LAG Youth Volunteers Share Akhmeta Stories
In recent months a team of youth volunteers from Akhmeta has been sharpening their social media and communication skills through workshops and trainings to highlight the development activities and initiatives taking place in local communities of their municipality. These young people, aged 15-18, are giving their time, energy and creativity to work as a communication team for the Akhmeta Local Action Group that has been founded under the ENPARD project “Promoting inclusive and participatory development in Akhmeta Municipality”, and implemented by Action Against Hunger and Kakheti Regional Development Foundation (KRDF).
So, what is happening in Akhmeta? To find out, you can pay a visit to the Akhmeta LAG Facebook and Instagram pages which have been established and maintained by the team and will fill you in with informative, multi-lingual and visually interesting posts on Akhmeta’s unique tourist attractions, cultural events, local start-ups and initiatives supported by ENPARD and other development projects. These posts highlight how local residents are working together to improve the well-being of their communities and to reinvigorate the local environment and economy.
In early July of this year the group was established and attended a three-day workshop in Akhmeta and then on October 10th -11th 2020, 11 members of Akhmeta LAG Communication Team gathered at the Tsnori Knowledge Café to reflect on the past three month’s work and to plan their Autumn-Winter social media strategy. Facilitating this process was Ms. Nana Bagalishvili, Co-Founder and Digital Communication Specialist at the Knowledge Café, a non-profit multi-media library/non-formal education centre.
Speaking on the importance of social media in the digital age and how Akhmeta LAG can benefit from its effective use, Nana highlights the encouraging figures following an evaluation of the first three months: “We have seen several thousand citizens engage with the Akhmeta LAG Facebook page. It is important that the volunteer members of the communication team develop their digital communication skills and become desirable personnel for the employment market and increase their degree of engagement as youth representatives within the community”. The number of articles and views on the LAG Facebook page over the past three months is indeed impressive with 197 posts published of which 61 were original photo-video format posts. These posts have been shared 1,289 times, 1,118 users have left comments and the 5 most popular posts have accumulated 118,470 views.
During the 2-day session, the content of multiple video/photo/graphic posts to be published in the coming months were discussed between the team members with the support of Ms. Bagalishvili. Communication team members, Elene Gamilaghdishvili and Kristine Makhtlishvili, affirmed that “these two days and the role of the trainer were really important. The meeting gave us great motivation to continue the work we have started.” As the team says themselves “The goal remains unchanged over the next few months - to bring you important events and people in Akhmeta Municipality that contribute to the development of the community”. Based upon the experience of the previous period, and analyzing similar content pages, the team has now created a concise calendar framework for the next two months.
The project was launched in December 2018 with the support of the European Union within the framework of the ENPARD III programme. The overall objective is to improve the socio-economic integration of disadvantaged rural communities in Georgia and contribute to poverty reduction. The specific objective of the action is to support an inclusive and community-led approach to rural development to improve the quality of life and economic conditions in Akhmeta Municipality.
More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge