As soon as the project was approved we started communications with partners. All the partners received the information that the project was approved and they can select the participants. The first edition of info-pack was distributed among the partners and future participants. The Application Form was created and sent to the partners for their participants to fill in. The form contained not only general questions, but some special parts that we needed for the project, like “What’s your definition of Democracy” and “Which session you can propose to conduct during the session?”. When the hotel was booked the partners and future participants received the second edition of info-pack containing more detailed information on how to get there, what the temperature will be, which clothes to take according to the weather and active games, what to bring for training sessions, intercultural party and other special activities. The info-pack also contained a small English-Georgian dictionary. When we knew more or less half of the participants, we started to panic about gender balance, as we had 2/3 of girls. We started to ask other partners, who did not send the information about their participants, to send us more boys, but they failed in this task, and we ended up with a group of 17 girls and 11 boys.
In the year 2013, when Eurasia Partnership Foundation and we organized a seminar in Yerevan, which was dedicated to the international activities of Armenian non-governmental organizations, Armenian colleagues invited us to take part in the projects of Eastern Partnership. You can read on the website of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), that the Forum is aimed at ''consolidation of civil society in the countries of Eastern Partnership and also at the progress of cooperation and experience exchange between the organizations of civil society from countries-participants and EU''. The aim of Respect International is to build bridges between Western and Eastern Europe, so of course we decided to take an advice of our Armenian colleagues. According to the website, one of the aims for EaP CSF is protection of basic freedoms, human rights and principles of democracy.
Youth in Action 3.1 Training course “Short-term Vulunteering for Civil Society” took place in hotel Diana in Kobuleti, Georgia, June 17-25, 2014. It was implemented by the Georgian NGO Young Socialists of Georgia with three facilitators: Maria Kopelyan, Samet Firat Soydemir and Giorgi Kanchaveli. The main problem addressed was the low level of youth activism in Eastern Europe and Caucasus. The main points were: more active inclusion of young people into Civil Society that might be beneficiary to young people, to Civil Society and to the countries in general; promotion of volunteering activities and for this establishing of a network of organisations involved in short-term (up to two months) volunteering of the young people in different NGOs around Eastern Europe and Caucasus. The TC included the participants from Civil Society, Human Rights, Youth and Volunteer NGOs from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Croatia, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands.
It was an unusual training due to the composition of the participants. Our 30 participants arrived in the Dutch city of Utrecht from 23 different European cities from 13 countries: from sunny Spain to snowy Russia. The age of participants ranged from 19 to 50 years. Some participants were actively involved in sports people and others had physical disabilities. Some of the participants had already successfully carried out their own trainings; others participated for the first time. Some participants came from NGOs whose main purpose was work with ethnic minorities, youth groups from suburbs of big cities or rural areas, youth with less opportunities, with disabilities, with HIV or AIDS etc., but does not include promoting intercultural dialogue. Many participants felt we should strictly adhere to a schedule and never deviate from it. We, the organizers of the training, felt that the program could and should be modified to meet the needs of the very diverse group of participants and their various expectations.
From 2007 up to 2010 the USA Federal Reserve System transferred 16 USD trillion to several hundred banks and financial groupings. There are several hundreds of millions of people in the world who have dollars and by no means all of them are Americans. While printing these 16 USD trillion, the USA has slipped their hands into the pockets of those people without asking them just to finance several hundred banks and financial groupings. In addition, the ineffective activities of exactly those several hundred banks and financial groupings became the cause of the world crisis in 2009. The behavior of the USA Federal Reserve System strongly reminds the practice of the USSR Gosplan (main state bank), according to which there were withdrawn funds from profitable economic sectors to finance declining ones. Thus, the financial support in the USSR was distributed not only to financial experts but to workers, teachers and so on. During the crisis period in the USA and EU not very rich people were to tighten the belts first of all.