OID E10016461
Full legal name  (National Language) Avatud Ühiskond MTÜ
Full legal name  (Latin characters) Avatud Ühiskond NGO
Acronym AÜM
National ID (Registration Number) 80420360
Department International relations
Address (Street and number) Kaljula talu, Kuimetsa küla, Rapla maakond, Estonia, 79302
Website https://uhiskond.ee
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AvatudUhiskond/
Email info@uhiskond.ee
Telephone 1 +372 5639 1011
OTLAS database https://www.salto-youth.net/tools/otlas-partner-finding/organisation/avatud-uehiskond.14834/


Type of Organisation Non-governmental organization
Is the partner organisation a public body? No
Is the partner organisation a non-profit? Yes
Eurodesk multiplier – NA Yes
Official Partner of Estonian Unemployment Service Estonian Unemployment Service – Confirmation of verification
Verified Educational Centre by the Department of Education The Estonian Education Information System (EHIS) – Confirmation of Verification
Facebook Video of last Project Promotional video of Avatud Ühiskond’s Youth Exchange
PIF Online version ONLINE PIF


Open Society is a non-profit organisation devoted to the inclusion of youth and educators from a wide array of socio-economic backgrounds enabling them to become front-runners in civil society insusceptible to any and all animosity towards concurrent societal adversity. Open Society believes that the key to competence is the youth with bold leadership skills in cooperation with a penetrating insight into non-violent communication, rhetorical argumentation and modern civilization itself. Our organisation strives to use methods of non-formal education in order to further the aforementioned competencies in our target group. 


The organizational aim is to be more than just a NGO working with Erasmus+ projects. Open Society NGO is actively advocating for legislative policy changes, creating and promoting social campaigns, cooperating with governmental institutions. Our mission is to gain recognition as the choice youth organisation in Estonia with accredited trainers, a multitude of partnerships on an international level and the means to fulfil the potential of every young person that reaches out to us.


Open Society envisions being a representative organ for youth and educators through the implementation of youth councils and assemblies in rural areas and the further substantive development and support of the latter in larger communities with such institutions already in place. The subject matter at hand is of crucial importance to us.


Open Society aims to support the active involvement of young people in various areas of public life; to promote personal development and democratic citizenship, volunteering and youth mobility; sport and healthy lifestyle; to support the development of the abilities and potential of young people from different social and ethnic groups, and young people with disabilities. The path to this is participation in various national and international projects, implementation of joint activities in partnerships with other organizations or networks; organizing advocacy campaigns; development and implementation of strategies and programs at local, national and international level. Members of the organization are involved in developing, evaluating and managing various programs and projects in the social sector, education and the media. The staff of the organization has received nationwide acknowledgements for their work in the youth sector. 


One of the main priorities of Avatud Ühiskond is developing international partnerships with similar organizations, active exchange of ideas and best practices, creating a rich network of European partners. 


The year 2020/21 In Review of Achievements: 


  • Facilitating cooking lessons for more than 1000 children under our project “Cooking Roadshow”, together with a VET school Tallinna Teeninduskool. 
  • Facilitating training courses under Governmental Training Procurement
  • Co-hosting Opinion Festival with more than 10 000 visitors
  • Giving 16 computer-sets for a charitable cause in the municipality of Kose and Rapla
  • Member of roundtables and workgroups hosted by the Ministry of Education.
  • Regional Contribution Award by Regional state. 
  • 68 new “Youth Club” members
  • 12 simulations and lectures for high/vocational school students
  • Pushing through 3 legislative changes to the local municipalities


On a transnational standard, we aim to facilitate the buildup of youth empowerment. Organisational objectives for 2020 – 2024 will categorise into three main topics: Youth development, happy community and empowering growing leaders. We aim to open up a training centre, be partners for 30 international projects annually and engage more than 30000 people every year. To keep our community running, we aim to involve 100 active volunteers, organize social activities monthly to strengthen the bond between members & hosting annual Summer Camps and Winter Schools of Avatud Ühiskond. 


The organisational development plan involves establishing and preserving cooperation with governmental institutions, creating an international cooperation incubator combining representatives of students, VET schools and municipalities. 

