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CNM Mini-grant Projects
Stage I – Mini-grant Projects of CNM Member Organizations Supported in 2009

The following mini-grant projects were implemented by CNM member organizations for the project period March - June 2009.

1) Project Title: "Civil Integration of Small Diasporas into Georgian Society"
Implementing NGO: Ave Sol!
Project period: 18 March - 18 June 2009
Grant amount: EUR 1,000

The project's main objectives were to enhance dialogue and cooperation among the smaller diasporas in Georgia (Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Bulgarians and Czechs) and the Georgian youth; to promote the process of civic integration by informing representatives of the titular nation about the cultural and scientific achievements of Latvian people in Georgian culture; to strengthen interethnic and inter-cultural dialogue; to uncover the problems faced by small minorities; and to create a database of these areas of concern. In the framework of the project, special questionnaires for Georgian students and school-age children were developed. Surveys were undertaken in 11 educational institutions, including Ivane Javakhishvili State University, Ilia Chavchavadze State University, and ESM Business School. Based on the survey results a database has been created. The main problem exhibited by the completed project is the lack of knowledge amongst young people about the small diasporas residing in Georgia. On 22 May 2009, in the final phase of the project, a conference was conducted, during which a resolution was adopted by the participants. The resolution outlined further measures to be taken to improve cooperation between the small diasporas, Georgian NGOs and governmental authorities.

2) Project Title: "The Current State of the Greek Diaspora and Prospects for its Integration into Georgian Civil Society"
Implementing NGO: Union of Greek Diasporas
Project period: 18 March - 18 June 2009
Grant amount: EUR 1,000

The project focused on researching the socio-economic conditions of the Greek community in Georgia, compiling a register for the Greek diaspora and analyzing the results, and defining the human resource potential of the Greek population. Within the project four types of questionnaires were conducted, while research took place in the regions of Adjara, Kakheti, Tsalka and Tbilisi. A presentation at the Ombudsman's office, with the participation of minority representatives and the Public Defender, took place on 18 June 2009. The co-chairman of the Union of Greek Diasporas presented recommendations concerning the Greek community based upon the information collected.

3) Project Title: "Activating Ethnic Minority Women in Developing Interethnic Relations and Strengthening the Civic Integration Process in Georgia"
Implementing NGO: The International "Lea" Fund and The Council of Jewish Women
Project Period: 18 March - 18 June 2009
Grant amount: EUR 1,000

The project had three main objectives: to develop a relationship between representatives of minority women and Georgian NGOs working on gender issues, to produce knowledge about the legal aspects of gender issues, and to find out ways to prevent domestic violence. As part of the project, training sessions, a seminar and roundtable meetings took place. In total, 60 women (representatives of different minorities) were trained and informed about Georgian and other countries' legislation on gender issues. Cases of domestic violence were discussed by training participants in separate groups and recommendations for preventing acts of violence were developed. CNM Gender Issue Working Group members were actively involved in the project implementation process. Accordingly, they assisted in the preparatory stages of the program, selecting participants, and gathering and distributing training materials. As a result of the project beneficiaries gained information about Georgian NGOs; acquired experience as well as understanding of gender issues; were familiarized with the basic principles of human and gender rights; and developed their knowledge of Jewish culture and history.

4) Project Title: "To Know Each Other Better"
Implementing NGO: Georgia Kurds' Union in cooperation with the Association of Russian Speaking Journalists
Project Period: 18 March - 18 June 2009
Grant Amount: EUR 1,000

The Georgia Kurds' Union, in cooperation with the Association of Russian Speaking Journalists, implemented this project for student representatives of minorities. The aim of the project was to familiarize young journalists with domestic legislation and international agreements relating to minority rights. For this purpose 25 students from different Georgian higher education institutions were selected to attend a series of lectures. On 29 April 2009 at the House of Free Opinion, a presentation was held for the release of the book To Know Each Other Better. Representatives of the diplomatic service, NGOs, minority organizations, the Public Defender's Office and governmental agencies took part in the event. The presentation was broadcasted by several Georgian TV and radio channels. After the book presentation, a special concert was held with performances by minority dance and folklore groups. Upon completion of the training program students were provided with certificates. Five of the students said they would like to become involved with the CNM Youth Working Group.

