Image credit: Merkuri
Association “Merkuri” works to strengthen gender equality and the development of civic and democratic values. It is a non-governmental non-profit organisation based in Zugdidi. It was established in 2004.
The main goals of the organisation are to:
- Protect women's rights;
- Educate and increase the well-being of local and IDP women;
- Develop business and entrepreneurial skills in women;
- Support socially vulnerable groups;
- Support the development of civil society in Georgia;
- Assist the resolution of Georgia’s conflicts through peaceful means;
- Support young people’s physical, spiritual and educational development;
Image credit: Merkuri
The organisation’s main activities are trainings, seminars, conferences, public lectures, as well as a variety of cultural, ecological and sport events. Merkuri members are actively involved in international youth projects as organisers and participants.
Throughout its existence, the Association “Merkuri” has successfully carried out more than twenty local and international projects in all of its its programmatic areas reaching a total number of 5000 direct beneficiaries.
In 2010, Merkuri established the “Gender Network of Samegrelo Region” which gathers 14 organisations, including one based in Abkhazia, working on human rights, civic education, healthcare and IDP rights in the Samegrelo region. The network eases the cooperation between the member organisations and enables them to use the platform for further organisational development and to advance gender equality in the region.
Among projects that the Association Merkuri has implemented, the following were related to peacebuilding:
- “Crossroad of Cultures'' - financed by the European Commission Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, in September 2013. The event took place in Kobuleti, Georgia and gathered young artists from Latvia, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey to support inter-cultural dialogue between artists of various backgrounds;
- “Melodies of Peace. International Youth Symphony Orchestra” in 2012. Participant countries: Georgia, Armenia, Turkey;
- “Youth for Peace” financed by Youth in Action Programme (EU) in 2014. Participant countries included Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Italy and Turkey;
- “We are Consolidated for Peace”, a coalition project conducted by the Women’s Fund in Georgia conducted in 2008.