Winners of the Innovation and Challenge Grants Program
In July, the USAID Civil Society Engagement Program selected the winners of its Innovation and Challenge Grants Program.
All the selected projects aim to tackle issues of public concern through citizen mobilization and advocacy. Following their selection, each project team held social lab discussions with field experts and other stakeholders to review their proposed project strategies. Through these discussions, the selected projects were able to receive feedback and reframe their action plans and methodologies to achieve maximum impact.
The following nine organizations were selected for funding:
1. Center for Civic Activities – the project will address the shortage of kindergartens and promote access to preschool education in Georgia’s ethnic minority and mountainous regions through citizen engagement and advocacy.
2. Public Movement Chiatura of the Future – the project aims to empower local communities in Chiatura to effectively voice and resolve their problems.
3. Democracy Defenders – the project will focus on countering pro-Russian propaganda in Tbilisi and regions through supporting and building the capacity of activists’ networks.
4. Dmanisi Initiative Group – the project will create alternative cultural and social spaces in Dmanisi. Through theater performances and other forms of art, the project will engage diverse groups locally and identify, discuss, and address the factors affecting community development.
5. Eco Centre (Gavigudet) – the project will focus on reducing air pollution in Rustavi through citizen awareness, engagement, and advocacy.
6. Guild – this project aims to protect and empower cultural workers in Georgia by raising awareness of their legal rights and ways to protect them.
7. Childhood Cancers and Superheroes – the overall objective of this project is to improve treatment and care for children with cancer and support affected families. This will be achieved, in part, by advocating for more effective planning of state-sponsored treatment and rehabilitation programs.
8. Towards New Possibilities – this project aims to empower women from ethnic minority villages in Samtskhe-Javakheti through creating a safe space for women to socialize, gain knowledge on various subjects, and plan joint activities.
9. Youth Initiative for Changes – this project aims to bring new life to the Bolnisi cinema and create a multifunctional space for the social and cultural engagement of local communities, including ethnic Azerbaijanis and Armenians.