Projects from Armenia and Georgia are among winners of European Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards

Europa Nostra
04.06.2024 (Caucasian Journal). On 30 May, the European Commission and Europa Nostra announced the 2024 winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards. This year, Europe’s most prestigious awards for heritage go to 26 winners from 18 countries across the continent, including from Armenia and Georgia.

The ‘Teryan Cultural Centre – Empowering Armenian Refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh’ project from Armenia is one of five winners in the category ‘Education, Training and Skills’.

Since 2002, the Teryan Cultural Center has been committed to the study and preservation of Armenian culture, undertaking extensive research and hosting exhibitions about this culture. Since 2016, it has partnered with the Smithsonian Institute to take part in the ‘My Armenia’ project, training 55 Armenian artisans from the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, and enabling them to share their crafts with local and international audiences. 

The Real Problem with NGOs in Georgia, and What Law Is Truly Needed to Solve It

01.06.2024 (Caucasian Journal). What’s the keyword of the newly adopted Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence? Correct, it is the word “budget”, because the law’s main provision is that a non-governmental organization must be labeled as a foreign agent if at least 20 percent of its budget is from foreign grants. The law is focusing on the budget, regardless of the NGO’s profile and mission.

▶ ქართულად:  Read the Georgian version here.

Even organizations typically not associated with political lobbying, such as medical, cultural, environmental, and even the dog shelters, would become vulnerable if they depend on foreign funding.  But instead of once again criticizing the law, let’s take a look at the core of the problem – why are they all dependent on foreign funding? What’s wrong with the Georgian nonprofit sector that it has to rely largely on foreign organizations’ grants? And what is to be done, in practical terms?

Most of the civil society organizations would be happy to live without foreign grants if they could secure funding locally.

The answer is simple. Most of the civil society organizations would be happy to live without foreign grants if they could secure funding locally.  But the organizations are forced to seek grants from foreign sources.  This brings us to the main issue: Where are the local Georgian donors?

The answer is again simple: There are no laws in Georgia that encourage companies or individuals to donate.