Young people in Pankisi have a lot of free time but they don’t have the possibility to spend this time exploring areas of interest. This is one of the reasons why they become easy targets for radical religious groups. Offering an alternative for the young people is one step towards their inclusion and integration into the local public life and community.
The purpose of these contests is to facilitate integration among Kist and Chechen refugees and Georgian youth. KRDF organized various tournaments. Young Kist, Chechen refugees and Georgians participated in chess, tennis and wrestling tournaments conducted among various schools.
Wrestling, table tennis and chess are very popular sports in Pankisi. Young people living in this area have been traditionally strong in these fields. They have interest in these contests but no opportunity to exercise this interest.
A ping pong tournament
KRDF organized discussions with respected public figures including former rugby players, writers and poets. Among them were Gogi Gvakharia, Rati Amaghlobeli, Levan Tsabadze and Dato Turashvili author of “The Jeans Generation” a popular book and play in Georgia.
KRDF also organized a collaboration of Georgian and Kist poets to meet the youth for a poetry reading. After the poets spoke the young people presented their own poems.
Informal meetings to discuss human rights, civic activism, culture, religion are held each month.
Education for vulnerable youth
KRDF conducts various vocational training courses to Kist and Chechen youth including stylist, welder, carpentry and advanced computer courses. Language courses are also offered in English, Russian, Georgian and Chechen. Participation in these courses increase youth employment opportunities and potential.
Excursions and historic tours
The youth visited historical monuments in Sighnaghi, Telavi and Tbilisi. These excursions facilitate friendship and informal contacts among young people both Georgians and Kists.