Spring is arriving to Estonia (very slowly) and seems that since the end of this week we will have a government :-) It has definitely been an interesting time in Estonian politics since the elections in March, but what have we been doing in Mondo?
- Before the elections, on the 12th of February we managed to invite all the well-known parties of Estonia to a political debate on development cooperation. The debate was open for public, with the audience mostly filled with students interested in international politics. After the debate, an informal pop-up cafeteria was held in Mondo's office in support for the refugees in Syria and Ukraine. This gave us a good chance to mingle with the politicians in an informal setting.
If you want to practice your Estonian, you can watch the debate in full length here. All in all it was an interesting debate, but also showed us how much misinformation is in the air about development cooperation. This is an even bigger encouragement to get started on the bulletins for policy makers.
The debate was led by Indrek Treufeldt from ERR and featured the following politicians:
- Marianne Mikko (Social Democrats)
- Marko Mihkelson (Pro Patria and Res Publica Union)
- Oudekki Loone (Middle Party)
- Andres Herkel (Free Party)
- Kalle Palling (Reform Party)
- Martin Helme (Conservative People's Party)
- Aleksander Laane (Green Party)
- Kristiina Ojuland (People's Unity Party)
- We also met/skyped with journalists from Postimees, Maaleht, Eesti Ekspress, and Eesti Päevaleht.
- Johanna had a promising bump-in with a famous Estonian rock star at the independence day celebrations who showed interest in taking part of popularising development issues. He has not given his final agreement yet, so we are keeping our fingers crossed :-)
- We have also been planning and discussing for the Arvamusfestival (Opinion Festival) happening in summer, where several open-air debates and discussions take place during two days.
- In the beginning of March, we met with the new communication specialist from Arengukoostöö Ümarlaud (Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation) to introduce our project to her and hear about their plans. They are organising a yearly World Day on the 30th of May, which will give a good platform to introduce our project to a wider audience. As they are also printing a thematic newspaper insert prior to the event, we will be able to insert an article that will touch on EYD2015 and Mondo's activities in general.
- We have also met or e-mailed with a few advertising companies to talk about this year's public campaign. Some of the companies have been already giving us some good ideas, in April they will present their proposals so we will be able to select the best one and start developing the key messaging and symbols with them.
- Throughout the two months we have also been in tight contact with ERR, meeting some of the TV journalists and forwarding our contacts to them. We have also been advising Piret with the short TV clips that will be aired on ETV and also helping a bit with the seminar that took place in ERR.
- We have also been in good contact with the MFA, development cooperation desk officer Helen Ennok has given us really good advice and taken part of some of the events.