In Zugdidi, EUMM monitors invited children and adults to an open air event with local musicians’ performances, a rock and roll dance competition as well as football and volleyball tournaments. Around 500 people successfully answered quiz questions about the European Union and were awarded with medals and EUMM visibility items.
An EUMM Bus travelled across Georgia visiting various villages and towns. In Imereti region, the public had an opportunity to visit the EUMM Forward Base in Sachkhere; inhabitants of Perevi took part in a quiz and other games; and school students from Speti played basketball against a team of EUMM monitors.
In Shida Kartli, Field Office Gori invited local inhabitants to an open air rock concert, which was attended by nearly 2 thousand people, as well as taking the opportunity to explain the EUMM mandate and work while distributing leaflets, brochures and videos. In Dirbi, a basketball match, a quiz and other games were organised for the local population. Moreover, Field Office Mtskheta visited around 40 children in the Kindergarten in Natsreti, who were very eager to participate in a cooking session of European dishes as well as face painting and hand and foot drawing activities.
In Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, the bus stopped for a half a day in Mtskheta, where EUMM monitors presented the cultures of their countries of origin and involved children in a range of activities, including karaoke. School children from Mchadijvari were also busy cooking European dishes, while inhabitants of Petriani enjoyed volleyball, table tennis and chess tournaments. Events were organised in Kvemo Kartli region as well. The EUMM spokesperson spoke and gave out EUMM prizes at a student event at the Tbilisi State University and EUMM monitors held a panel discussion about the EUMM with a different group of students. What is more, the audience appreciated very much a performance delivered by the Shadow Theatre in front of the Culture House in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) settlement of Koda.
In Samegrelo – Zemo Svaneti, the bus visited Tsalenjikha, whose inhabitants eagerly played volleyball against the EUMM Field Office Zugdidi team and received a presentation about EUMM; and then the bus went to Khalaghali, a remote village located in the vicinity of the Administrative Boundary Line with Abkhazia. The villagers also participated enthusiastically in a volleyball match on a muddy ground due to the rainy weather as well as in a Q&A session during which various EU-related issues were discussed with around 75 participants. They were also eager to talk about the current situation in the village: the village is inhabited by around 50 families, half of whom are IDPs from Ochamchire, Abkhazia; however, the villagers explained that their families used to live in the area of Khalagali until the 1940s when they were forcefully moved to Abkhazia.
Apart from the events in Georgia, EUMM staff met hundreds of members of the local public in Brussels and explained the role of the Mission in the region during the annual European Union Open Day Exhibition there.
Participants as well as organisers felt the whole series of events were successful, effective and informative and all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. EUMM will be organising more events in other villages and towns soon.