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Workgroup summaries IX Rural Parliament of Estonian Villages 5-7 August 2011 Roosta Holiday Village, L채채ne County, Estonia


Organisers: NGO Village Movement Kodukant NGO Kodukant Läänemaa During three days the Rural Parliament hosted 290 representatives from 15 counties, 39 foreign guests, 68 volunteers, 23 special guests from Estonia, 16 children and 36 organisers – all in all 472 people. Our sincere thanks to all participants who made the events of the Rural Parliament happen! Pictures and videoclips reminding you of the Rural Parliament are made available at www.maapaev.tk. The biggest BREAD FARM at the Rural Parliament of this year, size 90 cm x 440 cm, was made of local black bread by a team of 20 people. Ingredients: 40 packs of butter, 16 boxes of melted cheese, 2 kg of sour creame, 2 kg of mayonnaise, 40 tin cans with conserved fish, 10 kg of sausage, ham, hard cheese, 100 eggs, 42 kg of fresh vegetables (cucumber, tomato, onion, cabbage, paprika), 6 kg of boiled beans, 4 kg of herbs. In addition, smoked chicken, herring filet, pickled cucumber, mushrooms, boiled carot, white bread crumb, gelatin, bouillon cube and salty stick crackers.


Table of contents

Table of contents 1

Dear reader............................................................. 2

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Summaries of the workgroups..................................3 Cooperation with local government.............................4 Involvement in decision making processes...................6 Local food................................................................ 8 Small businesses in rural areas..................................10 Meaning of stories in local communities.....................12 Preservation of historic heritage in villages................14 Learning villages..................................................... 16 Community development in villages.......................... 18 Life in coastal villages..............................................20

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Study-tour for foreign guests.................................22

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International conference Rural Parliament, efficient tool in decision-making processes............ 23

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Dear reader

Dear reader, In the year 2009 Kodukant Tartumaa passed the baton of organising the next Rural Parliament on to the Kodukant Läänemaa. The IX Rural Parliament of Estonian Villages took place 5-7 August 2011 at the Roosta Holiday Village in Lääne County, Estonia. Bringing together people with a shared will and common interest to put their heart and mind into seeking solutions for the overall rural development, the Rural Parliament is a powerful stimulating engine for the whole Estonian civil society. This time the Rural Parliament focused on topics englobed in the title of the event, Back to the countryside! Home is what remains in every person´s heart, regardless of where he or she happens to be or is currently living. Home is a place where we feel safe, surrounded by our loving family, friendly neighbors and caring and active community. Therefore, young people who once have left their homeplace for studies or work elsewhere, do come back to the countryside – if they have been involved in the development of their homeplace from early age and if the local business environment is favorable enough. Nowadays, with all the modern facilities available, one can be close to its roots even when being far away: from thousands of kilometres afar one can preserve and keep alive the local intangible culture or create new possibilities for its community back home. These and related topics were discussed at the Rural Parliament where, once again, we witnessed the power and experienced the joy of thinking together and doing things together – as if breathing as one. During three days the Rural Parliament hosted 290 representatives from 15 counties, 39 foreign guests, 68 volunteers, 23 special guests from Estonia, 16 children and 36 organisers – all in all 472 people. Our sincere thanks to all participants who made the events of the Rural Parliament happen! Pictures and videoclips reminding you of the Rural Parliament are made available at www.maapaev.tk The next in line after Lääne County is Saare County, seat for the X Rural Parliament of Estonian Villages in 2013. So see you there in the island of Saaremaa!

