Photo: Vladimir Valishvili/UNDP

More then 150 young people from five municipalities of Ajara Autonomous Republic took part in the Youth Forum on 14 October 2018 that focused on the youth leadership in rural areas.

Aiming to boost the role of young people in rural development, the Youth Forum provided its participant with the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and advance cooperation with local governments. The Forum created an excellent platform for discussing the most pressing issues faced by rural communities and encouraged young people to take part in decision-making, find proactive solutions to the problems and inspire a positive change.

As part of the Forum work, young people came up with their own ideas for the local projects and proposed advocacy campaigns for each of the initiatives. Five best proposals, identified by the Forum participants through a popular vote, were then presented to representatives of the local governments and civil society organisations.

The Forum brought together most active participants of the initiative “Youth Make Positive Changes”, supported by the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Batumi Education Development and Employment Centre (BEDEC) and Association “For Each Other”.

The youth initiative is part of the ongoing EU-funded programme ENPARD – the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development, which aims to reduce rural poverty in Georgia and help the country introduce the European models of rural development.

ENPARD has been implemented in Georgia since 2013, with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million. Its first phase focused on developing the national agriculture potential, while the second and third phases focus on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.  

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