Avarian and Georgian Integration Workshops

Comments: 3


Problem statement:

Civic integration of religious and ethnic minorities has always been important in Georgia. In the last 25 years numerous projects for this purpose with have been carried out by nongovernmental organizations. The impact of their work is evident: many representatives of ethnic and religious groups have integrated and young people are more active in public life and in universities. Levels of Georgian abilities has increased, and the attitudes of majority relations towards some minorities have improved.

However, some smaller minority groups have been overlooked, such the Avarians, a Muslim population (approximately 3000) originally from the North Caucasus. In Georgia they reside in three villages of Kakheti: Tivi, Saruso and Chantliskure. The general public became interested with these people after a report of female genital mutilation in this community. This interest resulted in rather negative attitudes of majority population towards this group, which further isolated them.

The main goal of the proposed idea is to support integration of young members of Avarians from the village Tivi with peers from the neighboring Georgian village – Gavazi.

Proposed Solution:

Volunteers plan on launching a series of diversity workshops for the teenagers of Tivi and Gavazi. They met with the mullah of the Avarian community and representatives of the school of Tivi village for permission and were granted access to the school facilities.

Five workshops will be organized for the joint group, covering the following topics:

1) Intercultural Dialogue – participants will get to know each other, will learn basics of self-presentation, team work in culturally diverse groups;
2) Stereotypes – group members will learn about the origins of stereotype, how negative stereotypes create hostile attitudes, and how to overcome stereotypes.
3) Fear of “unknown” – students will get acquainted with the idea of “unknown” and analyze how it becomes a source of fear and, as a result, leads to the hatred;.
4) Secularization – the relationship of religion and state will show why religious institutions do not participate in social and political life of the country so that all religious denominations are equal;.
5) Citizenship and individual responsibility – this seminar will show the participants what responsible citizenship implies and how citizens can change the development of their communities.

After the workshops, an excursion for Georgian participants to Tivi will be organized.


Even though five workshops will not change attitudes can fundamentally, it will tackle some of most important topics, understanding of which will greatly help youth in becoming more active, respectful citizens and disseminate ideas of tolerance in their families and communities. Authors of this initiative will continue regular contact with group members and will inform them about possibilities of engaging in civil society activities and educational events.

Equal gender opportunity:

The topic connected to violation of basic rights of women in Avarian community became widely known all over the country. However, direct discussion of this issue will distance and anger the participants, as they already feel that the topic was greatly exaggerated. Thus, the approach of the initiative is an indirect empowerment of girls, through their active involvement in all the workshops.

Items Needed

Item Description Vendor Info Total Purchased?
Stationary supplies

Stationary supplies for trainings

Office 1

Vazha -Phavalela ave #70b

032 2 320 200
250,00 ₾
Transportation costs

Cost of petrolium for Transportation of trainers from and to Tbilisi, transportation of residents of Tivi to and from Gavazi

Wissol Petroleum

Chavchavadze ave 74,

+995 32 2 915 315
400,00 ₾
Transportation costs

Cost of transportation of Gavazi residents to Tivi for excursion

Wissol Petroleum

Chavchavadze ave #74

+995 32 2 34 53 66
20,00 ₾

Refreshments during training

Smart Retail

Mosashvili str, 11.

0322 55 75 57
480,00 ₾

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elene@outlook.com Third meeting in the scope of the initiative was held on April 22. The topic of the training was the relationship of the state and religion. Two trainers/lecturers facilitated the training: Rusudan Aptsiauri - Political scientist, representative of CIPDD and Iva Lomidze, sociologist, lecturer at Ilia State University. The facilitators explained the concept of the state and idea of secularization to the members of the group. Sadly, due to the power outrage, coffee and tea was not served during the break :) After the third meeting a facebook group was created for members of the initiative for sharing information, discussions, etc.
elene@outlook.com On April 2nd, second meeting was held in the scope of the initiative. The main goal of the second training was presenting the idea of "Individual" and "Society" to participants of the group. The trainers - Natia Chankvetadze and Salome Khvadagiani - introduced the concepts of societal roles and responsibilities vs individual rights through various role plays and group works Integration level among participants from both villages was visibly higher that the previous meeting. The attendance of the training also grew and new members several new members joined the group from both villages.
elene@outlook.com On March 19th, first training for youth from Georgian and Avarian communities was held in Public school of Gavazi, Kvareli municipality. First training was dedicated to the topic of "Intercultural dialogue", carried out by representatives of Cooperation for Peace and Progress, Salome Khvadagiani and Natia Chankvetadze. The main aim of the first meeting was to introduce participants to each other, overcome awkwardness in interaction and acquire some basic skills for team work and presentation. It should be noted, that at the beginning of the training, representatives of Tivi community (three boys and tree girls) were noticeably shy and tried to stay in their group and avoid and participation. However, at the end of the day, they became visibly less uncomfortable or uneasy. Still, it is obvious, that representatives of Georgian community behave more like hosts of the event. Pictured on the photo: Two Avarians and two Georgian working on an assignment.