Tiiu Aavik Chair of the board Kodukant Läänemaa Liina Saar Chair of the board Movement Kodukant

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Summaries of the workgroups

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Summaries of the workgroups of the IX Rural Parliament of Estonian Villages 355 people, including 39 foreign guests, participated in the Rural Parliament and were divided into nine vivid workgroups, held in six villages of Lääne County. Each topic of the workgroup was tackled from four different viewpoints, giving the opportunity to gather constructive guidelines for villages, the Movement Kodukant, local governments and the State. The summaries of the workgroups are available at www.maapaev.tk. This year, for the first time, each participant was asked to vote for different-level proposals and recommendations, choosing ten which he or she considered the most crucial. Hereby a list of the different-level most popular proposals and recommendations: What can we ourselves do in the village? 1. Communicate, communicate, communicate, notice and reach out to people around you! 2. Foster use and production of local raw materials – milk, vegetables, greens, cereals, wool, meat, eggs, etc. 3. Recognise and award people in your community for their contribution. 4. Tell stories to children, and listen to theirs! What can the Movement Kodukant do? 1. Support young people who come (back) to the countryside and want to start a business. Develop ideas from the act Back to the countryside. 2. Organise study-tours abroad. 3. Enhance entrepreneurial mentality and way of life in villages, provide village leaders with training opportunities and engange community development advisors as consultants. 4. Preserve the Rural Parliament`s local food fair tradition. What can the local government do? 1. Allocate a fixed percentage from the budget to the development of villages. 2. Recognise and reward volunteering and local activists. 3. Support organisations by co-financing their projects. 4. Involve the representatives of villages to different committees. What needs to be done/changed on the national level: 1. Stand out in EU for finding measures to continue supporting rural development. 2. Enact the Village Elder Statute. 3. Abolish or alleviate restrictions stipulated for clean home-made and homegrown food. 4. PRIA can guarantee advanced payments for grants on probation of the members of the board and shorten the period of application procedure to up to 25 working days.

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: COOPERATION WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT Number of participants: 39 Workgroup leader: Uno Silberg Representatives of Kodukant, recorders: Aado Kuhlap, Kaia Köörna Venue: Oru parish house, Linnamäe How to improve the efficiency of the cooperation between villages and local governments, taking into account the needs and interests of both parties, considering the range of different possibilities and choosing the most suitable to implement? Participants of the workgroup emphasized their observation that there is a mutual lack of trust between the public authority and villages. The aim of the workgroup was to seek together the solutions for changing the current attitude and creating conditions for the villages to plan their development independently. A joint training for the representatives of villages and local governments was proposed as the best initial solution. What can we ourselves do in the village? - Map the situation, explicit the needs of villagers, set objectives. - Foster initiative groups and co-thinking, find active solution-oriented people, leaders, a village elder , if not, start with providing a place for meetings. - Draw up a development plan, authorize it at the village general meeting, run the analyze of the development plan, improve and update it. - Write projects; co-financing, communication and cooperation with the parish and businesses. - Enhance active citizenship, make meetings open for public, run for parish council. What can the Movement Kodukant do? - Kodukant as the „importer“ of the village elder; continue supporting and encouraging villages. - Kodukant as an advisor, training provider, disseminator of information, encourager. - Educate and support its members: provide trainings, assist in writing projects and drawing development plans. - Kodukant should start educating local governments! What can the local government do? - Provide moral support, recognise and reward achievements, show appreciation for volunteering and taking initiative. - Legal support and protection for the village community; establish a commitment in a written form. - Involve village representatives to different committees. - Treat villages equally, work in partnership.

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Cooperation with local government

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- Finance village activities on regular bases from the local government budget; cofinancing, support and sponsorship for different activities in the village. - Participate in village and community societies´ meetings; round tables with the representatives of the local government. - Establish a Village Elders Fund (e.g 10% of covered land tax) - Set fixed rules for application procedures; report received grants. What needs to be done/changed on the national level: - Establishment and legalisation of Village Elder Statute on the national level. - Common agreement on involvement methods to be used; involve civil society more into decision-making processes. - Continue giving regional grants, advocate for village movement in EU to assure its support and funding. - Rewarding and recognition on the national level.