Our organisation has been composed of a committed team of versatile members qualified in fields such as youth work, education, life-long learning, student entrepreneurship, voluntary aid and other topics related to aformentioned subjects. The team has years of experience in working with youth on civic engagement projects, organising lectures and training courses and participating in international projects. Independently they have already made an imperative impact on Estonian society as a whole, however, hope to refine and amplify their practice united in cooperation under a coherent organisation. 


We are one of the most active organizations in Estonia when it comes to participating in Erasmus+ programme, having extensive knowledge in regards to all the key actions. Having said this, we are positive that we have a vast experience in partnership building and capacity to actively be part of and organize and support applications under Solidarity Corps, Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens, ESF & LIFE Programme. 


We have been actively involved in all stages of youth exchanges and training courses: planning, defining roles and responsibilities of project partners, meetings, preparation, logistics, communication between all partners involved, arranging project timetables, as well as promotion of projects and dissemination of their results through our Internet pages and by organizing informative sessions for the local youth for better visibility. 


We have extensively prepared volunteers who have a long length of service in the non-governmental sector and in the field of intercultural dialogue, youth initiatives and involving different people in one mission. We believe each of our members could have great contribution to the project aims and will do their best to actively look for new possibilities for solving current issues.


We will assist at every step of the project – planning, defining roles and responsibilities, meetings, preparation, analysis, communicate the project itself, as well as its follow up. We will advertise this project in local media, our website and the social network. After the project, we will organize sessions with local youth to ensure further dissemination and visibility of the project. The multiplier effect is important for us and our members are ready to help.


Over the years we have created vast networks of young people through which we can easily reach out and disseminate the results of the projects. Thus the message we want to spread can be easily seen and continued.


We have been cooperating efficiently with the Unemployment Service of Estonia, Department of Education, Tallinna Teeninduskool (largest VET school in Estonia), Erasmus Student Network, municipalities. Having a wide range of partners, we have been initiators for learning mobilities of individuals, such as training courses, youth exchanges and vocational education mobility charter. Additionally, the organization strives to support youth dialogue projects, cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices among schools, vocational, higher and adult education and school exchange partnerships. 


General experiences and responsibilities relevant to the project application:


– Planning and management of start-up procedures

– Communication with the Partners. Promotion of the project

– Selection of suitable participants according to the partner profile.

– Planning and implementation of the preparation activities (before the departure)

– Preparation of the participants and their travel plan and tasks.

– Management of administrative procedures and all technical and organizational aspects

– Management of the flows of participants

– Management of the relationship with foreign partners and with participants

– Planning and implementation of monitoring, follow-up and evaluation activities

– Disseminating the results and work towards better visibility.


Organizational field of activities are divided into four different work-groups: politics, environmentalism, digitalism, mental health

Workgroup activities - Politics

  • Political workgroup emphasizes promoting democratic citizenship and active participation in society. The aim is archived through proposing and advocating for legislative changes on the local and national level. Politics branch of the organization organizes think-tanks, political debates, publishing articles in the media to promote the organizational values and agenda, creating seasonal movements and campaigns to raise awareness on current political issues. The last project has been promoting “Voters’ Summer School” which consisted of 12 different informational videos. Videos have been produced in cooperation of Tallinn University and Estonian Youth Organizations Union, involving PhD lecturers of governance. Dozens of the organizations’ volunteers are students of political science and governance

Workgroup activities - Environment

  • Environmentalism workgroup emphasizes promoting environmentalism and green-lifestyle. Workgroup has developed a toolkit to visit schools and facilitate non-formal classes to learn more about green lifestyle, environmentalism and ideologies related to the subject. Annually, the work-group creates a flash-mob or an event to clean the beach, recycle waste, plant trees, meanwhile fundraising for charitable causes. The workgroup aims to establish a community-garden. The branch has assisted other organizations to write and conduct KA2 projects related to nature based learning activities. 

