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Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness Project

PITA is a diversity-centered, grassroots-driven project that brought together the young people of Georgia, civil society organizations, minority communities, government, media and other stakeholders to join a consolidated and successful effort towards building a more informed, inclusive and engaged society in Georgia that rejects discrimination and embraces diversity. The project introduces NGO-based youth clubs throughout Georgia; furnishes local NGOs with advanced capacities to manage diversity and civic participation more effectively; exploits social media and social exchange to establish active connections between the young boys and girls of Georgia from different regions and ethnic communities; builds awareness and stimulates national debate through Our Yard weekly TV talk show and other media production on local and national television; and supports Public Defender’s Tolerance Center and the Civic Integration and Tolerance Council at the President of Georgia to advance sustainable capacities on local and national levels.

PITA impact investments are channeled through three major project directions that generate diverse, yet interconnected impacts across demographic and institutional dimensions in Georgia:

- - Instigating Youth Activism & Connections: to build ownership of diversity and democracy across regions, generations and ethnic communities through expanding youth’s knowledge, outlets and incidence of civic activism; to generate durable connections and trust among young people from ethnic minority and ethnic majority communities, as well as between the youth, civil society and the government, through encouraging the establishment of a country-wide, structured network of exchange; to multiply the experiences of productive collaboration across all communities and to facilitate a sustainable change in youth attitudes and behaviors, PITA introduces 14 youth clubs countrywide and provides professional training, seminars and conferences, micro grants for local activism, twinning, community and volunteer exchange projects, summer camps and other youth, integration and civic activism-centered activities.

- - Enhancing Awareness & Discussion: to promote and solidify the feeling of ownership of a diverse, yet common culture and country through education, inclusion and awareness-bound media production, PITA uses all available and efficient discussion platforms and avenues to enhance its reach to target audiences and deliver the message of tolerance, promote integration and encourage civic activism across different age groups and ethnic communities of Georgia. PITA local media companies in Samkhtse-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions, supports a host of ethnic minority organizations to enhance their facility to promote civic awareness and tolerance, and exploits social media to build durable links and connections across the communities and institutions of Georgia.

- - Advancing Policies, Practice & Discourse: to support the development of a civic environment in Georgia that is free of discrimination and indifference, that encourages activism across age, ethnic and geographic boundaries in Georgia and sees diversity as a national asset, PITA provides grants opportunities for ethnic minority-owned CSOs to stimulate greater civil engagement with diversity and civic integration and enhance the direct lines of communication between the civil society and the Government of Georgia; PITA provides technical support to a. Civic Integration and Tolerance Council at the President of Georgia, a consultative body that since its establishment in 2005 has championed in maintaining and further advancing the continued commitment of the Government of Georgia to civic integration issues; b. the Office of the State Minister for Reintegration Issues - the government focal point for civic integration-bound programs and efforts within different government institutions; and c. the Public Defender, its Tolerance Center and the Councils of Religions and National Minorities - the prime stakeholders for monitoring and advocacy of minority rights and civic integration agenda.

PITA builds on close collaboration with its key partners: Georgian Public Broadcaster - key national media anchor and advocate of civic integration; Open Society Georgia Foundation – Georgian grantmaker that spearheads local grant investments in civic activism and integration; Partners Georgia – leader in providing professional training, coaching and diversity education; Public Defender’s Tolerance Center – prime monitor of minority rights and a tolerance watchdog in Georgia.

United States Agency for International Development: USAID/Georgia works to provide assistance to Georgia in Economic Growth, Energy & Environment, Democracy & Governance, and Health & Social Development; USAID's programs are centered on promoting "transformational" development. Raising living standards and reducing poverty while at the same time promoting far-reaching, long-term changes in institutional capacity, human capacity and economic structure. In 2012, U.S. and Georgia celebrate 20 years of diplomatic relations.

United Nations Association of Georgia: UNAG is a Georgian non-for-profit organization that has worked since 1995 to encourage, support and safeguard the democratic aspirations of the people of Georgia. As an active supporter of the foundations and principles of democratic societies, UNAG works to promote human rights, endorse the principles of just and accountable governance, advance tolerance and stimulate national debate through encouraging citizen participation in the processes and decisions that affect public and individual citizen lives.