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: INVOLVEMENT IN DECISIONMAKING PROCESSES Number of participants: 41 Workgroup leader: Urmo Kübar Representative of Kodukant, recorder: Margus Vain Venue: Tuksi Village House What can we do to make the public authority have the will to involve villages and NGOs in decision-making processes and to make them trust and consider their opinion? The majority of proposals and recommendations were addressed to the villages. A thought that summarizes the workgroup discussions: in case of the lack of interest for cooperation, move forward to find those who want and can collaborate with you. With a rising capability and strength, cooperation proposals will follow. What can we ourselves do in the village? - Create spaces for meetings and gatherings, organise common events, find common interests that unite local people. - Delegate the village society´s tasks, involve competent and professional villagers; reward them for their contribution. - Share information, assuring its access for everybody, avoid excess. - Be a good „involver“, implement different involvement methods. - Network, find personal contacts in the city council and the parliament - Educate voters to elect candidates that are willing to cooperate and involve villages in decision-making processes. - Recognise and reward cooperative civil servants and politicians – in person and in public. - Involve local governments to our activities, work in cooperation with villages and NGOs; create networks, organise round table discussions for villages. What can the Movement Kodukant do? - Recognise and reward villages, societies and public authority representatives for their work and achievements in active involvement. - Collect and share good examples (success stories) – for use in villages and local governments. - Educate and train village societies and local governments in cooperation: give advice, share information. - Support the creation and improvement of round tables and other forms of cooperation. - advocate on the national level for having finances for advocacy activities (e.g from KÜSK – National Foundation for Civil Society)

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Involvement in decision making processes

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What can the local government do? - Organise trainings and regular meetings with NGOs of the region, share information. - Encourage people to participate, engage them to negociation processes as early as possible; give feedback to people that have made efficient proposals. - Apply principles of participatory budgeting. - Ensure a comprehensive explanatory memorandum to draft legislations. - Work in a close cooperation with societies of each region when establishing clear procedure rules for involvement. What can be done/changed on the national level? - Support advocacy activities, foresee corresponding funds (e.g KĂœSK). - Claim better involvement practice from local governments.

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: LOCAL FOOD Number of participants: 37 Workgroup leaderr: Ave Tamra Representative of Kodukant, recorder: Kadri Pau Venue: Roosta Holiday Village Local food: who does it feed? Me, who I live in the countryside? An aware consumer? A tourist? Do we need the food of local origin? If yes, then who exactly needs it? A live discussion of the workgroup resulted in constructive advices for different level decisionmakers. What can we ourselves do in the village? - Keep/revive the tradition of growing and breeding farm products (vegetables, meat). - Develop joint management of the community kitchens, putting effort into product development and management, assuring means for the administration of the house and running activities. - Create food networks with village societies as well as tourism and catering establishments, collaborate with small producers and home gardeners. - Use the food of local origin - Eat food that is harvested in our climate´s vegetation period: cucumber, tomato, paprica in summer; rutabaga, turnip, carrot, potato (products that can be overwintered) in winter. What can the Movement Kodukant do? - In cooperation with partners provide trainings for potential entrepreneurs and NGOs on topics like entrepreneurship, food safety, legislation, quality and management. - Raise consumer awareness on the value of local food (e.g. conserve fair). What can the local government do? - Purchase local raw food material for its parish´s public institutions (kindergartens, schools, care homes) from local producers. - Purchase promotional souvenirs and gifts from local village socities and entrepreneurs. What can be done/changed on the national level? - Introduce a clause in the Estonian Food Act, concerning traditional foodmaking. - In food-related public procurements consider the importance of the local origin of the food. - Lower VAT for the food that is produced in Estonia to enable local food enter into fair competition with exported food products, making local food more affordable for local people.

