Monday, September 25, 2006

Focusing on peace and creativity

The Foundation for Development of Human Resources, FDHR and War Child Netherlands, WCN are hosting a regional seminar and conference in Tbilisi. The seminar gathers volunteers, paraprofessionals and professionals from the whole Caucasus region working with adolecence and children in regional Youth Centres. Creative Art Methodology combined with a peace building component is the core activity for the FDHR. Nino Shushania, the FDHR-organizer of the seminar sums up the events leading up to this conference.

Youth Movement for Peace and Creativity
This project is implemented by the Foundation for Development of Human Resources with the support of War Child Netherlands. It is already the seventh year of this joint collaboration. Previously, this project was intended to provide psycho-social support to street children, living in special shelters. The process of psycho-social rehabilitation was rendered through creative art workshops. There were four trained animators working on the field and they were supervised by professional psychologists. After the first year of the project target group of the organization was broaden, namely, there were IDP children involved as well. Animators were conducting the workshops at two of street children shelters – “Child and Environment” and “House of the Future”. At the same time field works were carried out in the IDP collective centre at Tbilisi Sea. Creative art workshops were conducted on these mentioned locations. At the same time War Child Netherlands was providing on-going training of animators, there was wide range of art approaches offered.

In 2001, the group of animators was extended with three psychologists
They were performing function of assistant and participated in trainings still provided by War Child Netherlands. Animators were enriching creative art methodology independently as well – there were internal trainings conducted based on worked out books, web-sites and so on. The scope of IDP collective centers’ locations was enriching as well. These are the locations were FDHR has been providing work during these years: IDP collective centre on Pekin street, hotel “Khibli”, second collective centre of Tbilisi Sea, hotel “Bakhtrioni”, State University dormitory, Electro Depoe factory, collective centre at Didube hospital, collective centre on Cairo street and many more. In 2002 and 2004 with initiative of FDHR and financial support of War Child Netherlands, there was organized interethnic seminars intended for experience sharing – first in Sochi and second in Adler. Representatives of Georgian, Abkhazian, South-Ossetian, and Chechen ethnicities participated in joint activities led by Dutch facilitators. After those events another dimension revealed in the project – it was Peace Building. In the year of 2005, the target group of the project was enriched again and the overall objective has changed too. Stemming out of conducted seminars, peace building component was spread on whole content. Target groups and locations became broaden: FDHR branch in the face of two trained animators, started to work in Kvemo Kartli region – Gori, were IDPs from South-Ossetia are living. They also started to visit conflict zone – Liakhvi Canyon and worked there with children from nearby villages.

The Joint Caucasus Animators Network; extending Creative art Methodology to even more regions in Caucasus
The peace building component was enriched more by involvement of ethnic minorities in the process. FDHR had begun working with representatives of ethnic minority population in different districts of Tbilisi town. Last year this work started to be implemented regionally: FDHR established collaboration with World Vision International; this organization has “Youth Centers” in different regions of Georgia and FDHR trainers were invited to conduct ToT with the staff of the Youth Centers. Thus creative art methodology developed within the organization during these years, has been extended at different regions of Georgia too – Ajara, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli. Another dimension of the project is providing methodological support to professionals – teachers, NGO representatives who works with children and para-professionals – students, those interested persons who work and who plans to work with children and adolescence. In the frame of this project FDHR was working in whole Caucasus as well. Trainings were provided for representatives of Armenian and Azeri NGOs. In 2004 training was conducted in Yerevan and in 2005 in Baku. Those participants and other interested persons who are dealing with children and adolescence issues were are invited on the Caucasus Working Seminar, which is now held in Tbilisi. There are plans for future collaboration with the participants of the seminar in the form of joint Caucasus Animators’ Network, which will be the basis of future experience sharing among Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.


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