On May 21, 2022, within the framework of the EU-supported “Civil Society STAR Initiative” project, Education Development and Employment Center (EDEC) and Shida Kartli Regional HUB – Society “Biliki” organised the Regional Forum for Youth and Voluntary Development. The event was held at Gori State Teaching University. The forum was attended by the young people (high school pupils, students), volunteers, teachers, representatives of local civil society organisations (CSOs) and community-based organisations, self-government, media, and various groups of the community.
The goal of the forum was to involve the youth of Shida Kartli region in decision-making process of the local community, to promote a culture of volunteering, to support the communication between the host volunteering organisations and volunteers. Moreover, it aimed to promote the role and activities of Youth Councils, to raise the awareness on regional community organisations, to inform the population about the implemented projects, and to increase the trust towards CSOs.
During the forum, the young people with the facilitators worked in small groups to draft the project ideas. Each group made the presentation of their projects to the audience to get the support and interest. Also, an exhibition was organised, where CSOs and CBOs operating in Shida Kartli region presented their activities and offered the youth the opportunity to get involved in volunteering activities.
At the exhibition, Shida Kartli Municipal Youth Council introduced its work to the audience, aimed at promoting the role and activities of the Youth Councils. Stephan Malerius, Head of Regional Programme Political Dialogue South Caucasus, also addressed the audience.
Within the forum, the panel discussion was organised on the topic – “Civic Activism and Volunteering”, where Zaza Chipashvili, Gori School of Democracy, Lika Kiladze, Chairman of the Board (EDEC), Nino Samsonidze, Civil Society Institute (CSI), Dimitri Gogiashvili, Head of Youth Service of Gori Municipality delivered their speeches.
The forum was organised within the framework of the European Union (EU) and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) funded project “Civil Society STAR Initiative: CSOs as Sustainable, Transparent, Accountable and Resilient Development Actors in Georgia“ (2021-2025).