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Local food

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: SMALL BUSINESSES IN RURAL AREAS Number of participants: 44 Workgroup leader: Rando Värnik Representative of Kodukant, recorder: Hele-Mall Kink Venue: Piirsalu Community House The topics discussed in the workgroup were: Should the upper limit of the population defining „rural area“ be increased? What does the term „small businesses in rural area“ mean? What are the criterias, can and should we distinguish small businesses of rural areas? Moreover, the following statements unfolded: ...a good infrastructure is a preliminary condition for the young people to come and stay living in the countryside; ...not depending on age, a person can become its own employer; ...often the best solution is to become an entrepreneur, but there is a lack of skills and knowledge. What can we oursevles do in the village? - Develop support measures and make proposals, take into account the real needs of the entrepreneurs in the region: is there a need for small prjoects or big projects with a larger impact. - In cooperation with the local government create remote jobs based in the community house. What can the Movement Kodukant do? - Create a database on business environmental regional distinctions and the needs for tax relief, take care of updating and maintenance of the database. - Provide study visits of the representatives of small businesses in rural areas to share best practices. - Appreciate and emphasize traditional rural entrepreurship, improve the reputation of rural life through your information channels. - In cooperation with partners * establish a database on farms and enhance cluster-based cooperation; * establish career counselling as a new topic in competence centres (e.g in regional development agencies) * develop plans for the implementation of tax relief, definition of the legal status of a farmer, simplification of requirements established for small-scale livestock farming; * set up a programme on the national level for small businesses in rural areas, proposing measures to alleviate differences (possibility to make investments and pay wages) * develop a legal act Back to the countryside supporting young people living (or going to live) in the countryside to start their own business.

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Small businesses in rural areas

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What can the local government do? - Have a database on resources related to entrepreneurship in rural areas; - Be informed of and syncronize its decisions and actions with the village´s development plan - Enhance small businesses in rural areas, support first-level service providers. - In cooperation with neighboring local governments create a network for local competence. What can be done/changed on the national level? - In the development process of programmes and support measures take into account the differences of needs in different rural areas. - Establish an application procedure for receiving tax relief and loans under favorable conditions. - ABC rules of legislation drafting should be more available and simplified for small entrepreurs. - Take into account the general opinion of the local community in regard to mining mineral resources and exploiting other natural resources.

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: MEANING OF STORIES IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES Number of participants: 32 Workgroup leader: Piret Päär Representative of Kodukant, recorder: Kaija Kõiv Venue: Saare Manor The aim of the workgroup was to introduce the tradition of storytelling and to take the participants on a journey of stories to enable them to find meaning, strength, courage and – first of all – the will to notice, listen, collect and tell stories. Storytelling is an extremely intimate and very public activity at the same time. The reason why telling a very personal story always touches many, is because it touches a common ground deep inside of us. Yet a story always remains deeply personal - the decision on whether and how to tell it, will always be up to the storyteller. This is the kind of responsibility that can never be shared, not with the closest or more distant fellows in the community, not with the local government nor the state. All depends on the storyteller. What can we ourselves do in the villages? - Value life, village and our people. - Be aware of the continuity of one´s roots and community traditions. - Collect stories from our local communities. - Find the key stories of our village, make them more interactive (heritage landscapes). - Share experiences and good practices. - Document the history of local community in purpose of passing it on to younger generations (pictures, chronicles, family trees, etc.) - Organise storytelling workshops for children and adults. What can the Movement Kodukant do? - Help to organise trainings and workshops for local communities. - Collect and share success stories. What can the local government do? - Value the people of the community, their history, life stories and heritage story. - Enable access to existing documented stories (in libraries, schools, information centres, youth centres, village houses, care homes, etc). - Support cooperation of organisations in its administrative territory. What can be done/changed on the national level? - Documentation and preservation of the cultural heritage.