Workgroup activities - Digitalism

  • Digitalism workgroup emphasizes on providing extracurricular activities on the topic of digitalism. The organization has been organizing SmartLab classes for the past five years to teach pupils basic programming, robotics, internet security. The objective of the SmartLabs is to support and promote IT-related afterschool activities among the youth in order to improve IT awareness and increase the number of youth choosing to study science or IT. In a long term perspective, it enables to increase the number of IT specialists in Estonia ja decrease unemployment among the youth. Smartlabs are conducted together with Microsoft Estonia and Look@World Foundation. As the organization has reliable IT-knowledge, all the infosystems (websites, digital games, communication) are developed by members of the organization. 

Workgroup activities - Mental Health

  • Mental health workgroup emphasizes on teaching practical and evidence-based skills to cope well with one’s emotions, stress and concentration. The aim is reached through a set of mindfulness toolkits and facilitating non-formal workshops to reduce stress. Practical skills to support one’s psychological well-being are widely used in society so that everyone can be more caring for themselves and others. We offer practical support mainly to pupils in order to increase concentration, balance and inner peace through awareness-raising. This is most effectively done through our multi-part courses, which focus on creating practical change. As an additional option, there is a practical handbook that contains, in addition to the introduction and exercises, answers to frequently asked questions, a trick corner, etc. We have created a versatile collection of high-quality audio exercises

Our team possess vast experience in the youth sector and the field of youth exchanges and training courses, as well as the implementation of KA2 and KA3 projects. Each of our members has a previous background in the non-governmental sector and has been involved in voluntary activities. Through the numerous projects that we have taken part in, organized and prepared groups for activities abroad under different youth initiatives, we have gained experience and developed a good outlook on youth work. During the years we have gained significant experience in the fields of event management as well as communication with national and international partners on different organizational levels. All of our team members have significant experience in the NGO sector, as we have worked on integration processes of minority groups, refugees and disabled people. Currently we are preparing several initiatives in this direction. All of our members are very motivated and work with great passion. During the years we have created vast networks of young people through which we can easily reach out and disseminate the results of the projects. Thus the message we want to spread can be easily seen and we are always in touch with young people, who could be involved in various activities.


Our team consists of four highly motivated and active founding members and 97 young volunteers. Volunteers are actively taking part in the organizational work through 6 different working groups. 


The volunteers assist in the development of the youth voluntary activities and youth exchanges under the ERASMUS+ and European Solidarity Corps


– R. Puusep (Founder and President) – is a board member of the organization and is doing his bachelors in the University of Tallinn. Studying political science and governance. Rynaldo is doing his internship as a junior-lecturer in the University of Tallinn. He’s been a board member of the Estonian School Students Councils’ Union, Estonian representative in the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU). In addition, he has candidate on the local elections to become a representative in the local municipality council. Rynaldo has immense experiences amongst debating community, organizing European Youth Forum events and international MEP sessions. Rynaldo has been a project manager in Avatud Ühiskond MTÜ for the past 6 years. Rynaldo has also been nominated as a Young Person of the Year 2017, Volunteer of the Year 2018, Youth Worker of the Year 2019.


K. Laansoo (Founder and Vice-President) – bachelors degree on Law at the University of Concordia, masters degree on English literature at the University of Tartu. Highly skilled person in representing the NGO. Involved in the NGO sector since 2011, excellent communicator and youth worker, teacher. Actively involved in national youth projects and international Youth in Action and Erasmus+ projects.  An English teacher of 20 years and a voluntary trainer of adults and youth. She has experience of EU funded projects situated in schools and higher education institutes. She is deeply interested and specialised in outdoor activities and environment. Extensive experience in project management with the former Youth in Action Programme, and now Erasmus+. Kaia Laansoo has been selected as a techer of the county several times, a nominee for the teacher of the year. 


A. Uusmaa – has a bachelors and masters degree on graphic design at Estonian Academy of Arts. She is dealing with youth policy of the organization, documentation and stability of the structure, communications service. Anu is personally interested in human rights, entrepreneurship, employment and employability, youth empowerment, PR and fundraising of NGO’s, events of contact making and creating partnerships. 


A. Tamm is a  masters student in the University of Tartu and an active member in our organization as a coordinator of the volunteers. Asko has been a EVS volunteer for a short-term and a long-term project. Participated in many Red Cross events and trainings, also very active in Erasmus+ and the Solidarity Corps. His work is to find, appoint, motivate, delegate and coordinate the work of the volunteers so that they feel involved and have self-satisfaction of being an active member of the society.


