2017 | Georgia
Georgia is ethnically the most diverse country in South Caucasus. Most of the ethnic minorities live in compact settlements with little contact to the wider (Georgian) society. There are several points which hinder the process of integration of minorities in the society. Key problems are the lack of knowledge of the Georgian language, problems in the educational system, access to information, lack of participation in decision making processes and open or hidden stereotypes and discrimination.
With the project "Diversity School" the Iris-Group - Managing Diversity initiated an active citizenship educational programme. Its mission is to contribute to a pluralistic, democratic, tolerant and peaceful society in Georgia and the region. Hence, the Diversity School empowers and qualifies young people with different backgrounds from all over Georgia with a focus on rural and less developed areas. The target group is young adults aged between 18 and 25 with an affinity to ethnic minority issues and with the interest in diversity education as well as youth activism.
Main elements of the seminars are democratic acting, diversity with the specific focus on ethnic minorities, civil society, culture and traditions, teamwork and project management. The participants develop own project ideas in small groups and jointly implement these with great commitment in their social environment. They implement art projects for schools and kindergartens or environmental projects in their communities for example. Advanced trainings for facilitators and mentors contribute to a further qualification and sustainability. As some of the trainings involve also participants from other South Caucasus countries there is also a bridge building component between these communities.