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Meaning of stories in local communities

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: PRESERVATION OF HISTORIC HERITAGE IN VILLAGES Number of participants: 42 Workgroup leader: Mikk Sarv Representative of Kodukant, recorder: Larissa Mandel Venue: Nõva Parish House Three major topics came forth: old craft skills; emotional value of the homestead; availability and use of the archive materials. Preserving and passing on efficient working methods and skills is no doubt the best way to protect and maintain historic heritage. Villages under Kodukant umbrella can develop themselves into agents of preservation and transmitting of these skills. Adding protection of the emotional value of homestead, we can create a wide network which, in cooperation with archives and museums, will create conditions for the indigenous culture to last and continue. For that, a cooperation with archives and museums should be enhanced in order to inform them more about the real possibilities of the local villages and residents. What can we ourselves do in the village? - Preserve and learn old craft skills, find people who have the skills (adepts); preserve and maintain old crafting tools and materials. - Assure the availability of local raw material: milk, vegetables, cereal, wool, meat, eggs, etc. - Re-introduce and renew old recipes. - Re-establish the tradition of having a meal together at least once a day as a holy ritual. - Act now, to collect folk tradition – history dies everyday. - Common interest joins people, a leader has to allow other people and opinions nearby. What can the Movement Kodukant do? - Each county prepares a workshop on its historical craft for the next Rural Parliament. - Keep up the Rural Parliament local food fair tradition. - In the next Rural Parliament everybody speaks in his or her home language („home language“ is an increasingly recommended term for replacing the term „dialect“). - Order reprints for educational literature on crafting; involve young people in the collection of old craft tools and materials for conservation. - Notice, recognise and promote healthy eating habits at home. - Recognise and reward ecologically „clean“ food producers, promote ecological food. - Provide trainings on how to use archive materials better and make them available - Work in cooperation with other villages and communities.

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Preservation of historic heritage in villages

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What can the local government do? - Pay salary to craft teachers. What can be done/changed on the national level? - Add a new subject to the school curriculum– reuse of materials in craft activities. - Establish craft workshops at museums. - Alleviate and abolish the absurd and nonsense limitations stipulated for clean home-made food.

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: LEARNING VILLAGES Number of participants: 40 Workgroup leader: Mai Kolnes Representative of Kodukant, recorder: Heleriin Jõesalu Venue: Roosta Holiday Village Sharing thoughts on intergenerational learning, intermediation and availability of information, mapping needs in regard to learning. A good example of an abolished myth is the fact men have become active learners. May it be men dance workshop in Roosta or a drying kiln study circle in Vaida. Important keywords and characteristics of learning villages are: vision in learning, dreaming, recognition, acting together and sharing information. Much appreciated became an inspiring idea of the community as a library: there are many people around and among us who have diverse knowledge and skills – sharing them makes the community smarter and wiser. Learning does not require much money as long as there are people eager to learn and share their knowledge and skills. Learning possibilities are here around us, waiting to be grabbed and used! What can we ourselves do in the village? - Map villagers´ common problems by drawing a development plan, reflecting and finding learning possibilities that would help solving these problems. - Involve villagers in common activities: learn together and from each other, using villagers´ skills and knowledge. - Foster intergenerational learning. Community as a library containing „works“ on different subjects – these should be shared! What can the Movement Kodukant do? - Raise awareness in villages about (adult) learning opportunities, provide different trainings and spread info materials. - Continue developing (learning) methods (study circles, trainings for beginning entrepreneurs, etc) appropriate to villages. - Map and adapt topics for trainings according to the changing needs, propose different learning possibilities and methods, taking into account the target group. What can the local government do? - Support initiatives in villages, remember to encourage and guide the villagers to activism. - Bring parish civil servants closer to villagers in their activities to make them understand their concerns on the „grassroot“ level (e.g run parish council meetings in village houses). - Recognise and reward the best learners, small achievements and improvements in villages, remarkable undertakings and new learning possibilities on the parish level.

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Learning villages

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What can be done/chamged on the national level? - Moral and financial support through various funding mechanisms – both to develop rural life in general and to foster the activity of folk learning centres in all over Estonia as well as providing trainings.

