The event in the city of Kutaisi November 10, 2018
The first event took place on November 10, 2018 in the city of Kutaisi. This region together with the Samegrelo region is the main region of Western Georgia. Kutaisi itself is a politically active city. The second building of the Georgian Parliament is located here. Kutaisi is the old capital of Western Georgia; this region was chosen because it has similar problems as in the rest of Georgia. The region of Imeretia and the city of Kutaisi is one of the most important to industry and has the largest population after Tbilisi.
The conference on November 10 was attended by 15 participants representing different groups of the population. They became very actively involved in the discussion of all of the problems addressed. The participants asked the organizers a lot of questions, they were especially interested in the work of the ISHR. They were very interested in the opportunity to write articles about their problems in the international press. In the region, there is a local television station, independent media, many NGOs, as well as youth associations and clubs. The infrastructure is average, but participants expressed a desire for improvement. Local NGOs often turn to local authorities for suggestions to improve this situation. The region is fully equipped with Internet access and mobile communication. We’ve met some bloggers, but this area of communication is still underdeveloped there. They expressed the desire to work with us and publish articles on our platform. We told them that it would be very good not only to express their opinion, but also the opinion of the local people as much as possible. The rights of religious minorities and all basic human rights are protected in the region. However, there are problems with employment and education.
There is freedom of expression in the region. NGOs and individuals can discuss with local authorities and actively participate in problem solving. If we compare the situation in the region with the situation across the country, the common problems are not very different. When the Georgian Parliament is held in Kutaisi, local NGOs can freely discuss issues with the members of the Georgian Parliament.
The feedback we received after our conference was very positive.
This was the first event of its kind in the region so far, so this project should be continued and expanded. Bloggers and individuals share their opinions on Facebook and other social networks. In our opinion, our project is very important, as bloggers from different countries can join together on our website and write about the problems of their regions. In addition, this is an opportunity to meet other active bloggers to communicate with. As previously reported, this event was very successful as it met with great interest. For the participants, this meeting was a novelty and cooperation with our professionals was very productive.
To express the opinion of the seminar participants: Such meetings should take place more frequently. On behalf of the workshop participants, we would like to thank the German section of the IGFM and the German Foreign Ministry for their support in implementing the project. We did not even expect this event to be so well received by the population. We believe that this unique project should continue.
President of the Georgian National Section of the ISHR: Avtandil Davitaia
Speakers at the regional event: Giorgi Patsatsia and Giorgi Mikava