Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Georgia Funds Doukhobor Project

The Deportation of the Tavrian Doukhobors to Georgia and Their Identity is the title of a one-year research project begun in July 2013 in the Republic of Georgia, funded by the President.

The project is being researched and produced by 3 advocates in the southern Samtskhe-Javakheti region: Gulo Koxodze, a human rights journalist; Nino Narimanishvili, editor of the Samkhretis Karibche newspaper; and, Nino Zumbadze, a member of the regional Tolerance Association.

Kuxodze (Kukhodze), who works with the Human Rights Center, proposed the multimedia project. They will produce a website, short video documentaries, and print publications dedicated to the life histories, traditions, and culture of the Doukhobors. The project began 1 July 2013, is funded for one year, and will be in Georgian and Russian languages.

Kuxodze has been in contact with 20 local Doukhobor families. She reported about them in the past, and feels an in-depth study of traditions and culture is needed now because many are very old. Though a lot of information is on the Internet, little is in the Georgian language and few have Internet access. Some reports will also be published in Armenian because their newspaper readership is primarily refugees from Armenia, many who invaded Dukhoborya — land of the Doukhobors.

This project will bring more facts to the attention of the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia regarding Doukhobor historical sites. In 2012 the proposed granting of cultural heritage status to the Sirotski Dom (Orphan's Home), Gorelovka village, was unresolved. The Tolerance Center, Public Defender of Georgia, reported: "The process should be speeded up and the object granted a status of a museum and allocated two personnel to protect it."

A local Doukhobor said the Sirotski Dom should serve its original purpose, as a home for elderly orphans (widows, widowers). The elders could look after one another with professional help, and preserve their roots.

The historical and cultural value of the 1895 Burning of Arms site, peschery (grotto) and old cemetery are little known among Georgians. All sites should be submitted for the UNESCO World Heritage List for Georgia.

More about Doukhobors in Georgia.

Funded by Presidential Decree

On 17 December 2012, American educated President Mikheil Saakashvili issued a decree to allocate GEL 1 million (Georgian lari / CAN$ 631,165) from the President’s Fund for the development of the Civil Sector and enhancement of the role of free media. Funds were awarded to non-profit/ non-government (NGO) entities.

The Journalistic Development Fund, named "Zaza Daraselia," received GEL 200,000 (CAN $126,450). Zaza Daraselia is Executive Director of the Fair Elections Foundation and was an administrator of Didube-Chughureti region, Tblisi.

The Daraseli Fund fortunately got their grant due to other organizations not submitting and/or not understanding the goals of the President. The Fund awarded cultural projects — performances, attractions, exhibition space, or multimedia projects. The Doukhobor project, submitted in April 2013, satisfied conditions of the Fund as a multimedia cultural project.

The Doukhobor project will bring much needed funds to the young SK newspaper with a staff of eight. The newspaper was launched in 2003 to serve the poor south Georgian Armenian villages with many articles in the Armenian language. It nearly closed in 2012 due to no grant in 2011.

Sources by date
  1. Gulo Koxodze, Facebook.
  2. Everyday Life and Problems of Dukhabors (Part 1), by Gulo Kokhodze, Human Rights in Georgia, 25 May 2007
  3. Everyday Life and Problems of Dukhabors (The End) : Village of Old People, by Gulo Kokhodze, Human Rights in Georgia, 25 May 2007
  4. Here Women Have No Rights and They Are Blind…,” by Gulo Kokhodze, Human Rights in Georgia, 30 May 2007.
  5. Deteriorated House Will Be Restored, Tbilisi.gov.ge, 20 May 2008.
  6. Nostalgia or Unbearable Living Conditions - Dukhobors Abandon Villages in Ninotsminda District, by Gulo Kokhodze, Human Rights in Georgia, 23 January 2008.
  7. შაშკინის გადაწყვეტილე (Probate decision), video netgazeti.ge, 27 January 2010.
  8. Monitoring results of implementation of the National Concept and Action Plan on Tolerance and Civil Integration, Council of National Minorities, Tolerance Center, Public Defender, Republic of Georgia, 2010-2011. In English, Russian, and Georgian languages. (ISBN 978-9941-0-5067-1), pages 132-133, 137-138, 145.
  9. President of Georgia to Fund NGO Sector and Media, media.ge, Trend News Agency, 18 December 2012.
  10. President to Fund Two Organizations for Development of Civil Sector and Free Media, media.ge, 8 January 2013.
  11. Former education minister’s organisation receives presidential grant in Georgia, 9 January 2013.
  12. "Zaza Daraseli Fund" to Start Issuing Grants in the Near Future, Civil Society Institute - CSO Georgia, 16 January 2013.
  13. Civil Sector and Free Media Development Organizations Funded by President’s Fund, media.ge, 7 June 2013.
  14. ვის და რატომ გაახსენდნენ დუხობორები? (Who are and why should Doukhobors be remembered?), Samkhretis Karibche (Southern Gate) news, 26 June 2013.
  15. ვის და რატომ გაახსენდნენ დუხობორები? (Who are and why should Doukhobors be remembered?), Ambebe.ge, 26 June 2013.
  16. Projects Funded by Zaza Daraselia’s Foundation, media.ge, 17 July 2013.
  17. Involuntary Vacation of the Samkhretis Karibche, media.ge, 3 February 2012.
  18. Ethnic Map of Georgia, August 2012, European Centre for Minority Issues — based on ECMI assessments from 2006 to 2008.

1 comment:

  1. Gunter Schaarschmidt30 August 2013 at 15:28

    This is indeed very good news. That the Republic of Georgia can allocate funding to the Doukhobor minority is an indication that the Government envisages a fair treatment of all its minorities in light of the large ethnic diversity of the country. Perhaps we could send a letter of appreciation and encouragement to President Mihkeil Saakashvili and to Gulo Koxodze. Kokhodze's project is a giant step in the direction of the preservation of even the smallest minority cultures whose languages are disappearing almost by the day from this earth along with their last speakers.