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN VILLAGES Number of participants: 41 Workgroup leader: Eha Paas Representative of Kodukant, recorder: Krista Habakukk Venue: Nþva schoolhouse What where villages like when they only started organising joint activities? Where do we stand now? The most important change has been the improvement of the image of a village. Today thinking of village life we think of sparkling people, local food, local products, beautiful nature, healthy living environment... The premises for development, emphasized by the participants: villagers´ will to cooperate, good leaders and local village society. The proof of the sustainability of a village is the existence of its development plan. What can we ourselves do in the villages? - Community canalises and implements all its resources for the benefit of the development of the village. - Leaders of the village maintain the continuity of the village and society activities, understand the importance of a development plan and its participatory process. - Community dares to dream and takes responsibility for making these dreams come true. - Community recognises and rewards its people, allowing new leaders to occur. - Community develops cooperation bringing additional value with partners important for the development of the village. What can the Movement Kodukant do? - Keeps the positive image of villages through collecting and promoting success stories, marketing and recognising the village movement in Estonia and abroad; - Supports entrepreneurial lifestyle in villages, organises trainings for leaders, involves rural development advisors as consultants, takes the role of spokesperson concerning employment issues; - Runs surveys and analyses the impact of the activities for rural life, participates in completion and implementation of rural policies; in case of need, initiates amendments in legislation. - Improves and updates materials concerning the changes in regard to village development plan, if needed, creates new support materials. What can the local government do? - Takes into account the villages` development plans and connects them with the development documents of the parish. - Supports development activities, involves village leaders in the decision-making process of the parish. - Foresees a fixed financial support process for the development activities of villages.

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Community development in villages

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What can be done/changed on the national level? - Improve the actions that are aimed to amend the situation of employment and creation of jobs in rural areas. - Continue with the measure 3.2 in the new budgetary period of EU, simultaneously with the Leader measures. - PRIA guarantees advance payments for grants on probation of the members of the board and shortens the period of the application procedure up to 25 working days.

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Summaries of the workgroups

Workgroup: LIFE IN COASTAL VILLAGES Number of participants: 20 Workgroup leader: Margus Medell Representative of Kodukant, recorder: Merle Adams Venue: Nþva Village House The group reflected on how to make life in villages more harmonious and build bridges connecting local people and vacationers. Problems causing most of the conflicts, highlighted by the participants: vacationers´ lack of care for the natural heritage, lack of willingness to contribute to the development of the local village community, ignorance and patronizing attitude towards local people. The problems can sometimes be caused by the local community itself. The main causes underlined: prejudices towards vacationers, redundant imposition of local village traditions and rigidity and sometimes even simply hostile attitude. All participants considered the best solution for this kind of conflicts to be the development of local people`s inner values. What can we ourselves do in the villages? - Will is the key to the change, if your heart is in the right place, you will find the means to act. - Improve yourself and the world changes; importance of inclusion and direct contact; - Map the situation and draw a development plan, update it when the situation has changed. - Doing together, analysing together, collaboration and joint activities; respecting the traditions and keeping them alive. - Notice your neighbor, care, communicate, create opportunities. - Recognition is the cheapest reward. What can the Movement Kodukant do? - Develop its value-based village movement relying on the initiative of local people. - Create learning opportunities/trainings, eliminate myths and confining frames. - Lessen the effort on raising money and focus more on organising trainings to foster people´s inner growth; on the first place, money should be seen as a means, not as an end in itself. What can the local goverment do? - Support and assist the village movement; maintain and protect living and natural environment values. What can be done/changed on the national level? - Continue with support programmes in the same amount. - Canalize bigger investments in the development of human resources.

