The Council of Europe supported campaign “Change the Scenario - Play Your Role” was launched in Tbilisi on February 18. The event is part of an information campaign to motivate citizens to participate in local decision-making and which will cover 15 pilot municipalities across the country which cooperate with the Project “Strengthening civil participation and human rights at local level in Georgia” : Tbilisi, Marneuli, Akhmeta, Ambrolauri, Bolnisi, Borjomi, Chokhatauri, Gori, Oni, Ozurgeti, Telavi, Tetritskaro, Tskaltubo, Zestaphoni, Rustavi.
The campaign aims to reach citizens in municipalities, especially young people, and promote participatory culture in local communities, highlighting the importance of joint efforts of civil society and public institutions to provide solutions, that benefit all groups of the society and showing how individual initiative can bring changes in local society.
The event gathered young individuals, and interested citizens, who during the event were engaged in an interactive performance where they did not have any choice but to act, in order to make their environment better. The performance showed how small initiatives and individual actions can bring significant changes and benefit the community.
Aside from the performance, the event featured speakers who shared their personal stories on how their initiatives have won public support and their persistent communication with the municipality brought about changes in local communities. Tinatin MAGHEDANI, one of the speakers, talked about the actions she took to encourage citizens of Rustavi (a city in Georgia) to advocate for putting the issue of air pollution on the political agenda.
Another speaker, Nana BAGALISHVILI, talked about her individual efforts and the power of collective engagement that made possible the founding of “Knowledge Café” in an Eastern Georgian town, Tsnori, a public space providing access to education and for discussing issues important to the citizens.
The third speaker, Mariam MTCHEDLISHVILI introduced the initiative pioneered by the project CHARTE to grant free internet access to most vulnerable groups in rural areas of Georgia through encouraging individual contributions and collective actions.
The event in Tbilisi, which was moderated by the TV host and musician Mebo NUTSUBIDZE will be followed in March and April 2023 by four campaign events in Gori, Borjomi, Oni and Ambrolauri municipalities and reaching out to other municipalities until October 2023.
This event took place in the framework of the project “Strengthening Participatory Democracy and Human Rights at Local Level in Georgia”, implemented by the Directorate General of Democracy and Human Dignity, Division of Elections and Participatory Democracy and Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023 with the financial contribution of the Austrian Development Cooperation.