ECMI Caucasus’ Programmes and Initiatives
Since its establishment in 2003, ECMI Caucasus has implemented a multitude of programmes that aim at enhancing the inclusion of national minorities into the wider Georgian society, while empowering minority communities to voice issues of their concern. Believing that achievement of these goals can be largely advanced through vibrant and developed civil society, ECMI Caucasus has facilitated establishment of minority civil society organizations and has united them under regional umbrella associations. Target groups and areas for the above-mentioned initiatives have initially been limited to the Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions of Georgia where the two largest minority communities are densely settled. For this reason, ECMI Caucasus has facilitated the establishment of regional civil society associations in these regions under the Javakheti Citizens’ Forum (JCF) and Tsalka Citizens’ Forum (TCF). Since 2010, though, ECMI Caucasus has expanded the geographical coverage of its initiatives to cover other minority regions of Georgia, namely Kakheti, Shida Kartli, Imereti and the Autonomous Republic of Adjara.
Suitably, ECMI Caucasus has carried out several initiatives that were directed towards enhancing the organizational capacity of the aforementioned organizations as well as other regional associations. To this end, trainings, seminars and other capacity-building initiatives have been held together with an annual mini-grant portfolio. These supported mini-grant projects serve a dual purpose, on the one hand they allow civil society organizations to develop institutionally by putting into practice project management and related skills gained during trainings, and on the other hand they support small-scale grassroots initiatives. As a results of these capacity-building efforts these civil society organizations have developed and achieved a certain degree of self-sustainability. In addition, ECMI Caucasus has promoted constructive dialogue between the minority civil society representatives and relevant state institutions. In turn, this has created an interactive space for articulating concerns of minority communities while bringing forward problematic issues impeding minority governance in Georgia to the attention of decision-makers.
Following is a list of civil society organizations that ECMI Caucasus continues to assist in advancing concerns of Georgia’s minority communities:
Council of National Minorities
Javakheti Citizens’ Forum
Tsalka Citizens’ Forum
Batumi House of Friendship