Small Projects Point to Cooperation Between School Administration and Youth Activist Clubs


In continued efforts to cooperate with youth, UNAG conducted visits to schools implementing Youth Activist Clubs across the regions of Georgia. This undertaking was implemented under the auspices of the Building for the Future project, which works with these Youth Activist Clubs to empower youth and encourage them to engage in building democracy in their local areas and nationwide.</p> <p>The youth clubs, which were introduced last year, faced a number of obstacles during the initial stages of their existence, as school administrative and other decision making bodies, as well as the Georgian society, remained skeptical about the groups’ activities. However, over the last 12 months, that picture has drastically changed. School administrations now recognize the necessity of such clubs and the benefits they bring to schools. Moreover, these administrators are more willing to work together with the school-based clubs who, in turn, enthusiastically care for the improvement of the existing educational environment.</p> <p>The success of the project is a result of increased student enrollment in schools where the clubs are based. An example of this can be found in Borjomi, wherein a dozen more children were transferred to one Borjomi School from one that did not have a school club, as the parents of these children felt that their children should engage in community improvement activities.</p> <p> Under the project, nearly 20 small projects have been designed by the youth clubs to take advantage of the $750 worth of grants that were pegged for these projects. Clubs across Georgia have implemented original and worthwhile projects designed to benefit their local communities - ranging from the creation of dance clubs at schools to projects which aim at intellectual empowerment of youth through equipping school libraries with computers and modern literature. Many of the projects were designed to develop the journalistic skills of interested students by publishing local school newspapers.</p> <p>All of the projects aimed at improving the environment at local schools and communities and resulted in closer cooperation between the school administration and the clubs, as well as between the clubs and local self-government bodies. One of the small project, presented by the Kobuleti youth activist club, even envisions the transformation of a swamp into a school yard. Following the completion of this activity, the local self government bodies plan to construct a sports ground at this very site!