On June 21-25, 2015 Bakuriani’s hosted civics summer camp with participation of 80 students and 11 civics teachers from all regions of Georgia. Participation in a camp was a reward for those students, who made efforts to resolve the issues critical for their schools and communities, who led civics projects and participated in initiatives together with their peers and other parties. Camp helped students to learn more about civic activism, volunteerism and planning and implementing civic initiatives. The trainings, conducted in a camp, helped students to improve their presentation and communication skills, and learn how to advocate for themselves and their communities. Camp also offered activities for fun and leisure.
GE PLAY Georgia team in close collaboration with the working group organized a meeting with the representatives of local administration, school principals, school resource officers and NGOs in each of the regions visited by the exchange group.
The largest-scale of such meetings/seminars took place in Tbilisi on June 23, 2015. GE PLAY program teamed up with GE CALLS to put together what can be called a multi-sectorial Seminar on the Role of Organized Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities in Juvenile Delinquency Prevention .Ann Martin, Executive Director of PH International worldwide and Lia Gigauri, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia opened the seminar. In their speech they pointed out the importance of sharing experiences and new information and adapting those to local context. They also thanked the U.S. Department of State for funding such an innovative program and expressed gratitude to American delegation for their input and willingness to share. 55 persons representing local administrations, schools, police, SRO Department and NGO sector, attended the seminar.
On June 23, 2015 school-based civics clubs in Tbilisi participated in the event to present their work that brought the benefit to their schools and communities. Civics clubs displayed the photos and posters, featuring their initiatives for environmental cleaning and greening, advocacy efforts for disadvantaged groups of society and support projects for their peers in need. At the event, students also displayed Georgian literature that they have bought with funds earned from scrap collection and asked students in Azerbaijan to pass these books to their peers in Saingilo (a place in Azerbaijan where ethnic Georgians live).
U.S. boys’ and girls’ teams had an opportunity to play against their Georgian peers and participate in Regional School-Based Street (3x3) Basketball Tournaments in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Zugdidi.
On June 22 the tournament took place in Tbilisi. 32 Georgian teams participated in the competition only 2 of which where girls’ teams. In order to provide the girls with as many opportunities to play as possible, it was allowed that they competed against the boys’ teams as well. The tournament lasted the whole day. Georgian counterparts defeated Guest boys ‘and girls’ teams in semi-finals. The school-based basketball team from Rustavi Public School #5 became the winner of the tournament.
On June 23, American basketball teams held friendly matches with U-16 National Basketball Team and won.
On June 25 and June 26, the guests played against the finalists and semi-finalists of the Regional School-Based Street (3x3) Basketball Tournaments in Kutaisi and Zugdidi. As there was only one team of host girls participating in the tournament in each location, American girls were given an opportunity to play against the boys’ teams. The American basketball teams won both in Kutaisi and Zugdidi.
GE PLAY Georgia hosted the American Exchange from June 21 through June 28 in order to reinforce previously established relationships between counterparts in Georgia and in the U.S. and develop new cross-cultural relationships among youth and adults. In support of the follow-on programs and action plans being conducted by Georgian participants, U.S. citizens traveled to Georgia to provide added technical assistance, conduct workshops, seminars, clinics and other events designed in function of the action plans taking place in Georgia. The nine-day exchange of 16 Americans provided additional support and momentum for the program activities that were being implemented in Georgia. The U.S. group included one girls’ and one boys’ basketball teams together with their coaches, two representatives from Police in Athletics League, two Police Officers, a School Resource Officer, and School Athletics Coordinator who visited the basketball events organized locally by police and SROs, played against local Georgian teams, and offered peer-coaching exercises. The U.S. youth athletes had various opportunities to connect informally with their Georgian counterparts and talked about how recreational sports leagues, in addition to school teams, make a difference in their lives
School civics clubs students and their teachers mobilized their efforts to help the citizens, affected by the flood in Tbilisi. Students collected clothes and other necessary items and brought them to municipality offices to support those who were left homeless
On June 10, 2015, the AM CALLS staff conducted a wrap-up meeting with the 14 trainers who received a ToT on “Non-violent Parenting and Conflict Resolution” back in April and successfully transferred their knowledge to almost 80 peers in their respective regions.