5) Project Title: "The Integration of the Avar Community"
Implementing NGO: Tivi Initiative Group
Project Period: 18 March - 18 April 2009
Grant Amount: EUR 1,000

The project focused on the establishment of a cultural centre for residents of the village of Tivi in the Kakheti region. Tivi is an Avar village. The aim of the project was to support young people in developing social ties and improving their communication skills. To support these objectives, two computers and other office equipment were purchased under the small initiative program and a knitting course was also set up.

Stage II – Mini-grant Projects of CNM Member Organizations Supported in 2009

The following mini-grant projects were implemented by CNM member organizations for the project period October - December 2009.

1) Project Title: "Multiethnic Festival: Let's Change the World for the Better"
Implementing NGO: Union of the Ukrainian Teachers of Georgia "Osvitianu"
Project period: 15 October - 15 December 2009
Grant amount: GEL 4,050

The project's main objectives were to enhance links among different diasporas of Georgia and harmonizing interethnic relations between minorities through promoting tolerance among juveniles. In the framework of the project, a multiethnic festival under the slogan "Let's Change the World for the Better" has been held with the participation of the Association of Assyrians of Georgia, the Assyrians' Youth Organization "Ninevia," the Armenian Centre of Cooperation, the Estonian diaspora, Surami Lesia Ukrainka' Public School No. 3, Tbilisi multinational Public School No. 98, and Georgian-Ukrainian Tbilisi Public School No. 41. During the festival, paintings devoted to the idea of tolerance were presented by pupils together with an essay competition on the topic of "What tolerance means for me?" A concert with the participation of minority children was held, where national songs and dances were performed, as well as the presentation of national dresses and cuisine. At the end of the festival, winners were awarded certificates and books. Following the completion of the project, a brochure describing the activities was published and distributed among participants. The entire festival was filmed with the plan to be shown at the Public Defender's Office for a larger audience in March 2010. As a result of the project minority youth representatives learned about each others' traditions and culture.

2) Project Title: "Support for Diasporas NGOs"
Implementing NGO: International Association of the Youth of Georgia
Project period: 10 October - 15 December 2009
Grant amount: GEL 4,270

The project focused on confidence building among ethnic/national minorities of Georgia through the organization of a mini-football match with the participation of diasporas and the titular nation's representatives. Eight teams took part in the championship, held during 31 October-14 November 2009, with the Assyrian team winning the cup. As part of the project, a seminar on the topic "Assyrians - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" was arranged at Public Defender's Office on 5 November 2009. The main concern of the Assyrian diaspora was the incorrect information the Georgian public received from the mass media about the history and present lives of Assyrians. The representatives of the International Association of the Youth of Georgia took the decision to publish an open letter addressed to the media, NGOs, governmental agencies, and international organizations in order to express their deep concern. Within the framework of the project, a photo exhibition was opened at the art gallery Megzuri on 15 December 2009 dedicated to Assyrians' history and their settlements in Georgia. Finally, a bilingual (Georgian-Russian) brochure, which describes the project activities, was issued and distributed to several governmental agencies, NGOs, diasporas and international organizations.

3) Project Title: "Let's Preserve our Roots"
Implementing NGO: Assyrian Youth Organization "Ninevia"
Project Period: 15 October - 15 December 2009
Grant amount: GEL 4,553

The Assyrian Youth Organization "Ninevia," under the Mini Grants' project, collected famous Assyrian fairytales from several different sources and published a book containing 52 stories. A leaflet on Assyrian cuisine was developed in Georgian and Russian. On 11 December 2009 a presentation of these publications took place with the presentation of national dances and songs by the Assyrian ensemble "Ninevia." The Assyrian tales and leaflet were distributed among several organizations, libraries and public institutions. As a result of the project, recipients gained knowledge about Assyrian traditions and culture.

