“My Georgia – My Participatory Budget”
Marneuli district, village Tsitelisopeli
We visited the village of Tsitelisopeli overnight to see the results of Aram Akopian’s initiative.
We followed the lighted and paved road and reached the house of Aram.
“Even my own father didn’t believe that it would work,” the host smiles. His face clearly expresses satisfaction.
The story begins like this: Aram Akopian was still a student when he received information about the “Participatory Budget” from Olga Endeladze. Endeladze is a coordinator in Marneuli and Sighnaghi of the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
“After consultations and trainings with local authorities, an excellent team was formed, including initiative citizens, including, of course, Aram,” – Olga says.
“I really wanted the village to have a stadium, asphalt, street lighting, when I spoke about these issues, the whole village looked at me ironically… However, I went through a special training with several like-minded people with the help of the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia, how to write a project, how to request money from the “Participatory Budget” and got down to work. The villagers did not believe me, even when people from the municipality appeared there, and when the installation of outdoor lighting poles began, and then the lanterns. They insisted that they would not light up,” – Aram recalls with a laugh. “This village has existed for 130 years, and there was never a light outside, who could imagine that?”
One fine day there was a light on the street. At the first stage, only in the center, then poles were made in the alleys.
The outdoor lighting and the road. Tsitelisopeli – Kvemo Kartli
The skepticism of the villagers changed even more when Aram, along with the like-minded people decided to pave the asphalt in the village of Tsitelisopeli. “When I went to school, I walked in the mud during the rain… And we decided to pave an asphalt surface to the school at the first stage. But it turned out a little more. “
Next year, the villagers plan to renovate the stadium and arrange a park with the help of “Participatory Budget”.
“I am the coach of the football team. We even have a girls team in the village and we need a stadium very much. Also, it is necessary to arrange fitness simulators in the outdoor space, because it becomes a stimulus for young people”, – Aram tells us.
– Village Maradisi –
Now let’s visit a village where the community is actively involved in the development of the village.
One fine day, local resident Gocha Paksadze decided to set up a park near the school where his children go. Exactly where the dump was. Gocha personally took care of cleaning the area, involving his own children and other residents of the village. The next step was the development of a project for the “Participatory Budget”. So, 20 000 GEL were allocated from the Marneuli budget for the development of the park.
“Here are the benches, the swings, we do not stop, we utilized the money and started to plant the area on our own, at our own expense, the place is so beautiful and attractive that school meetings and events are held here. “
“Success is contagious – the Participation Budget is in the hands of us! Good Practices of Georgia”
– Village Kvemo Machkhaani –
“The great merit in the implementation of this project belongs to the Deputy Mayor, Madona Batiashvili, who included this project in the disaster prevention program. That is, a drainage system was arranged. Various projects will be implemented through the “Participatory Budget”, – tells us Olga.
“This is a very positive village, and the children are real activists here. The future of the country is in the hands of active citizens. For example, Olga continues, very interesting events took place in the village of Machkhaani, Sighnaghi district, in the Phaniani neighborhood with the involvement of the young people.
In the Phaniani village, during the rains, water entered houses, 8-9 families were affected. These people demanded a drainage canal, which cost 80 000 GEL. This is a very large sum for this small street. At the meetings, where the projects were viewed, young people asked to arrange a playground and a park. “We need the future, we need our space,” – they said. And a solution was found through right cooperation between local citizens and the government.