As a part of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network programme activities, there are Public Information campaigns on Eastern Partnership currently implemented in Georgian minority populated regions by ACICC, as well as ECMI is implementing Local Advocacy Campaigns which are lead by minority organizations in regions of Georgia.
“UDI” has been sub-granted to advocate importance of launching Udi language teaching in Zinobiani (the only village which is settled by ethnic Udis in Georgia) local public school. As a result, central government (Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia) has been actively involved in the advocacy campaign and informed about the issue. At this stage Ministry of Education and Science is in the process of elaboration of teaching program (standards) of Udi language and Udi will be providing expertise during the process. On July 3, 2015 there is yet another meeting planned with Department of National Teaching Plan for better coordination. ECMI will also participate in the process. It is anticipated that teaching of the Udi language will start from new academic year.
Another organization, “Madli” has conducted several advocacy visits in the community of the ethnic Azerbaijani communities in Lagodekhi municipality. On June 26, 2015 ECMI Caucasus participated in monitoring process of the implementation of the Local Advocacy Campaign in Lagodekhi for ethnic Azerbaijani community. A Round-Table meeting was organized by a MADLI, which included representatives of local self-government of Lagodekhi municipality, Azerbaijani community leaders, and teachers of public schools and kindergarten, as well as other non-governmental and international organizations. Through this advocacy campaign it is expected that national minorities of Lagodekhi municipality will be involved in local decision making procedures, as well as entire population becomes more active in promoting rights of national minorities.
In June, 2015 “Education and Labor Association” has finalized first component of the LAC in Marneuli. Namely, rolling seminars for ethnic Azerbaijani youth on advocacy of minority rights and the EU-Georgian relations had been conducted. ECMI Caucasus participated in a concluding event of rolling seminars on June 19, 2015. Seminars aimed at raising awareness of ethnic minority youth on possibilities of advocating their rights within the Eastern Partnership and in the framework of the EU – Georgia association agreement and Visa Liberalization Action Plan.
Information exchanged between representatives of the local self-governance, local NGOs and general population is being provided by the fourth sub-grantee “Civic Development Centre”. Four trainings entitled “I am a citizen of Georgia” have been conducted by Civic Development Centre in different village for school students and teachers of History, Geography and Civic Education. The aim of the trainings was to raise awareness of ethnic minority communities on minority rights and promotion of civic integration in Javakheti region in Georgia.
Three Public Information Campaigns are also being currently in the regions of Georgia. The aims of these campaigns are to increase the level of education, engagement and confidence-building of the ethnic minorities living in Georgia, on the following: 1) partnership program; 2) processes of cooperation between Georgia and the EU; 3) importance of minority rights within the Eastern Partnership policy; 4) promotion of public dialogue; 5) increased civil responsibility of ethnic minorities towards decision-making process for institutional development of the country.