4) Project Title: "Jubilee of Kosta Khetagurov"
Implementing NGO: Society "Caucasus Mosaic"
Project Period: 4 November - 4 December 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 2,400

The aim of the project was to celebrate the 150th jubilee of famous Ossetian publicist and writer Kosta Khetagurov. The event took place at the village Areshperoni (Lagodekhi region) in the Kosta Khetagurov Public School. The majority of residents in Areshperoni is ethnic Ossetians and after the 2008 August War this initiative was crucial for confidence building among Ossetian and Georgian populations. Schoolchildren from Tbilisi Public Schools No. 160, No. 11 and Areshperoni Public School have read Kosta Khetagurov's poetry about the Georgian and Ossetian languages as well as discussed Kosta Khetagurov and Georgian intelligentsia's relations. Ms. Irina Kurdadze, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, has granted laptop computers to the two most hardworking pupils. The ensemble "Nartebi" (functioning under the Administration of South Ossetia) and a Akhmeta region folklore group had a concert where they performed Georgian and Ossetian folk songs and dances. A horserace was held, with local participants, with the winner being awarded, while traditional Ossetian meals were offered to guests. Representatives of the president's administration, local government, NGOs, minority organizations, the Public Defender's Office and several other governmental agencies took part in the event. The jubilee was broadcasted by several Georgian TV and radio stations. After the completion of the jubilee, brochures describing Kosta Khetagurov's biography and public life were given to guests.

5) Project Title: "Interethnic Cooperation and Enhancement of Integration through Ethnical Tolerance"
Implementing NGO: Association of Ossetians in Georgia "Fidat"
Project Period: 29 October - 29 November 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 1,862

The project's main goal was to promote dialogue among the Georgian society and national minorities concerning the consequences of the August War while trying to find solutions for reestablishing links among Ossetians, those residing in North Ossetia, and Georgia. On 14 November 2009 the conference on "Interethnic Cooperation and Enhancement of Integration through Ethnical Tolerance" was held at the Public Defender's Office. Conference participants were divided into three working groups, which resulted in a joint memorandum addressing confidence building issues among Ossetians and Georgians. This was sent to both the Georgian and North Ossetian government as well as to the South Ossetian de facto government and several international organizations.

6) Project Title: "Ukranians in the Samtskhe Javakheti Region 1853-2009"
Implementing NGO: International Cultural-Charity and Scientific-Enlightenment Society "Dnepr" of the Ukrainian Community in Georgia
Project Period: 20 October - 12 December 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 3,050

Within this project the Ukrainian Community in Georgia arranged a photo exhibit at the Borjomi Regional Museum on 12 December 2009. It was dedicated to the history of the Ukrainian community resettled in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region since the 19th century. Nowadays, Ukrainians residing in Samtskhe-Javakheti are memebrs of the tenth generation of that exiled population. In order to show Ukrainians' input into the development of the Georgian society, dozens of historical documents, photos and archive information were collected. The photo exhibit was divided into four thematic topics: resettlement of Ukrainians from Ukraine to Georgia in 1853, historical monuments built by Ukrainians in the Samtskhe-Javakehti region, ancestors of Georgian-Ukrainians, and famous Ukrainian public figures in Georgia. A documentary film on the Ukrainians' settlement and life in Georgia was presented during the event as well. Representatives of local authorities, the eparchy, NGOs, and diplomatic service were invited while the ambassador of Ukraine in Georgia stressed the importance of this event as a significant milestone in the two countries' relations. The photo exhibit will be displayed at several museums throughout Georgia in order to raise awareness among the Georgian population about the Ukrainian community.