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Life in coastal villages

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Study-tour for foreign guests

Study-tour for foreign guests Number of participants: 39 Organiser: Sirje Vinni Representatives of Kodukant: Liina Saar, Heleriin Jõesalu Venue: Harju, Rapla, Järva, Pärnu and Lääne County Briefly before visiting The Rural Parliament, the foreign guests were invited to take part in a 2-day tour in five Estonian counties. Foreign guests came from Poland, Sweden, Bosnia, Belgium, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Holland, Turkey, Serbia, Germany, Latvia, Ukraine, Finland, Ireland and Czech Republic. The aim of the study-tour was to show the diverse array of activities and initiatives of the member organisations of Kodukant, point out our weaknesses and share our success stories that have appeared during the implementation of the Estonian Rural Development Plan 2007-2013. In addition, the aim of the tour was to give an insight to the organisational features of the Movement Kodukant with a special attention on its previous experiences in organising the Rural Parliament. Similarly to the topics of the IX Rural Parliament, Back to the countryside! the study-tour called Mobile Rural Parliament focused on certain key issues: cooperation practices of villages and village societies with local governments, life-long learning, involvement, cultural heritage of villages; entrepreneurial people in villages. The guests had the opportunity to see how the individual-level proposals reach the decision-makers and what does a project-planning process look like; they had the opportunity to present their own organisations, villages and projects and share their experiences in regard to the topics in focus. There were six meeting points with one specific topic to be discussed in each: 1. Metsanurme village in the Harju County can be proud of its good cooperation with the local Saku Parish Government: together a wide range of joint activities has been organised, the support to village elders and the village´s projects is considered by the villagers an important support. 2. Kohila Training Centre, welcoming in its beautifully renovated house many people eager to learn, gave a good example of how to enhance in an efficient way different education and culture structures. A wise strategic planning applied by the parish government has resulted in the permanent development process of hobby schools, academic education and life-long learning. Kodukant Training Centre shared its experiences in providing learning possibilities to rural population and introduced diverse training programmes in use by the organisation. 3. The Village of the Year 2011, Prandi, is a remarkable example of what can a village of 46 inhabitants achieve when being supported by entrepreneurial initiatives, collaboration, involvement of its habitants´ relatives-acquaintances and the former residents of the village, as well as with a leader full of tireless energy and enthusiasm. Clever planning and witty use of project financing has changed the village entirely. 4. The management of the Laupa Basic School has made notable achievements in preserving local (school) culture and reshaping the education process to be more child-friendly. Local and structural funds have backed up the initiative, additional resources have been found.

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International conference Rural Parliament, efficient tool in decision-making processes

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5. Pärnjõe inspired the delegation with a 3-in-1 project: a house accommodating Pärnjõe Basic School, NGO Three Villages and Pärnjõe Community House, all striving to preserve and revive their grandparents´ cultural heritage. Old and young together, learning and teaching to play different musical instruments, sing songs and direct plays. As well as to make handicraft in the same way as our ancestors. 6. Rõude presented us social entrepreneurship projects undertaken by active local people. The majority of them related to handicraft (weaving, patchwork, etc) and carpentry (restoration). Several public and community services are provided in the community house (renting rooms, accommodation, baby-sitting, laundry, public sauna, etc.). In cooperation with the Estonian Unemployment Injurance Fund trainings and workshops are organised for job seekers living in peripheries. The study-tour included 2 mini-workshops where the participants could analyse and evaluate the projects of the visited organisations and discuss the related topics in more detail. In each workgroup a wide range of best practices from around the participating countries and villages were shared. The time spent together in the bus was used to give a glimpse of the history, mission, aims and projects of the Movement Kodukant. More information was given in regard to the process of organising the Rural Parliament, the role that Kodukant plays in different-level decision-making as well as its collaboration with ministries, the parliament and different international organisations.

International conference Rural Parliament, efficient tool in decision-making processes Number of participants: 44 Conference leader: Sirje Vinni Representatives of Kodukant: Liina Saar, Heleriin Jõesalu Venue: Nõva Villa While the county delegations were visiting parishes of Lääne County, an international conference in cooperation with PREPARE (network of rural organisations from EU) took place. The conference centered on sharing experiences in organising the Rural Parliament. The aim of the conference was to present the project Rural Parliaments of PREPARE, give a summary of the discussions held during the study-tour, an overview of the status quo of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the expected changes as well as to point out problems that need to be solved.

