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JCF Mini-grant Projects
Mini-grant Projects of JCF Supported in 2009

The following mini-grant projects were implemented by JCF member organizations in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region for the project period October - December 2009.

1) Project Title: “Assistance of the Samtskhe-Javakheti Office of the Public Defender of Georgia”
Implementing NGO: Association Civil Education for Constitutional State
Project Period: 1 October - 31 December 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 6,590

The main goal of this project, undertaken by the Association Civil Education for Constitutional State, was to enhance the capacity of the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) in Javakheti. With JCF's support, PDO conducted public awareness-raising sessions on human rights and freedoms as well as recommendations to improve the situation in the region. A range of meetings was conducted with representatives of the municipalities of Akhastikhe, Ninotsminda, Adigeni, Aspindza, and Borjomi. Meetings with Armenian and Georgian Church representatives and the Parliament of Georgia were also organized. In addition, a meeting with the Head of the Women Centre on gender issues was held in Borjomi. In addition, representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the US Embassy in Georgia, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Public Defender of Georgia and the Department of Refugees of Poland visited the office.

2) Project Title: “Supporting Civil Society of the Samtskhe-Javakheti Region”
Implementing NGO: Javakheti Citizens’ Forum
Project Period: 1 October - 30 November 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 2,740

Javakheti Citizens’ Forum implemented this project with the aim of empowering the local communities to address the existing problems in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. This was undertaken by supporting initiative groups to establish new civil society organizations and facilitating cooperation between local civil society structures. To this effect, seminars and legal consultations were provided for the initiative groups on the issues ranging from NGO registration procedures to the preparation of statutes. JCF together with Economists and Lawyers for Reform, another non-profit organization, held a training at the office of JCF titled Legal Assistance in Terms of Registration of NGOs. Another training titled Project Anatomy was held at the JCF office in cooperation with the regional organization Civil Initiatives for Development of Democracy in Samtskhe-Javakheti. As a result, 10 new civil society organizations were established instead of the 5 initially planned.

3) Project Title: “Informational Support of JCF Activities through the Web-Site: www.akhalkalaki.ge”
Implementing NGO: Communal Union of Akhalkalaki
Project Period: 1 October - 30 November 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 2,300

The project implemented by the Communal Union of Akhalkalaki aimed at raising public and governmental awareness on the activities of JCF, while strengthening links between JCF and state institutions both at the regional and central levels. The project activities were divided into two parts. In the first part, work was carried out to prepare the restructuring of the already operational web-site. Suitably, the restructured web-site created a platform to improve JCF’s volunteer initiatives as well as to provide information on its activities. In the second part, an “Archive of JCF” was created where all the previous activities of the NGO will be presented electronically.

4) Project Title: “Enhancing Civil Awareness among Young Generations”
Implementing NGO: NGO Civic Development Centre
Project Period: 1 October - 30 November 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 2,870

Undertaken by the NGO Civic Development Centre, this project aimed at enhancing awareness among 10-12th grade students of 5 public schools of the Akhalkalaki municipality on human rights issues through role playing exercises. Within the framework of the project several trainings were held under the titles “Make a Step Forward,” “What Alternatives Do We Have?” “Impact of Poverty,” “Who Am I?” and “Children’s Rights.” As a result, the participants of the project gained knowledge of a number of human rights, ranging from the right to life, freedom and security to the right to participation in the democratic process to freedom of speech and mind.

5) Project Title: “Assistance and Legal Help to Non-Entrepreneurial Persons”
Implementing NGO: Economists and Lawyers for Reform
Project Period: 10 November - 31 November 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 1,778

The NGO Economists and Lawyers for Reform undertook this project to provide legal support for the non-commercial organizations, including consultations and support for the creation and registration of non-governmental organizations together with support for existing unions, associations and foundations. To this effect, brochures were compiled and published about the domestic legal processes concerning the creation and registration of non-commercial organizations, the registration of statute amendments, and the creation and registration of branches of non-commercial organizations. In addition, two trainings were held at the JCF office for the members of the newly-established and less-experienced civil society organizations.

