The second part of the KnowEU project envisaged to conduct a series of workshops in each target region with the participation of the local young activists that participated in the summer school in August 2020. In each target region 3 workshops were conducted that were attended by the young community members of each ethnic minority group.
Workshops in Pankisi Gorge, October 15-17, 2020
The workshop series started in fall 2020 when the project team together with the activists from Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions travelled to the Pankisi Gorge that is densly populated by the Kist ethnic minority. 3-day long workshops were dedicated to the discussion of local problems in the context of Georgia’s EU integration. One of the major problems identified at the workshops were related to the accessibility of formal and informal education, lack of information and myths related to the EU that threaten local identity and beliefs.
Workshops in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli Region, June 26-28, 2021
Due to pandemic and several waves of lockdowns in fall-winter 2020 and spring 2021, KnowEU project was not able to continue its activities till summer 2021. However, we continued the series of workshops by the end of June. In order to reach out to local population and youth, it was decided to cooperate with the local community centers in three villages of Marneuli. Namely, Kasumlo, Sadakhlo and Kvemo Sarali community centers were selected that hosted KnowEU workshops. Similar to Pankisi, local youth from Azerbaijani ethnic minority discussed the problems that they encounter in the process of civic activisms and talked about the challenges they face while trying to combat the spread of disinformation related to the EU.
Workshops in Akhaltsikhe, Samtskhe-Javakheti Region, July 3-5, 2021
Marneuli workshops were immediately followed by the workshops in Akhaltsikhe with the Armenian ethnic minority. Again, the workshops were organized with the involvement of the KnowEU summer school participants from all three regions who shared their knowledge with local youth and listened to the problems they encounter. By the end of the workshops, the attendees admitted that before the KnowEU project, they were certain that certain problems and issues were characteristic of their region and ethnic minority groups only, but this particular project made the see that these issues are common and almost the same (except for Georgian language skills) for all three groups, as well as for ethnic Georgians. Thus, this finding draw them closer and let them feel as a part of one community.
The additional information about different issues discussed during the workshops can be found in the policy document that was developed as a result of these discussions and the project newsletters.