UNA Georgia organized study tour for the representatives of Civic Education Centers


On November 9-14, the study tour was organized for 22 representatives of Civic Education Centers of Akhalkalaki and Gardabani in frames of National Integration and Tolerance in Georgia program (NITG). The Civic Education Centers were established by non-government organizations such as the Union of Democrat Meskhs and the Civic Integration Foundation.</p> <p>The overall objectives of the study tour were to increase local civil society capacity and participation in civic integration process. In frames of the study tour, the representatives of Civic Education Centers had meetings withtherepresentatives of state agencies, higher education institutions, local and international non-governmental organizations. The cycle of theactivities aimed at raising awareness of the participants about completed and undertaken projects and activities in the field of national minorities integration.</p> <p>The participants of thestudy tour were hosted by the Office of the State Ministry for Reintegration and Deputy State Minister for Reintegration Elene Tevdoradze informed the representatives about working experience of Ministry in implementing the National Concept and Action Plan For Tolerance and Civic Integration. At the meeting in Ombudsman’s office, the Deputy Ombudsman Tata Khuntsaria and the head of Tolerance Center Beka Mindiashvili introduced the participants the work of Ethnic Minorities and the Religions Councils.</p> <p>The study tour program also comprised meetings with the representatives of Public Broadcasting, Open Society Georgia Foundation and MATRA Program (Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). Within the frameworks of the meeting, the study tour participants made discussions on the new programs on ethnic minority languages and were provided with information about planned activities within MATRA Program, also funding opportunities of projectinitiatives were offered by the OSGF Human Rights and Rule of Law Program. For sharing experience, exchanging information on youth engagement in civic integration process and reviewing educational programs of the universities, the study tour participants met the representatives of UN Youth Club and the staff of Ilia Chavchavadze State University.</p> <p>The study tour participants were welcomed by the representatives of the Parliament of Georgia and discussed issues concerning procedures of simplifying national entrance examinations for Azerbaijani and Armenian language speaking citizens and establishing a year language learning program for the national minorities at the Georgian State Universities. At the end of the meeting the participants were introduced to the history of the Parliament of Georgia, Constitution and the Act of Independence.</p> <p>The representatives of Civic Education Centers met the regional representative for the Caucasus of the European Center for Minority Issues Tom Trier and received information about small grant programs and Javakheti Citizens’ Forum. In addition, the participants discussed national education programs, funding opportunities and prospects of future cooperation with the representatives of US embassy in Georgia, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Institute For Peace, Democracy and Development.</p> <p>The group of students attended interethnic festival in Rustavi included art exhibitions, drama festival and other cultural activities. At the end of the study tour sightseeing tour was organized in the old part of Tbilisi and historic city of Mtskheta in order to familiarize the participants with the cultural heritage of Georgia.</p> <p>The study tour was organized in frames of NITG program, run by the UNA Georgia with support of USAID.