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Ethnic diversity in Georgia championed by CIPDD

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, June 29
Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) presented a new project aimed at integrating the youth of Kvemo-Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti through educational and cultural cooperation. With the support of the EED-Evengelisscher Entwicklungsdienst (association of the Protestant Churches in Germany) in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MES), CIPDD aims at integrating ethnical minorities into Georgian society by a means of intensifying cross-cultural cooperation among the Armenian and Azerbaijani origin school-children.

“It’s high time that we realized the wealth of ethnic diversities and don’t consider it as a problem,” Gia Nodia Chairman of CIPDD told the audience on June 27. Worrying that Georgian society finds it difficult to acknowledge such a concept, Nodia stressed the necessity for launching long-term coordination around the issue. Expressing his gratitude towards the EED, the CIPDD Chairman emphasized the successful implementation of the initial project with the MES. “There have been reforms at the MES concerning the tolerance-related issues that’s why their support is so important for the successful development of our activities,” Nodia stated.

Stressing the importance of the integration process for the entire country Deputy Minister of MES Irina Kurdadze expressed great support from the Ministry in this cross-cultural coordination. “Our Ministry has launched lots of similar projects aimed at integrating our citizens in one unique society. A new large-scale strategy elaborated for the ethnical minorities this year would mobilize great resources for teaching the state language to the dwellers of Kvemo-Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti; this step would be the main basis for their final integration into Georgian society,” Kurdadze said, thanking CIPDD for chairing the process of national importance.

As Sopho Zviadadze the coordinator of the project told The Messenger the new project aimed at integrating the youth of Kvemo-Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti would become the second stage of the educational and cultural cooperation, strengthening educational reform in Georgia. “This project aims at improving the environment for the ethnical minorities who study Georgian as the second language. Our main task is to encourage 10 schools in Bolnisi and Ninotsminda to improve their Georgian skills,” Zviadadze told us.

The 30-month project of CIPDD would consider the interests of the youth and organize inter-cultural intimacy centre with a great range of activities. Round table discussions, intellectual games, meetings with interesting people as well as smart competitions and summer schools with tours around the country would all deepen the knowledge of Georgian language among the Armenian and Azerbaijani origin pupils who would also study shooting films at the CIPDD media club and get professional skills.