South Caucasus

, 2012-12-11

In 2012, educational trainings took place in the cities of Kutaisi and Sukhumi, which provided the local initiatives and independent media with new knowledge and experience in the areas of citizen participation, leading civic campaigns, using new media, other than grant funding of NGOs, as well as social entrepreneurship and security in electronic communication. When carrying out these seminars we shared our experience from the development of the civic sector in the Czech Republic.

The seminars were followed by evening film screenings open to public and accompanied by discussions. The film documents and debates referred to the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and the related journalistic work, the engagement of women in the freedom movement and the issue of intensive farming and its impact on the environment.

The representatives of the participating organisations could register their projects for an open competition and apply for funding. The six best projects received small grants of 1.200 EUR. The Georgian projects covered establishing a phone helpline for teenagers in Kutaisi, supporting small enterprise of women in rural areas of the Imereti region and promoting the topic of animal protection and vegetarianism; in Abkhazia there was a project of a group of journalists campaigning for the abolition of libel as a legal offence in Abkhazia, another one concerning the integration of children with disabilities into the society and a public campaign dealing with road accidents.

The coordinators of the projects mentioned came to the Czech Republic in September to take part in a study visit. They visited several NGOs, media and other institutions. At the same time, debates with the representatives of the civil initiatives from Abkhazia and Georgia took place in Prague, Olomouc and Brno.

Furthermore, in October we helped an Abkhaz journalist association to strategically plan a new campaign for free access to information.

At the end of the year we started to publish regular news coverage from the South Caucasus in Czech. You can subscribe and receive the latest news by e-mail – simply use the form shown on the right side of this page or take a look at the archive of the monthly digest.