Cooperation with eSwatini National Commission for UNESCO

In 2019, Estonian and eSwatini National Commissions for UNESCO started cooperation with a focus on youth and education. The cooperation opens new perspectives, contributes to the work and strengthens the capacities of both national commissions. In addition, UNESCO ASPnet cooperation and school links between Estonia and eSwatini are initiated to encourage the exchange of experiences and best practices. The cooperation between Estonia and eSwatini was started with the help of German National Commission, who is active in several African countries, incl. eSwatini.

For additional information, please contact Madli Kumpas:

Pilot project 2019

The pilot project of Estonian and eSwatini National Commissions for UNESCO on interregional youth volunteering and ASPnet was implemented in 2019. During the pilot project, a young Estonian volunteer was offered a possibility to participate in the work of both National Commissions, with a focus on eSwatini.

A three-months program consisted of three weeks introduction and preparation phase at the office of Estonian National Commission, followed by ten weeks volunteering period in eSwatini. The project supported the building of youth´s social skills and personality formation, the development of youth’s international and intercultural capacities, empathy and openness towards the world and other cultures. 

For the pilot project, an open call was announced in May and a fresh graduate of history and international relations studies from the University of Tartu, Laura Toomlaid, was selected for the program. After the preparation time in Estonia, in eSwatini National Commission, based in the Ministry of Education and Training, Laura assisted local education programme officer Nicky Nelisiwe Ndwandwe, participated in education and UNESCO related meetings, organised together with eSwatini colleagues teacher trainings for ASPnet teachers, visited eSwatini ASPnet schools, helped Estonian and eSwatini schools to create contacts, etc. Parallel to Estonian young volunteer, there were two young German volunteers in eSwatini.

According to Laura, she learned a lot during her volunteering period, truly enjoyed her time there and valued highly the possibility to contribute to the cooperation of the National Commissions. As follow-up activities, Laura visits schools in Estonia to share her experiences from eSwatini, puts together a small photo exhibition about eSwatini and writes an article about eSwatini and her time there to be published in Estonian journal Horisont.

The pilot project was funded by the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO and the planning process for the project of 2020 has started.

Umhlanga ceremony in eSwatini. Photo: Laura Toomlaid.