UNICEF is supporting young girls in Pankisi to make changes in their communities through digital advocacy
The event kicked off a series of activities dedicated to the UNICEF 75 anniversary
Duisi, Georgia, 12 July 2021 – ‘Reimagine Your Future’ was the main theme of a month-long training led by UNICEF, in partnership with the Democracy Laboratory, to empower young girls in Pankisi by building digital advocacy skills. The training, and a presentation of the final advocacy plans for community leaders and young people, launched a series of events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of UNICEF.
The final event featured public presentations by 15 local young girls about the challenges they faced, followed by the specific plans to overcome these challenges through digital advocacy. The girls participated in the four-week training programme organized by UNICEF to learn how to develop a specific advocacy plan using digital skills. Working with older students from Tbilisi universities who held practical workshops for them in Pankisi, the girls learned how to implement these advocacy plans using innovative tools and solutions. Participants in the training sessions also learned specific skills, including communication and presentation, to further spread knowledge among their peers.
The presentations of the specific advocacy plans were followed by a discussion about the issues identified by young people, with the participation of local community leaders including members of the Elders’ and Women’s Councils, school principals, and civil activists. The event was attended by UNICEF Representative Ghassan Khalil who stressed the importance of youth engagement and youth empowerment, especially in the rural areas of Georgia.
"We are closely working with the authorities and community leaders in Pankisi to address the challenges young people face in the region." - Ghassan Khalil
“Involvement of young people in community life and empowering them to take action to solve the problems of local community is crucial for their development, as well as for society,” said Khalil. “It is even more so when it comes to the regions that are populated with ethnic and/or religious minorities. The issue of social integration of young people is high on our agenda, and we are closely working with the authorities and community leaders in Pankisi to address the challenges young people face in the region.”
“The thing I love most in this training is that we learned what advocacy is and how to solve a problem in a short period," said Maka Gaurgashvili, a training session participant from Duisi.
"I am very satisfied with this project and trainings because we had a chance to learn how to manage the project in a short period. During the group work we also discussed the challenges and problems that are present in Pankisi Gorge," said Mariam Kavtarashvili, an 11th grade student from Duisi.
"The thing I liked most about this project was that young people who understand us well came to us, and for us it was comfortable to work with them. I also liked that all participants were girls and we were more open. I have never felt that open during other trainings," said Sieda Kavtarashvili, a 9th grade student from Duisi.
Under the theme of ‘Reimagine Your Future’ for every child, the UNICEF 75 concept is built around a child-centred, solutions-oriented, and partnership focused approach which puts the meaningful participation of children and young people at the heart of everything, opening a space for intergenerational collaboration.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/