«We Learn from Each Other and Build Sustainable Peace Step by Step»
The history of organisation’s establishment
The women’s non-governmental organization – Cultural-Humanitarian Fund “Sukhumi” was established in 1997 in Kutaisi (it was registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia). The founders of the organization are internally displaced women from Abkhazia – Alla Gamakharia, Meri Gelashvili, Zhanna Chabukiani, Nanuli Ramishvili. Alla Gamakharia has been the head of the organization since its establishment.
The initial aim of the organization was post conflict economic, psychological and social rehabilitation of internally displaced women from Abkhazia, who became victims of Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and who are now living in Imereti Region. These women had to adapt to new social conditions without the appropriate support from governmental and social institutions.
Initially the organization defined gender vector of the organization’s activity. It was directed towards woman, her daily life and main needs, trying to change for the better her position in the family and society, to create a possibility for her steady development, to support her social and political status, and to improve her social and legal protection by lobbying issues related to family.
Subsequently the organization’s activity was aimed at support and development of women through educational, legal, economic, social and cultural activity to increase the role of women in building a democratic society in Georgia, and at women’s involvement in the process of peaceful resolution of conflict.
The organization’s mission
Development of women’s activity through educational, legal, economic, social, cultural activities to increase women’s role in building a democratic society in Georgia and in peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The organization’s vision:
Achievement of gender equality and world without violence
- Woman and peacebuilding
- Woman and politics
- Woman and non-violent society
- Work of women with youth
- Mobilization of IDP communities and advocacy work
- Types of our organisation’s activity:
- *Education – trainings, workshops, informational meetings, master-classes, publication of manual
- *Research – survey, in-depth interview, focus-groups, analysis
- *Awareness-raising – public debates, round tables, TV and radio discussion, printed materials – bulletin, journals, brochures, booklets,
- * Advocacy – Informational meetings, round tables, open letters, statements, initiatives in legislation
- * Consultation –legal and psychological consultations
- * Propaganda – calendars, posters, actions, civil forums, social TV clips, radio-broadcasts, advertising, films, forum-theatre, telecasts
- Peacebuilding activity and peace education:
Peacebuilding, including incorporation of gender components in finding peaceful solutions to the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, promotion of a culture of peace and tolerance among youth, has been the main direction in the organization’s activity since its establishment. The work resulted in: numerous Georgian-Abkhaz meetings of women peacemakers, reflected in joint projects on peacebuilding and human security; acquaintance with the world experience in conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kosovo, Serbia, Israel and Palestine, and in Africa; contribution to the civic dialogue within society and promotion of peace through numerous public discussions, information meetings, TV and radio programs, and social clips. As a result, a sober attitude towards the issue of peaceful resolution of conflicts began to prevail in Georgian society.
The Alliance of Women — Peacemakers of Georgia and Russia was created after the tragic events of August 2008, a period that was difficult for our society. The Alliance facilitated civil dialogue between the women of both societies and initiated many interesting ideas for the protection of peace and stability.
Since its establishment Fund “Sukhumi” conducted more than 150 trainings on conflict issues, published joint manuals with Abkhaz partners — «Woman at the negotiation table», «A complicated dialogue for peace», «The role of women in the process of peace building». The book by a Professor Cynthia Cockburn «Space between us» was translated from English to Georgian. It tells about the work experiences of women in conflicts in Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Israel.
Translation of the book of Elvira Goriukhina “Teacher’s trip to Caucasus” has become a significant contribution to peacebuilding. 6 Civil Forums on the topics “Women’s role in transformation of Georgian-Abkhaz conflict” and “Finding solutions to Georgian-Abkhaz conflict” were conducted.
5 public campaigns on women’s inclusion in official negotiations, increasing of women’s role in positive transformation of Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, and decision making process were organized with broad media coverage.
TV and radio discussions with the rubric “Way to Peace” were systematically conducted in regional TV and radio studios from 2004 to 2012.
3 social clips on the topic of peaceful resolution of Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and 2 documentaries about women’s role in conflict were shot and transmitted.
The organization has been working with youth on issues of peacebuilding since 2005.
Youth clubs — “I want to know everything about Abkhazia”, Club of young journalists, and youth mobile debate club were established in 6 cities of western Georgia. The youth forum-theatre that is active in the region, was also created.
The School of Young IDP Women Leaders, which delivered courses on conflict analysis, effective communications, and negotiation process, was established.
The work on peace has been carried out in schools of western Georgia since 2009.
Model lessons of peace, developed by the Armenian women’s organization «Women for Development» were tested in 2 schools of Kutaisi in 2015-2016.
A manual for trainers on 5 topics which includes workshop modules was elaborated in 2017.
A group of 14 young people were delivered a training of trainers. After the training they conducted workshops on peace based on the principle «equal to equal» in schools.
- The work on conflict and peace issues was carried out in 46 schools of 9 municipalities;
- 1533 school students have learned skills of conflict analysis, methods of conflict resolution, and effective communication;
- More than 250 Forum-theatre performances followed by active discussions have been conducted;
- 60 volunteers – girls and boys from 6 municipalities have been delivered trainings and carried out independent activities on peacebuilding in their regions;
- According to conducted surveys, the level of violence has decreased by 30-40% in the afore mentioned 46 schools;
- More than 45% of students apply received knowledge in their daily life.
For more information about «Women For Development NGO», please follow the link www.fsokhumi.ge