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Youth Peace Express
Project is part of Georgian-Ossetian Civil Forum peace strategy which provides for development of tolerance in Georgians , internally displaced people from South Ossetia and Ossetians, especially in students and youth and their full integration into society. The necessity to implement the given Project is reasoned by the fact that conflict divided society has not yet overcome the results of the psycho-emotional stress caused by war. Level of estrangement is especially high between youth as they have not had the experience of peaceful cohabitation with each other. They have been born and raised in an anti-Georgian and anti-Ossetian environments. Education of the youth, employment, correct planning of free time, healthy lifestyle, negative vision of future, hopelessness remain an acute problem on both sides of the conflict. The above mentioned problems may become a reason for their estrangement from the society, losing of perspectives, criminalization, and spread of drug addiction and in case of return of IDPs to their permanent places of living may cause repeated escalation of the conflict.
Project Overall Objective: Increase of engagement of Georgian and Ossetian youth in the process of promotion of confidence building between the conflict divided societies.
Project Specific Objectives:
- Closing of Georgian and Ossetian youth and creation of conditions for cooperation by means of organizing educational tour;
Project activities and results:
Georgian and Ossetian youth get acquainted with the visions, ideas and problems of their European peers; form plans for cooperation through joint travel through 5 European countries (Peace Express)
In the framework of this project several activities were held:
Meetings with students in leading universities in 4 European cities; meetings with civil sector and state structures’ representatives held in Belgrade and Pristina;
Project participants wrote essays (impressions) during and after the travel and published video and photo materials on Facebook page;
Georgian and Ossetian youth developed joint project ideas;
Gathered video materials throughout Peace Express process to be covered by Georgian and Ossetian media.
In framework of the Project a film about the Peace Express has been made, collection of essays of Project participants has been published and presentations have been organized to bringing positive moments to wide audience;
We organized meetings of Project participants with students and publicity in universities in Tskhinvali and Tbilisi.
Beneficiaries of the project:
Internally displaced people from South Ossetia and Ossetians, active youth and students.
Civil Forum (სამოქალაქო ფორუმი)
Georgia, Serbia, Kosovo, Greece, Macedonia and Turkey.
Youth Peace Express film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUdwWZFJvzM
What people say
"I believe this is the Project, which is very important for each of us. We start to understand what we want to do, how we want to live and get to a point of making a choice. Today Ossetia has two borders – with Georgia and with Russia. We can freely go to Russia, but not to Georgia. The situation is that we cross only one border, as we have no other choice. "
Akhsar , Ossetian participant.
"I don`t want to relay on others opinion and to think that we are enemies and so on… I want to know people better. Youth Peace Express showed me that they are really nice guys and we have the same opinion, we aren`t different we are the same, conflict shouldn`t influence on our nations."
Nino , Georgian participant