ADA Representatives meet with Akhmeta LAG and Local Authorities and hear of support to Environmental Protection and Women’s Economic Engagement.
On the afternoon of the 12th July 2023, Tobias Orischnig, Program Manager for Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova at the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in Vienna and Alex Karner, ADA Head of Office for Georgia visited Akhmeta Municipality to meet with members of the Local Action Group (LAG). The LAG is currently being supported by ADA under the 3-year project ‘Improving local governance through inclusive development approaches” implemented by Action Against Hunger.
During the meeting, the LAG representatives provided an overview of the LAG's recent activities, with the updating of their Local Development Strategy and the management of a sub-granting programme aimed at supporting environmental protection and women’s economic engagement, as well as youth inclusion. At the meeting projects funded by ADA, focused on waste management and biodiversity surveillance of the Tusheti Protected Landscape, were introduced and discussed. Waste management has been supported together with the municipality through the distribution of waste containers and an environmental surveillance project using cameras aimed at preventing pollution and illegal dumping within the municipality. The biodiversity surveillance project also makes use of camera traps, but in this case for the monitoring and protection of the diverse ecosystem of Tusheti.
At a later meeting in the Akhmeta Mayor's Office, the ADA representatives had the opportunity to meet with Davit Abuladze, the Head of Administration who presented an overview of the current situation in the municipality, shedding light on key challenges faced in socioeconomic development, such as high unemployment rates and outward migration. The discussion offered insights into the local context and provided the foundation for further discussions on potential solutions.
There was also a visit to a gym for local women that had received support from the LAG, where Teona Chilashvili, the gym owner, talked about the importance of providing a space for women to engage in fitness activities and support their physical well-being.
Towards the end of the visit, the participants were able to meet with a group of women who had received support through the LAG and the ADA project at the "Lagvani" Marani. In the relaxed atmosphere of the Marani, Elena Baturishvili, explained how she had received all the necessary equipment to establish and operate a photo studio for portrait photography. While Natia Kvantashvili, discussed the success of her poultry breeding business – this year producing 5,000 chicks – which she combines with her work at a local kindergarten.
This gathering was a highlight of the visit and the testimonials provided valuable insights into how the LAG-funded projects have helped transform the lives and livelihoods of women in the municipality. These stories serve as an inspiration for others to realize their own ambitions.