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International conference Rural Parliament, efficient tool in decision-making processes The international conference focused on the practical issues related to organising the Rural Pariament, hence giving the participants an insight of strengths and advantages organising similar huge events. Liina Saar, chair of the board at the Movement Kodukant, explained what happens to decisions made at the Rural Parliament, how they are passed on to and carried out in the next years´ projects, and what is the process of formulating the proposals to the decision-makers like. Goran Šoster, the coordinator of PREPARE, gave an overview of their project Rural Parliaments in the frame of which also the IX Estonian Rural Parliament took place. As one of the results of the project, a book on Rural Parliaments in different countries was launched and introduced at the conference. An overview of its compilation process and content was given. The experiences of five countries – Sweden, Holland, Finland, Slovakia and Estonia – were shared at the conference and let the attendees comprehend the different approaches and aims that the organisers of the Rural Parliament have had. Impressions and summaries of the mini-workshops held during the study-tour were shared. Identity issues, the importance of partnership in every cooperation process and local initiative were highlighted as well as the crucial role of support given to leaders. Involving youngsters and children in young age in different educational programmes the training institution can guarantee the person´s life-long interest to developing his or her talents and skills and getting new knowledge. Involving local residents and preserving local cultural heritage becomes easy when people have common interests. A skillful openminded leader is able to bring together old and young activists. Inclusion of young people assures sustainability. Fostering family and small businesses creates a perspective for the development of entrepreneurship in rural areas. A good cooperation means that the entrepreneur gets the needed support from the local government as well as from his or her friends and family. The final part of the conference was dedicated to CAP reforms. The participants were interested to know what will be life in the countryside be like after the end of the current agricultural policy period in 2013 and what could be the citizens´ role in the reforms. Hannes Lorenzen from the European Parliament gave an overview of the current state of the CAP, the new tendencies and important milestones on the path of change. Different topics related to CAP were ardently discussed: organic farming, small farming, sustainability of farming, cooperation with non-EU countries, public benefits, enhancing organic farming, territorial and sectoral approach to financing policy. A civil initiative, ARC Forum (Agricultural and Rural Convention), created in the initiative of the NGO Forum Synergies and the young journalists from Brussels, assist policy makers to notice problems that are important in the countryside, make proposals and decisions. 1050 organisations have joined the Forum, among others the Movement Kodukant who has already sent its proposals for changes in CAP to the EU decision-makers. Seminars, conferences, workgroups, etc. are efficient tools for taking part in different-level decision-making processes. The general meeting of Kodukant, gathering on 19 November, will compile proposals emerged at the workgroups of the IX Estonian Rural Parliament to present them to the Riigikogu (the national parliament), the Government of the Rupublic of Estonia and local governments. Our input to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be communicated via our members´ participation in the national debates in the committees formed by the Ministry of Agriculture. The strategy of the Movement Kodukant for the next two years will be set based on the recommendations given to the organisation at the Rural Parliament. We can start first already with those that we can apply ourselves or together with the villagers.

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What next? The general meeting of Kodukant, gathering on November 19th, will compile the proposals that emerged at the workgroups of the IX Estonian Rural Parliament to present them to the Riigikogu (the national parliament), the Government of the Rupublic of Estonia and local governments. The strategy of the Movement Kodukant for the next two years will be set based on the recommendations given to the organisation at the Rural Parliament. We can already start with the ideas that we can apply ourselves or together with the villagers. May we have energy and clear vision for developing our rural life! Wishing us all the luck in our endeavors to make good ideas happen! NGO Village Movement Kodukant

Publishing: NGO Village Movement Kodukant Funding of the publication: European Commission Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture, National Foundation for Civil Society Photos: Sven Puusepp Edited by: KĂźlli Vollmer Design: Triinu Sarv Translation: Teve Floren Printing: OĂœ Paar



Workgroup summaries