6) Project Title: “Training for Teachers of Non-Georgian-Language Schools of Ninotsminda Municipality on Interactive Methods of Teaching”
Implementing NGO: Alexandros
Project Period: 10 November - 31 December 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 2,740

The main goal of the project, implemented by NGO Alexandros, was to enhance the capacities and raise qualifications of local public school teachers. Under this aim, public school teachers of Javakheti were familiarized with the reforms implemented in the field of education in Georgia. During the implementation period, trainings were conducted for the teachers of non-Georgian language schools at the offices of JCF and the House of Language. In addition, the teachers received a set of textbooks on modern teaching methodologies. As a result of the trainings on “Interactive Methods of Teaching for Teachers,” 60 public school teachers improved their qualifications and teaching methods.

7) Project Title: “Free Information – Guarantor of Civil Society”
Implementing NGO: Evrika Plus
Project Period: 10 November - 31 November 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 2,340

The NGO Evrika Plus undertook this project to raise public awareness on relevant issues in the region by conducting informative sessions and roundtable meetings. In particular, three talk-shows were organized for the local TV channel with the participation of local stakeholders. The talk-shows focused on problems in the field of education, the integration of the local minority community into the Georgian society, and the preservation of cultural heritage.

8) Project Title: “We Are the Future of our Country”
Implementing NGO: Women for the Future of Javakheti
Project Period: 12 October - 31 December 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 2,200

The NGO Women for the Future of Javakheti implemented this project with the main objective of enhancing Georgian language skills among students of the non-Georgian language schools in Javakheti by providing short Georgian language courses through interactive teaching methods and activities. In the framework of the project, 15 students of the Armenian Public School No. 1 were selected and provided with a short course on “Communication Skills in Georgian language.” Furthermore, three events in the Georgian language were organized with the participation of project participants.

9) Project Title: “Training-Seminar for the Youth on Writing a Project”
Implementing NGO: Union “MAYSEK”
Project Period: 12 October - 31 November 2009
Grant Amount: GEL 1,078

Union “MAYSEK” implemented this project with the aim of enhancing the role of the non-governmental sector, particularly JCF, and improving cooperation between local authorities and civil society through the youth. Within the framework of the project, a group of 15 people attended trainings and seminars on project proposal development and project management. The participants of the project gained knowledge necessary to implement projects on a regional, national and inter-regional scale. As a result of the trainings, three project proposals were developed and will be submitted to different donor organizations.

Mini-grant Projects of JCF Supported in 2008

The following mini-grant projects were implemented by JCF member organizations in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region for the project period September - December 2008.

1) Project Title: “A Festival of Culture and Tradition of Different Ethnic Groups in Javakheti”
Implementing NGO: Consumers’ Union of Samtskhe-Javakheti
Project Period: 15 October - 30 November 2008
Grant Amount: EUR 1,939

This festival was organized by the Consumers’ Union of Samtskhe-Javakheti to take place in Ninotsminda in November over a two-day period. On the first day, activities were prepared by the Consumers’ Union of Samtskhe-Javakheti with guests being invited from the region. 16 guests from the Bolnisi district in the Kvemo Kartli region were also invited. On 1 November, the Ninotsminda House of Culture hosted more than 100 guests from Bolnisi, Akhaltsikhe, Akhalkalaki and the surrounding rural villagers of the Javakheti region. Representatives of the local government also attended the festival. Armenian, Greek, Georgian and Russian stands were installed to display the cultural heritage and traditions of those four ethnic groups. The second day of the festival was dedicated to a discussion of interethnic relations, tolerance and integration issues. 25 children of different ethnic minorities participated in the discussion, which was facilitated by the leader of a local NGO. A documentary film based on the events was recorded by the local TV channel “Parvana,” which highlighted the festival events. Following, the film was aired on the local TV station covering the Ninotsminda district.

