29 young participants and team leaders from 8 different countries gathered to exchange their own experiences and to discuss the situation in their countries in Mestia, Georgia. The 7-day-training course was organized by Alliance for Society Advancement (ASA), a Georgian NGO from October 12-18.
Global Citizenship training course in Svaneti
Wednesday, November 6
Chairwoman at ASA, Nona Balavadze said the project aimed at supporting intercultural learning and communication through discussions on topics, as well as informal activities that foster mutual understanding and tolerance between young people from different cultures. The participants analyzed the situation in their own countries, exchanged experiences of cohabitation in multicultural environments. “The local and invited trainers assisted them to combat phobias and stereotypes. Interesting and motivating activities prepared them to become multipliers of positive approaches at their local level. The project built-up a partnership among participant organizations, as they planned to implement joint activities in the field of intercultural relations,” Balavadze said.
Participants were especially interested in traditional Svanetian conflict regulation norms and institution of mediators. Trainer Roberto Solinas from Italy, representing one of the biggest youth organizations in Italy expressed his interest to implement projects in Svaneti. In December this year, ASA will host the Italian NGO Mine Vaganti Youth Group to hold a training course in Georgia.
“I am very happy that I am here. I especially loved the people; I think it is what makes training special and what makes sense and worth participating. When you have strong connections with other participants you learn more and so do we,” Said Vilmante Lokcikaite a participant from Lithuania.
The training course was positive not only for the participants but for the local youth as well. Many of them could not participate in the training course directly because of the language barrier, but they spent their free time together, where they had the possibility to share a lot with the help of the ASA team. It should be mentioned that there is a huge lack of international youth events in Mestia, that is why local youth are not aware of non-formal education and our training provoked their great curiosity.
Nona Balavadze thinks that such projects are great opportunities for rural young people to share international experience in various directions and became more tolerant and open to new ideas.
“It was successful for our organization as well because we met representatives of local business organizations and they are ready to support events implemented by the organization in Svaneti,” she said.
International youth training course titled “Global Citizen in a Complex World” was financially supported by the Youth in Action Program by European Union