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Support to Non-Governmental Organizations Working with Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Georgia


Organization for Aid to Refugees, 2007

Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU) implemented for the second year a project called Support to Non-governmental Organizations Working with Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Georgia. We based our project on experience gained from the pilot project implemented in 2006. By exercising the project activities OPU contributed to the development of Georgian NGOs working with refugees and IDPs as well as the development of the Georgian civil society. The Confederation Cchinvali House, a coalition of 15 NGOs helping IDPs from the Cchinvali region (South Ossetia), was our partner in the last project. In frame of the project, OPU trained social and legal counsellors from the various non-govermental organizations and tried to implement Czech and EU based NGO cooperation models to the Georgian reality. Our aim was to motivate Georgian NGOs to take an active role in European NGO networks. We also coorganized Legal and Social Clinics course for NGO practitioners in Georgian NGOs.

An exchange of employees program was another part of the project. Two Georgian experts have an opportunity to visit Czech governmental and non-governmental experts from the field of assistance to refugees and immigrants. The Czech representatives, during their visit of Georgia in June 2007, met many NGO experts from the Cchinvali conflict zone, visited accommodation centers for IDPs, provided lessons to 27 NGO practitioners, participated in 11 working meetings including meetings with students of the Cchinvali State University in Gori and officials from the Ministry of Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Affairs. One of the most interesting visits was the visit of small business factory for producing plastic windows run by IDPs. OPU also met the South Georgian (pro-Georgian) Minister for Refugee and IDP Affairs Ms. Lali Puchajeva. OPU also had a meeting with the South Georgian (pro-Georgian) President Mr. Dmitrij Sanakoev who assured us about his support to our activities for the benefit of refugees and IDPs from South Ossetia. The meeting was held in the city of Kurta, the provisional capital right at the border to the conflict zone. After the meeting, an interview for the TV highlighted the presence of Czech support in Georgia.

The Georgian colleagues visited the Czech Republic in July 2007. They had an opportunity to experience the working methods of Czech NGOs, see how the refugee accommodation centers and detention centers are organized in the Czech Republic. Two seminars with participation of governmental and non-governmental experts took place as well. We also explored the possibilities of the future joint cooperation and the final content of the Clinics course in Georgia taking place in September 2007. The two days seminar, with 10 lectures on social, legal and migration themes, were attended by 48 Georgian colleagues from non-govermental and governmental institutions as well as University students.

An analysis of Georgian NGO employees´ needs has been drafted as one of the outputs of the project. In future, we would like to focus our effort on supporting organizations working directly with IDPs in the Cchinvali conflict zone in South Ossetia.