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Bridge to Peace Building and Youth Social Development
Start date: Oct 17, 2014, End date: Oct 16, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This EVS project will take place in Gori, Georgia and will involve one British volunteer, who will work with the NGO Bridge of Friendship Kartlosi for 9 months. The mission of the Friendship Bridge Kartlosi is to promote sustainable development of local communities in the conflict resolution process and contribute to the dialogue between the Georgian and Ossetian communities development. In their work they try to contribute to the local civil society, to help their professional development and enhance the capacity of youth involvement in local life. The main aim of the project is to develop and promote knowledge of post-conflict reconstruction and peace building, by producing analytical reports and articles for publication and dissemination by Kartlosi and others. The other aim of the volunteer is to assist the work of Kartlosi, for example through teaching English and running movie and discussion clubs for local youths, organisational and administrative work, building networks and partnerships, and planning and implementing projects. This will provide the volunteer with the chance to learn skills in several key competencies and will enhance the volunteer’s knowledge of how peace building and conflict resolution works in practice. The volunteer will also have gained the practical knowledge of how to design, implement and evaluate projects in these areas. The volunteer's objectives are to: - Conduct research into conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction and peace building in Georgia and the town of Gori in particular, in the context of the conflict in South Ossetia; - Produce analytical reports on these topics that will provide knowledge of the benefit to the local community, civil society and other parties such as academics and researchers, in Georgia and internationally; - Disseminate the findings of the research in such a way that will help Kartlosi develop its local, regional and international networks and partnerships and facilitate their work in peace building and social development in the local community, and to promote and enhance understanding of peace building and conflict resolution. Reports and articles will be published as a blog on Kartlosi's website. - Helping with the implementation of current projects and planning and implementing new projects; fundraising activities such as international applications and marketing activities; - Development of Kartlosi’s internet environment/web presence, including an online news portal, training for web content management and online journalism (such as writing feature stories and articles for a blog). The project aims to identify and distill lessons learned and best practices from local peace building NGOs such as Kartlosi so that they can be made available to civil society actors, academics and others involved in the peace building community. The first audience to receive the reports and articles will be the local community. The second audience will be the peace building community in Georgia who can then more generally offer insights from their peace building initiatives in Gori to be extended beyond this area. The third audience are interested parties beyond Georgia – what lessons can be learned from conflicts in Georgia to improve our knowledge and understanding of conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction and peace building. This will be a key part of the plan to disseminate the work of the project through Kartlosi's website and social media, and by forming new partnerships and networks with other NGOs across Europe, especially in the UK. The project also aims to provide opportunities for local people, especially youths, to have the chance to improve their practical English language skills taught by a native speaker. The volunteer plans to follow up on the project by providing advice and guidance to other potential EVS participants who want to volunteer in Georgia or who wish to be involved in similar projects. The volunteer will be an integral part of the work carried our by Kartlosi in promoting knowledge of post-conflict reconstruction and empowering the local youths. The participant will also gain cultural awareness and linguistic skills through their participation in local youth initiatives. The reports and articles the volunteer will be working on will be posted on both Kartlosi's own website and Change Agents UK's website and online portals to provide exposure in Georgia and in the UK of the work being carried out but also as a way for the volunteer to share their experiences from their voluntary activity. This will then act to promote the work of the NGO and the volunteer. The volunteer will be integrated into Georgian culture and customs by living and building relationships with the local community and gain additional achievements such as personal and professional growth.
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