7) Project Title: "Roma NGOs' Support"
Implementing NGO: Civic Integration Foundation
Project Period: 17 November - 20 December 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 2,730

The project's aim was to assist local the Roma community in Dedoplistskaro (Kakheti region) and Kobuleti (Adjara region) by purchasing office equipment for the two newly founded NGOs (one personal computer and printer for each organization together with other office equipment). One day training courses were also held in each town respectively about proposal writing as well as overall project management and the running of a NGO. As a result of the project, the level of civic education and active civic participation has been raised among the Roma minority representatives in these regions. The members of the Civic Integration Foundation shared their experience with other NGO activities with the newly founded Roma NGOs representatives and promised to assist them in the promotion of their initiatives as well as the protection of their rights and fundamental freedoms.

Stage III – Mini-grant Projects of CNM Member Organizations Supported in 2010

The following mini-grant projects were implemented by CNM member organizations for the project period Janauary - March 2010.

1) Project Title: "Presenting Performance 'Italian Yard'"
Implementing NGO: Association of Ukrainians in Georgia "Rushnik"
Project period: 5 February - 31 March 2010
Grant amount: GEL 2,400

The Association of Ukrainians in Georgia "Rushnik" in cooperation with the N. Dumbadze Children's Theatre presented the performance "Italian Yard" at the Tbilisi House of Actors. The motto of the performance was "Georgia – Our Common House." The ethnic minority folklore groups (Azeri, Armenian, Assyrian, Greek, Kurdish, Jewish, Ossetian and Ukrainian) were invited by organizers to take part in the performance. The goal of the project was to involve youth minority representatives in order to present the diverse cultures of Georgia and promote the idea of tolerance. To achieve this idea, the acts included a Georgian-Ukrainian (mixed marriage) wedding together with minority representatives demonstrating their folklore of traditional songs and dances. After the completion of the performance, a minority photo exhibition was opened. Several diaspora groups, NGOs, international organizations, dimplomatic and governmental representatives attended the event. The main outcome of the project was that participants learned about each others' traditions and cultures. Interethnic integration was promoted through the presentation of songs in both native tongues as well as Georgian. The name of the performance "Italian Yard" was selected because it is a symbol of peaceful and friendly cohabitation of the different ethnic groups of Tbilisi.

2) Project Title: "The Power of Tolerance or Art for Living in Consent"
Implementing NGO: Union of Russian Youth in Georgia in cooperation with Association of Russian Women's of Georgia "Iaroslavna"
Project period: 5 February - 31 March 2010
Grant amount: GEL 1,923

The aim of the project was to overcome barriers hampering the integration of ethnic minorities by engaging the youth. This goal was achieved by conducting rounds of an intellectual game called the "Brain-Ring" that involved several ethnic minority youth representatives, including the titular nation. The game "Brain-Ring" allowed the participants to acquire and deepen their knowledge about one anothers' traditions, cultures, history and literature. Questionnaires, which were used during the games, were developed according to this idea of knowledge advancement. The project was implemented in three stages: (1) Conducting an awareness campaign among the diasporas and forming teams from the minority communities. Accordingly, eight teams were created with the participation of Azeris, Armenians, Russians, Germans, Assyrian, Poles, Ukrainians and Georgians; (2) Selecting teams that officially applied to the Union of Russian Youth in Georgia for participation in the intellectual game; (3) Commencement of the championship. The titular nation's representatives were the winners of the game, the second place was the Russian diaspora team, the third was the Armenians, and the fourth was the Germans. Each team member was awarded a diploma. The best "captain," the best "player," and the "author of the most original answer" were awarded as well. Resulting from the project, several ethnic minority youth representatives expressed desire to participate in intellectual games in the future. Those young persons who took part in the "Brain-Ring" gained skills in team-working, while the intercultural exchange supported by the game helped to overcome the sense of self-isolation among several ethnic minority representative youth.

