Advocacy Campaign Success – State Allocates 25 million GEL for Construction of Kindergartens
In recent months, the USAID Civil Society Engagement Program has supported the Center for Civic Activities and online media portal Mtis Ambebi (Mountain News) in their work to increase preschool education access in Georgia’s mountainous and ethnic minority-populated regions.
Within the scope of the project, the team evaluated access in 32 municipalities and assisted local activists in submitting 16 petitions across 11 municipalities requesting the opening of preschool education institutions in their villages. As the result of an intensive awareness-raising and advocacy campaign, the municipal government fund has allocated 25 million GEL and announced tenders for the construction of kindergartens in eight villages of Borjomi, Tkibuli, Dmanisi, Tsalka, Sagarejo and Oni municipalities. Notably, five out of these eight villages were ones where citizens petitioned local governments.
The decisions to construct kindergartens in the villages of Amamlo and Irginchai in the Dmanisi municipality are particularly noteworthy due to the initial rejection of both petition requests by the Dmanisi Sakrebulo. Subsequently, residents appealed the decision in the district court, and the issue is now under review in the Bolnisi City Court. In addition, citizens appealed to the Public Defender, requesting an investigation into potential discrimination. Currently, only seven out of 57 villages in the Dmanisi municipality have a kindergarten. However, all seven kindergartens are in villages populated by ethnic Georgians, while 65% of the Dmanisi municipality population is currently made up of ethnic Azerbaijanis.
The Center for Civic Activities continues to monitor and advocate for the kindergarten construction process.