Within the framework of Francophonie Week, I had the privilege to visit the Georgian region of Adjara with the French Ambassador to Georgia, Diego Colas. It was a great pleasure to take part in the planning of the visit of the French Ambassador to the Adjara region and I am happy to share the success of our visit with you:
Adjara is one of the most distinctive and attractive regions of Georgia, both in terms of tourism and business. Our visit to the region started from Khulo and ended in Batumi. Mountainous Adjara consists of three municipalities – Keda, Shuakhevi and Khulo. Along with the greenery, hidden in foggy mountains, there is also a big amount of cultural sights. Among the waterfalls, lakes and forests, you will find the ruins of ancient castles, churches, arched bridges and museums, which reflect the rich historical past of the region.
The main purpose of the visit was to meet with members of the Khulo Youth Platform, which was established last year at the Khulo Public Library with the support of the US Embassy. The visit was planned by EuroClub Kvareli 3 months ago when the Khulo youth had an online-meeting with the French Ambassador. During the meeting, organized by EuroClub, they received a promise from the ambassador that he would definitely visit them in person and visit the region. In Khulo, we were hosted by the Mayor of the Municipality, Vakhtang Beridze, together with the Chairman of the City Council, the Majoritarian Deputies of the Parliament of Georgia and the Supreme Council of Adjara. The first stop was the Museum of Local Lore in the small town of Khulo, where we learned about the history of the region through ethnographic, sculptural, archaeological, numismatic, historical photographs and graphics. In addition to museum exhibits, we attended performances by local ensembles. We were especially impressed by 98-year-old dancing grandfather, who is the main figure in the ensemble.
The meeting continued at the Khulo Public Library where we met with the youth and the school and library representatives. From the welcoming speech of the French Ambassador, everyone remembered his main message that the French Embassy supports the rapprochement of Georgia with the European Union and his priority is such meetings, far from the capital, with local communities, even in the most mountainous region. The Ambassador welcomed the initiative to expand the work of the EuroClub and promised the locals their support and future cooperation. Also noteworthy is the French literature that the Khulo Library received as a gift from the Ambassador, as well as the possibility of future cooperation with French libraries and other institutions.
The next stop was Shuakhevi Municipality – Day Care Centre for Persons with Disabilities, hosted by the Mayor of Shuakhevi Municipality and other representatives of the local government. The day centre was established in the collaboration with the French Embassy and the local government, where all the conditions are created for the beneficiaries to learn, develop and have fun. The main purpose of the centre is that each child could receive different services tailored to individual needs and be able to fully realize their potential. The aim of the day centre is to identify barriers in the beneficiaries’ physical environment, tailor-made services, promote individual development and engage in community activities.
The visit to Adjara continued at the Batumi Public Library, where the Francophonie Week was opened. The week was opened by the Mayor of Batumi and the Minister of Education of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara together with the French Ambassador and the Head of the French Institute. Within the framework of the events, an exhibition of French unique rarity fund and French translated literature into Georgian, photos of Georges Simenon’s trip to Batumi, drawings made by students and film screening were organized. International Francophonie Week has been celebrated around the world since 1988 and is dedicated to promoting the French language, cultural diversity, common and higher education institutions.
Our visit is the first stage of expanding the EuroClub initiative and the opportunity to cooperate with locals and promote the activities of the EuroClub Kvareli and the Young European Ambassadors initiative in the Adjara region. On the other hand to strengthen relationships with diplomatic missions in Georgia. I am very proud and honored, that French Ambassador Diego Colas is one of the best supporter of our initiative.
EuroClub is a youth organization, founded with the European Union support through its Regional Communication Programme ‘EU NEIGHBOURS east’ in 2019 in Kvareli, Georgia. EuroClub’s main mission is to promote education and development among young people, to raise civic awareness and to provide access to non-formal education and to spread European values. We aim to bring together the people of Kvareli and provide them with a space for open discussions, as well as relevant workshops and seminars on topics such as the international relations of Georgia, human rights, democracy, media literacy and the history and values of the European Union, as well as the opportunities available for Georgian youth.
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