work

Lipstick ingredients:

  • oil
  • cocoa butter
  • shea butter
  • beeswax
  • a bit of colour and scents if wants
  • a lipstick cup

If you want to know how to make lipsticks or to learn about our workshop experience, please, write to Pille Olesk

Junk Food Eater

On the 14th and the 18th of October, there were workshops for basic school students. There were five workshops. Due to the time limit, all students could not take part in the event.


During the event, there was an exhibition about Burma and the students watched animated movies on healthy food theme.

The students played a game of angling for food. The boys and girls who had been fishing before knew how to angle. This time they were fishing for food not fish. They only got points for fishing for healthy foods. When they got junk food, they did not get any points. The students whose mother tongue is Russian could practise Estonian words during the game.

After the game, there was a „sockroom“ (sokituba). On the table there were socks, some thread, needles and pieces of cloth for students. Every student could make a sock-puppet. The most difficult part was coping with the thread and a needle, especially for boys. Some of the students gave the puppets names and performed some scetches. At the end of the day Mareli and Elina from Valga Gymnasium put on a small play for the basic school students. The last group of the day could also perform a play with their pupets.

Watch the fun video of the basic school day at the museum. You can also see some students dancing in Burman music.

In the film: The students of Valga Basic School and Valga Priimetsa School with their puppets. Video is made by Pille Olesk.


Career course and Killerbag

 On the 16th October Valga Gymnasium offered a career course for the students of Valga Basic School and Valga Priimetsa School.

As Valga Gymnasium is a UNESCO school, the career course includes world education elements. The career course takes place once a month and lasts for five lessons. 57 students will take part in it. The students will be devided into two groups. On the 16th of October one group of students were working on a job market topics, and the others were working on environmental education aims at he same time. The groups were swopped during the day.

On a world education study group students got to know about the necessity and opportunities of environmental education. The lecture was conducted by Riho Karu from Environment Department of Self-governments of Valga County. The lecture took place in Valga Museum.

After the theory the group had a workshop how to make a recycleable shopping bag. The best self-made bags were sent to the nation-wide Killerbag competition. The workshop was conducted by Pille Olesk.

The shopping bags were made of pillowcases, lace blouses, sugar bags and other materials. There was a lot of fun during the sewing. The boys used a sewing machine, which was still being used, even when the thread was broken. For bag handles dress belts and scaves were used. Even a pink washrag was used as a handle. The boys found working with a thread and a needle most challenging.

The aim of the workshop was accomplished, even if the bags do not get high places in the competition. The students understood that it is possible to make a shopping bag in 40 minutes even if you do not use a thread and a needle, but use a stapler. There is no need to buy a plastic bag in the shop. You can do it yourself.

The students of Valga Basic School and Valga Priimetsa School taking part in the DIY workshop at Valga Museum. The workshop was conducted by Valga Gymnasium. The video was made by Pille Olesk.

The video can be seen on the following address


Picture: Workshop on making a shopping bag.

Making a carton-box, a workshop for teachers

On Oct 26th all the teachers in Valga County were asked to come to the museum. They had a look at the display about Burma and on the floor, there was an improvised picnic area wher tea from Burma was served. The atmosphere was created with the faint sounds of music. The teachers tried to eat red rice with chopsticks, crab sticks and vegetables wrapped in rice paper and different fruit were on menu.

The teachers shared information what had been done at schools and what are the plans for the future. Pille talked about the experience of her school and about the future plans.

After the lovely tea and talk, the teachers joined in the workshop. Janne Koppel showed how to make a napkin box. By tghe end of the day everybody had finished with a beautiful and colourfu box.


Teacher Reet is ready with her box.

The World Education month is over, the thoughts and ideas are already in the next year.


The exhibition of shopping bags and of puppets made of socks that were made during the workshops, as well as lipbalm sales were opened until the end of October.

The World Education month has finished for this year. Every year the grasp of this theme has become vaster.

The plans for the next October have already been made and even some of the arrangements have been set up.

Great thanks to all the participants, helpers and supporters,, to the lovely people at Valga Museum. Good teamwork is very important. Special thanks to Kertsi Salujõe, the museum pedagogue, due to whom all the teamwork came to be. The students from Valga Gymnasium helped in the workshops.

The exhibition was sponsored by Non-profit organisation Mondo, Eesti Kultuurkapital , Valga Museum and Valga Gymnasium.



Picture: The surprise table is laid.

Pille Olesk

The text was translated by the  12th grade students of Valga Gymnasium ( Christina, Ariel, Rainer, Alex, Erik, Kirill, Hanna, Viktoria, Henri, Raigo, Kadi, Robin- Stefani ) with teacher Helen.