News

Innovation for more Knowledge and Social Changes - the Choice of the Youth in Georgia

12 August 2019

Anuki Mosiashvili is a trainer and a young activist advocating for gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is an international coordinator of the Y-PEER International Network and is on the front line of advocating for the rights of women and girls in the international arena. However, heretofore, she had to walk down a long path, which she had embarked on while thinking about the problem of equality and finding an interest in informal education, during her school years. “While attending the Peer Education Trainings, I realized the value of correct, competent and quality information, and the importance of the ways and methods of obtaining such information, and most importantly, I started thinking of my role and what could be done and how I could promote public awareness of these important issues, help disseminate information and dissolve stereotypes." The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office in Georgia assisted Anuki Mosiashvili in choosing the right road.

There are approximately 1.8 billion people aged 10-24 living in the world today. The current cohort of young people worldwide is the largest it has ever been and it is the largest human capital and a force that is able now, as never before, to promote social progress through innovative methods and change the rules of the game for development. With the necessary skills and opportunities, young people represent the driving force for achieving sustainable development goals.

Anuki considers education to be the key challenge facing young people in this process. Formal education frequently fails to provide young people with knowledge about issues which enable them to make informed choices and realize their full potential, at different stages of life.

Anuki has innovative approaches to addressing challenges; her experience of working with young people for 7 years has shown that edutainment – i.e. the combination of entertainment and education, is the most effective way to communicate with young people. Trainings for Peer Educators conducted in a cheerful, friendly, discrimination-free and safe environment, besides raising awareness, foster behavioural change, turning young people, within a short period of time, into ambassadors of change. 

In November of the current year, at the ICPD Summit held in Nairobi, which marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, Anuki will be among the youth who will once again take responsibility for achieving the goals and fulfilling the ICPD-related commitments. Her statement is firm and straightforward: “Innovation is the best tool for young people to receive education and acquire the most important skill - to speak up so that their voice is heard by all.”

 

სოფი ბერია, აქტივისტი
Sophie Beria, Activist 

Sophie Beria is a young human rights activists. Specifically, her interest is focused on the issues of gender equality, youth engagement, education and healthcare. Her work includes, but is not limited to, working with young people, organizing trainings, meetings, and consulting sessions. Apart from traditional platforms, her activity is extended into the virtual space – she is a co-founder of the “allaboutyou.ge” – the first Georgian website providing young people with information about their own body and reproductive health.

The safe virtual space has already reached thousands of young people and helped them raise their awareness on issues such as healthy and non-violent relationships, sexual harassment, bodily autonomy, safty, etc. An interactive component of the platform enables users to ask anonymous questions. Sophie seeks to address the existing challenge of insufficient information on issues such as reproductive health, sexuality and gender - and thereby contribute to fight against discrimination, stigma and violence.

 “I believe that everyone has the right to receive accurate, non-discriminatory and comprehensive medical information about their own body, which will then allow them to make informed decisions.”

Over the next few months, Sophie's main plans and activities are also linked to ICPD25. She intends to engage as many young people as possible in the discussions about the full implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, and for this purpose she plans to hold online consultations allowing any interested young person to participate in the discussions.

ესმა გუმბერიძე, აქტივისტი
Esma Gumberidze, Activist, Co-founder of the Initiative Group of Women with Disabilities. 
Photo: UNFPA Georgia/Dina Oganova

Esma Gumberidze is a young activist with disabilities, working in the sphere of protection of the rights of women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly; she also writes articles and blog posts, conducts trainings, delivers lectures and is a radio broadcaster. According to Esma, young people in Georgia face many challenges, but it is even more difficult for young women and people with disabilities to overcome barriers in different spheres such as education, employment or public life. She says that blind and visually impaired students have limited access to textbooks, but the problem would be solved if the textbooks were converted into a format adaptable to the screen reader software.

Realizing the full potential of adolescents and young people, protecting human rights, and using all new technologies and innovative approaches to achieve relevant goals  - this is how young people see their desired future. Today, as the world gets ready for the Nairobi Summit to reaffirm its commitment to the full implementation of the Cairo Population and Development Conference and its revolutionary Programme of Action, their voice – the voice of the youth - is crucial.