The Czech NGO Independent Social Ecological Movement (NESEHNUTÍ) has launched series of supportive workshops for civic activists in various parts of the South Caucasus region. Civic initiatives from Georgia, Armenia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, around 100 representatives in total, now have an opportunity to learn how to plan and perform advocacy campaigns, how to use social networks in the campaigns or how to promote human rights and tackle prejudices .
In the beginning of April, NESEHNUTI welcomed several experienced Czech lecturers in Sukhum/i, and primarily young activists attended the workshop. It was followed the next weekend by a seminar in Georgia’s Kutaisi, and it was enhanced by lecturers from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland thanks to the support of the Visegrad Fund. “Lecturers and attendees of the seminars had a unique opportunity to exchange their experience and knowledge in the area of leading various kinds of advocacy campaigns or new media usage. It was very inspiring for both sides,” said Alena Věžníková, external expert to NESEHNUTÍ. Currently, a similar event is being held in Jermuk, Armenia. A workshop for South Ossetian civic initiatives was started at the beginning of May.
Members of various initiatives working on human rights, social topics or protecting the environment are involved. Only one specific topic is included in all the workshops: prejudices and stereotypes. “Participants of the seminars have a possibility to speak about their own prejudices and understand the dynamics of behavior and establishment of prejudice in society step by step,” said Radka Vejrychová, lecturer and member of NESEHNUTI.
Maciej Muskat from Greenpeace Poland and Mark Fodor from Bankwatch Hungary gave lectures about planning and performing advocacy campaigns; Juraj Smatana from the Slovak NGO Servisné centrum Ekofóra shared his experience with fighting corruption on a municipal level.
Participants of the seminars will have an opportunity to apply for small grants and take part in a study trip to Czech Republic in October.
NESEHNUTÍ is successfully creating educational seminars in the Caucasus thanks to support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the International Visegrad Fund.
The Initiative Way is a program aimed at cross-border support of active people, especially in Caucasus, Transnistria and Belarus – but not just there. We help local activists to create civil society, protect human rights, environmental and animal rights. We want to help to accelerate the transformation of these regions.
- website: http://initiativeway.org
- Alena Věžníková, NESEHNUTÍ, firstname.lastname@example.org, +420 739 334 474 (Czech Republic)
- Martin Hyťha, NESEHNUTÍ, coordinator of the programme The Initiative Way, email@example.com, +995 579 032 102 (Georgia)
Schedule of the workshops:
6-8 April: Sukhum/i, Abkhazia
12-14 April: Kutaisi, Georgia
18-21 April: Jermuk, Armenia
27 April – 2 May: Vladikavkaz (for civic initiatives from South Ossetia)