Leading Georgian CSOs Meet Village Residents of Upper Svaneti
On August 7 and 8, leading Tbilisi-based Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) together with EWMI ACCESS, traveled to the villages of the lower areas of Upper Svaneti and met with rural residents to hear about their issues and problems firsthand and to offer consultations/assistance in solving some of the local problems that might fall within the CSO’s competence.
Representatives of Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC), and EWMI ACCESS took part in the meetings that were held in the villages of Khaishi, Idliani, Chuberi, and Nakra. The most significant issues raised by villagers were related to consumption of forests, registration of agricultural land plots, negative social and environmental impacts of the large hydro-power plants to be built in the area, dilapidated local infrastructure (schools, village roads, and water supply system), communal waste management, and failure to use local tourism potential. At the meetings CSO representatives and local residents explored ways how CSOs could support them in combating these issues. EWMI ACCESS is coordinating follow-up actions.
EWMI ACCESS holds meetings like this twice a year in order to reach out to the most remote and/or under-served communities and build close ties and trust between communities and CSOs.