The accountant: specialised in NGO accounting and works with several NGOs that apply for various grants. Her experience and abilities are proven by the exact calculation of the budget and by excellent work regarding reimbursement of participants.

Participants will be selected via public call at: https://uhiskond.ee/. Everyone is able to apply and the call will be disseminated in various channels, including the organization’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/avatuduhiskond


Depending on the target group, the call will be shared in other channels, such as the offer’s list on the Estonian national agency’s page: http://noored.ee/pakkumised/ The call will be promoted to Regional Youth Councils, Youth Centres, newsletters and info lists, including also organisational partners, partner schools, municipalities and to the members of Avatud Ühiskond. 


The selection process is followed by a motivational letter and a CV application. Within the frame of training courses, video interviews will be conducted. Learning agreements will be made with the chosen participants. 


Participants will be selected based on their profile, motivation and willingness to get involved and contribute to organizational activities. While selecting participants for youth exchanges, we pay special attention to including young people with fewer opportunities, who will have priority. Our young people have mainly economic (young unemployed or in difficult financial situations), geographical (from rural areas or small towns), social (family-related issues, self-confidence issues), cultural (minority groups) and health-related (health problems, disabilities) obstacles. The selection process is standardized and all the candidates (either selected or not) will be notified. The organisation has the ability to assist the participants with covering the travel costs for all the participants, including participants with fewer opportunities. 

Avatud Ühiskond MTÜ will arrange a group meeting with the participants for each sending project. Whereas necessary, there will be additional meetings held in private with the underage adolescent and parents. Additionally, one person who has been part of a previous project will be included to share experiences.


There will be created a private Facebook group for each project to establish better communication – the organisational coordinator will add all the relevant information there. To exchange data between different stakeholders, Avatud Ühiskond is using different platforms (Slack, Trello, Skype, Google Drive, Cloud Services).


The organisation has created a booklet of guidelines for all participants taking part in projects in order to enable them better support. The booklet contains an overview of the programme and opportunities,  frequently asked questions, past projects and experiences of participants, support material for energizers, team-building activities, workshops and intercultural evening preparation. 


The organization has established a mentoring system between volunteers and newcomers to the programme. Mentoring system enables a more meaningful reflection process and therefore a better dissemination phase. 


Whereas possible and required, Avatud Ühiskond will provide a group leader who has extensive experience with the programme, is working as a social/youth worker or as a teacher, is able to provide cultural and task-related preparation. The main task of the group leader is to offer psychological support for the participants, foster reflection and mapping the experiences. For emergency issues, an organisational contact person is available by phone 24/7, the organisation has direct contact with The Department of Foreign Affairs.


After the end of the project, participants are included in follow-up activities by organizing participatory cafes, events, conferences, publishing interviews and blog posts with the participants of previous projects. Public outreach and dissemination are created through flash-mobs, creating ad hoc websites for projects, campaigns etc.

Approved projects in the last 3 years

Approved projects in the last 3 years
Programme Identification/contract number Beneficiary Title of the project
Erasmus+ 2018-1-EE01-KA105-047008

Good Example Award

Avatud Ühiskond MTÜ “Populism – threat to our democracy?”
Erasmus+ 2019-2-EE01-KA105-051794 Avatud Ühiskond MTÜ “Europhobia – The downfall of Democracy”



Title Mr.
Gender Male
First Name Rynaldo
Family Name Puusep
Department Board member of the organization
Position President
Email Rynaldo.Puusep@uhiskond.ee
Telephone  +372 5639 1011
Address Kaljula talu, Kuimetsa küla, Kaiu vald, Raplamaa, Estonia, 79302
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Rynaldo.Puusep


Contact Person
Title Ms
Gender Female
First Name Kaia
Family Name Laansoo
Department Board member of the organization
Position Vice-president
Email Kaia.Laansoo@uhiskond.ee
Telephone  +372 5109 164
Address Kaljula talu, Kuimetsa küla, Kaiu vald, Raplamaa, Estonia, 79302
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Kaia.Laansoo