2) Project Title: “Women Leaders and their Roles in a Democratic State”
Implementing NGO: Civil Development Centre
Project period: 15 September - 15 November 2008
Grant amount: EUR 1,770

The Civil Development Centre implemented this project with the main objective of targeting women from the Ahalkalaki district with the overlying aims of discovering potential leaders, promoting their involvement in social, economic and political activity areas, and motivating them in processes of public participation. Furthermore, this project supported democratization of the local society. To start, training materials were developed together with the selection of training participants through meetings with the women in the rural areas. On 9 November 2008, a first training was conducted for 15 participants in the Samsari village in the Akhalkalaki district. A second training was conducted on 19 November in Ninotsminda for another 16 participants. The trainings mainly covered issues of project management as well as democratic society, both its construction and the role of women in democratization. As a result of the project, ten new civil society activists among the trained women were motivated to join JCF and actively participate in promoting issues of women’s social status in the community. It is envisaged to further assist the initiation of projects focused on the promotion of gender equality, particularly in the densely settled minority regions of Georgia.

3) Project Title: “Integration of Javakheti Youth into the Culture-Educational Life of Georgia”
Implementing NGO: Union Akhalkalaki
Project Period: 15 September - 15 November 2008
Grant amount: EUR 2,947

This project, undertaken by Union Akhalkalaki, consisted of two main objectives: (1) Enhancing civil involvement and integration of Javakheti youth, and (2) Improving regional-centre and interethnic relations. Concerning the first objective, three groups made up of ten students, ranging from 15 to 17 years-old, were formed. Each group was to take part in a three-day workshop at the JCF’s resource centre. Owing to significant student interest, though, the number of workshops was increased to five with many more participants joining. The aim of the trainings was to introduce the basic principles of civil education, which had not been taught at schools before. With regards to the second objective, the project directly supported the process of relationship building and experience exchange between the region and the centre. 30 participating students were taken to Tbilisi for a two-day excursion, with many of the students visiting the capital of Georgia for the first time. The youth of Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda were given an opportunity to meet with Georgian students, visit Tbilisi State University, meet with the Public Defender and the Minster of Science and Education, and attend lectures offered by the Public Defender’s Office. All the students expressed their satisfaction with the activities conducted under the project, especially the meeting with students from the Tbilisi schools and state university. Furthermore, two national TV channels – Rustavi2 and the Public Broadcaster – had feature stories about the project initiative, which allowed Armenian children to become familiarized with the cultural-educational life of the young generation in Tbilisi.

4) Project Title: “Integration and Cooperation based on Trust”
Implementing NGO: Javakheti Citizens’ Forum
Project Period: 15 September - 15 November 2008
Grant Amount: EUR 2,950

This project implemented by JCF provided training sessions to prepare directors of public schools in Javakheti for a qualification examination administered by the Ministry of Education and Science. The examination, which is being repeated following unsuccessful results in January 2007 where only 2 school directors out of 150 directors in Javakheti passed the exam, is expected to be held in 2009. The purpose of the JCF training was to prepare the school directors on issues relating to legal matters. 29 school directors and candidates in total participated in the trainings conducted at the JCF resource centre. 13 lectures were provided during the September-October period. As part of the project, a regional conference on “Tolerance and Civil Integration” was held on 6 December 2008 in Akhalkalaki, which brought together more than 60 representatives of the district and regional level authorities as well as JCF members. The initiative served as a good indicator of the sustainability JCF and its projects.

5) Project Title: “Department of Civil Education”
Implementing NGO: Civic Education for Legal State
Project period: 10 September - 30 November 2008
Grant amount: EUR 2,727

The project, undertaken by the NGO Civic Education for Legal State, focused on the introduction of contemporary interactive techniques for teaching, which support the active involvement of pupils in educational processes. As a part of the project, a two-day seminar for 43 school teachers from Ninotsminda and Akhalkalaki was conducted on the teaching of “civic education.” After the training, teachers were granted with special certificates and received a textbook on School Management and Budgeting (volumes 1 and 2). As a result of the training, 2,700 students from Javakheti and Ninotsminda have benefited from the classes provided by the trained teacher during the pilot three-month period. For this reason, the trained teachers have applied these interactive teaching techniques during the school year 2009-10.