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Roma Program
Support and Development of Roma Communities in Georgia

The project “Support and Development of Roma Communities in Georgia” financed by OSGF is ending in February. During ten months we achieved great results: 6 Roma men obtained driver’s license, in January we opened a preparatory group in Kobuleti, where 20 Roma children from ages 4 to 6 are enrolled. Also in three regions, approximately 20 Roma women studied sewing, 20-30 Roma children studied general Georgian language, math and computer. This is a clear example for all Roma living in Georgia, that after the project the participants have more motivation to integrate in Georgian society.

Support and Development of Roma Communities in Georgia 2012-2013

Roma are the most marginalized and socially outcasted ethnic community both in Europe and in Georgia. ECMI Caucasus is implementing OSGF funded project since May 2012 for Roma communities in three Georgian regions: Dedoplistskaro, Kobuleti and Tbilisi in Georgian language, tayloring lessons, mathematics and computer courses and classes in auto school.

Art Gene Folklore Festival

On July 23, European Centre for Minority Issues, with its partners, organized multicultural festival in the framework of Art Gene Folklore Festival, which was held in Giorgi Chitaia Open Air Museum of Ethnography. The representatives of ethnic minorities in Georgia, such as different music groups, dancers and singers participated in the festival and among them were: Roma music band and Evangelical Roma Ensemble from Kobuleti, also Roma dancers from Kakheti and from Kvemo Kartli. The festival was mainly financed from the European Centre for Minority Issues Denmark project 2010-2012, and the Roma part of the project was financed by Open Society Georgia. The money was spent for the transportation, hotel and buffet. The festival was successful, there was a big audience waiting for Roma to come out on stage.

Roma Band was established in Kobuleti with the help of European Centre for Minority Issues and Open Society Georgia. The project awarded the band with musical instruments: two electric guitars and drum set.

Camp in Bakuriani - “Source of Tolerance-Caucasus-2012”

International youth and children’s camp “Roots of Tolerance” was held in Bakuriani, from October 31 to November 10.This is a first camp organized in Georgia. The project was organized by the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress in cooperation with Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs in Georgia and Analytical Centre of interethnic cooperation and consultation.

Few days earlier, pre-camp seminar was held at the hotel “Eurika”, which was attended by the director, trainer, the creative team and the tutors of the camp. The camp was attended by 110 children, aged from 12 to 17, representing various ethnic communities of Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus and Georgia. The program lasted for 11 days: days of opening and tolerance, Jewish, Kurdish, Ukrainian, Armenian, Georgian, Roma, Ossetian, Azeri national days and closing ceremony. Also, there were various clubs in the camp, in which children from different groups could enroll themselves if desired.

On the first day, the whole team of tutors met with children, identified them by order and got acquainted with them. The opening of the camp program, organized by counselors, was held in the evening. On the day of tolerance the game “Planet of Civilizations” was held, which was sort of a tolerance entering activity. The children were given opportunity to get in touch and get to know each other closer. Above mentioned eight National Days were organized and conducted during the following days. During each of these days, camp participants from morning to night dipped in language history, culture, traditions, dances, songs and cuisine of different ethnic group. During these days the children lived a life of one nationality.

Whole camp participated in the closing ceremony. Everyone helped each other in organizing the final celebratory evening event. Preparation included all of the work that has been done throughout the camp. Children of different nationalities and religions got so close and loved each other so much that, when it was time for goodbyes, they hugged each other tight and could not hide the tears of joy.