CiDA’s Efforts Lead to Increased Cooperation between Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector
EWMI ACCESS supports Civil Development Agency (CiDA) to build organizational and advocacy capacities of the regional civil society organizations and to facilitate the network of regional civil society organizations (R-CSN). ACCESS also supports CiDA in its efforts to promote corporate social responsibility and encourage business-CSO cooperation. To institutionalize its efforts in CSR, CiDA established a Corporate Social Responsibility Club (CSR Club) as a platform for planning and coordinating CSR initiatives. Currently the CSR Club has more than 70 member organizations from the business, civil society and education sectors. Over the past three months, CiDA succeeded in initiating joint CSR projects with businesses’ and CSO participation.
Thanks to CiDA’s intensive efforts, one of the largest national banks in Georgia, Liberty Bank, supported the Regional Civil Society Network’s (R-CSN) public awareness-raising campaign on visa-free travel to the Schengen Area. The R-CSN’s 21 member CSOs, in partnership with the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and the Information Center on NATO and EU, held the nationwide campaign in 10 regions of Georgia. They engaged over 1,000 citizens in interactive discussions about the benefits of the visa-free travel, as well as about the consequences of violating the visa-free regime. The R-CSN members organized 45 information meetings in total. Additionally, CiDA developed and printed information leaflets on the subject and conducted trainings for the Liberty Bank front-office personnel so that they too could provide basic information to their clients and other visitors about the visa-free travel rules and regulations.
CiDA facilitated another effective partnership between a member of the R-CSN, Mtskheta-Mtianeti Regional Committee of Anti-violence Network of Georgia and the CSR Club member, Ajara Group (the leading company in Georgia’s hospitality sector). The partnership project is planned to start in the near future and will raise public awareness on domestic violence in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region and in Stepantsminda proper. The project will engage youth in various activities through lectures, discussions, film screenings, essay and painting competition, and an exhibition on the topic of domestic violence.
With CiDA’s help, another member of the R-CSN, Zugdidi-based CSO Atinati, launched a youth-networking project with the financial support of the CSR Club member, APM Terminals Poti. Atinati organized a study visit to Zugdidi for 20 young residents of Poti. The youth attended a class at a clay studio and participated in a marzipan workshop. In coming months, Atinati will organize a study visit in Poti for the Zugdidi-based youth.
Finally, CiDA, with financial support from and in partnership with the CSR Club member, TBC Bank, facilitated a targeted training for 21 women entrepreneurs from different regions of Georgia to develop their business skills. As part of this initiative, CiDA, together with the TBC Bank personnel, will mentor the trained women and will fund the most successful and committed ten among them through a small grants program.