3) Project Title: "Informational Support to the Civil Integration of Kurdish-Yezidi Community of Georgia"
Implementing NGO: Association "Independent League of Georgian Kurdish-Yezidi Women"
Project period: 5 February - 31 March 2010
Grant amount: GEL 2,405

Within this project, the "Independent League of Georgian Kurdish-Yezidi Women" proposed the idea to create and launch a Yezidi-Kurdish community website. One of the main aims of the project was to enhance the level of illiteracy of the Yezidi-Kurdish community members. This was to be accomplished through the creation of a space for information exchange and dialogue about community issues, as well as the problems and perspectives of Georgian civil society in general. As result of the project, a website has been created and launched in four languages: Kurmanji, Russian, English and Georgian. The website presents information about Yezidi-Kurdish culture and history, while promoting the idea of cross-cultural exchange and interethnic cooperation. Accordingly, the website contains the following sections: History, Religion and Traditions, News, Civil Participation, Information about Georgia, Diversity, and a Youth Section.

After launching the website on 27 April 2010, the "Independent League of Georgian Kurdish-Yezidi Women" organized a presentation of the newly established webpage: www.sarhad.ge. The presentation was hosted by the Public Defender of Georgia and supported by ECMI Caucasus. The event brought together representatives of the Yezidi community, members of the civil society organizations and mass media, including community activists from the Ossetian, Armenian and German minorities. H.E. Tayeb Mohammad Tayeb, Charge D'Affairs of Republic of Iraq in Georgia, was invited as an honorable guest. Web-resource developers highlighted that this site will promote a clear understanding of the civil integration process, while empowering the Kurdish and other diaspora leaders to take part in this process.

4) Project Title: "The Youth for Protection of Human Rights"
Implementing NGO: Centre for Democracy and Civic Integration
Project period: 5 February - 31 March 2010
Grant amount: GEL 1,635

The project aimed at enhancing the CNM Youth Working Group by discovering new young leaders. Taking this into consideration, the Centre of Civic Integration and Democracy announced an essay competition for students from different schools of higher learning. The field of human rights –– such as minority, disabled persons', prisoners' rights as well as political and electoral rights –– was considered the main topic for the essays.The main goal of the project was to determine the attitude of the youth towards the ongoing situation in Georgia concerning the human rights field, while gathering recommendations on how to improve and solve the specific issues. An information awareness campaign about the essay competition was conducted in several institutes, such as Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University, D. Guramishvili Georgian-Ukrainian University and the Georgian Institute of Public Affaires (GIPA).

Overall 20 essays were submitted. A selection commission (consisting of the representatives from the Public Defender's Office, UNDP and CNM Youth Working Group) chose the four best compositions that covered penitentiary and labor discrimination issues. The selected pieces were published in the magazine "Solidaroba," though essays have already been uploaded on the website (www.told.ge) for the Centre of Civic Integration and Democracy. On 23 April, a conference was organized at the Public Defender's Office with all 20 students who submitted essays attending. The students presented brief overviews of their articles and proposed recommendations concerning the human rights field. The conference was aired by several radio and TV stations.

5) Project Title: "Roma NGO's Support"
Implementing NGO: "Civic Integration Foundation"
Project Period: 5 February - 31 March 2010
Grant Amount: GEL 1,845

"Civic Integration Foundation" is actively working on the capacity building of the Roma NGOs in Georgia. Under the project, the Kobuleti based Roma NGO has been supported and provided with musical instruments; as a result, the local Roma Kids' Folklore Ensemble has been formed. At the second stage of the project's implementation, representatives of the "Civic Integration Foundation" held a meeting with the Kobuleti Public School No. 5 director, where education related issues for the Roma children were discussed. The director expressed the readiness to enroll the Roma children in the school, while providing integration classes in basic Georgian and math to prepare the children to start the school year in September. Also within the project, 400 litres of diesel petrol for the school bus has been granted to Dedoflistskaro Public School No. 2, which will ensure the transportation of Roma children from the nearby village of Leninovka to the school. "Civic Integration Foundation" will continue to assist the Roma NGOs throughout Georgia in the future.