Since 2016 Istituto cultura italiana joined the European voluntary service programme (EVS, following ESC) hosting European young people in Georgia in order to foster intercultural-exchange, contributing to the renovation of democratic, educational, social and civil structures in Georgia, and to involve young people in activities useful both for the local community, and for their personal and professional growth.
During several projects, we have been leading an editorial board with volunteers for digital publishing, we have been organizing a language club and intercultural exchange involving the local community, organized workshops and lectures at other organizations and institutions, and carried out a daily work on media-literacy and the conscious use of new technologies.
The most recent activities have focused in the learning and the preparation of a Mediawiki installation, completed with all Wikisource tools, and prospective activities are expected to include open-air initiatives in the social-care and societal/environmental fields.
Our projects are distinguished by the right balance (in our opinion) between social/ public relations and study/work activities, the first being a natural product of a preparatory work which should be equally stimulant and significant "per se".
Istituto cultura italiana from the beginning of its activities and administration has focused on the combination of a cultural offer, ranging from café philo encounters, lectures, painting exhibitions, language lessons – all of them characterized by an international disposition and vocation – with an information processing work, aimed at valorising created data and to let daily life of the organization and its members empowered, rather than "constrained", by data structures originating from their locality and specificity, rather than from the "elsewhere" of multi-national industries and global market.
According to this view, we have cooperated with local partners and friends, for the creation of a IT (information technology) back-end for the management of student's classes and lessons, organization of contacts, timetables, internationalization (i18n) and presentation of curricula, "real time" booking of lessons, an "enhanced" chat encouraging at complexity of communication rather than the radical opposite, installed on our own website, and much, much more, devoting to that approach significant resources of the organization, personal energies, and time.
Typically our projects are composed by media-literacy activities, focusing on themes proposed by the partner organizations and fitted on the interests of volunteers, and by intercultural activities, with attention for writing of articles, reports, interviews, workshops held at other institutions, language exchange clubs, and if possible, cineforum or theatre's events. Here is a brief summary of the activities organized until now!
Our organization members do their best to provide volunteers with an accommodation suitable for their needs, and with regards of the three projects listed below we have hosted volunteers initially in a prestigious flat in the city center (right besides corso Rustaveli), shared with a professional and past student of our organization, then in a private flat in Saburtalo, near Kazbegi av., and finally in a modern and comfortable private flat located in Vazha Pshavela av. (3 metro stops from our office).
In our experience, considered that cultural and societal differences between Georgia and European countries are significant, a private room in family is the best possible solution, in order to guarantee that volunteers are assisted through out all their stay, and they will not suffer isolation.
A cohabitation with a local person is also the best way to ensure that volunteers will undertake their experience with the right spirit, that is non only for the benefit of the local community but also for being able to "host", in turn, different behavioral models and sensitivity that another culture is able (or should be able) to offer, inasmuch as both aspects are the very purposes of the programme: a genuine impact on the hosting community, and an equally genuine learning dimension.
Georgi Datukashvili (Project coordinator) Georgi has graduated in Russian language and literature at Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani State Pedagogical University in 1997 and he holds a Master of Public Administration obtained in 2007 from Zurab Zvania’s Georgian Institute of Public Administration. He has been working in Non-Governmental Organizations since 2009, with roles ranging from logistics management at Première Urgence Internationale, translator of legal documents and language teacher of English at Association SHEN, project management at Danish Refugee Council, and Database manager/bookkeeper at Caritas from 2013 to 2018. Georgi has a perfect command in both English and Russian language, and strong administrative and "public relations" skills. Georgi is entitled to coordinate the various aspects of the ESC project, and to personal or intercultural learning support.
Mariam Kokolashvili (Logistic support) Mariam holds a bachelor in Cultural Tourism at Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgia State University, and is specializing in "event management" at Budapest Business school. She has participated to the AIESEC project (International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences) with presentations on environmental issues, global warming, and tourism activities, and is member of the Youth Enrichment Society (YES) in Budapest, to helping the Hungarian government and Hungarian universities with internationalization strategies. Mariam has an international background and she is an enthusiast team's leading and facilitator.
Tommaso de Vivo. (Administrative tasks and task-related support on media-literacy) Tommaso holds a master degree in Philosophy from University of Florence and a "Ph.D." in Civilization of Humanism and Renaissance, with joint-diploma from University of Florence and Paris IV-Sorbonne, in historical-philosophical area. He has been redactor, teacher and professor of computer science in state and private organizations and at University of Florence (degree course "Storia e tutela dei beni archeologici, archivistici e librari") before undertaking his curriculum in humanities, and he is an expert in bibliographical research, digital publishing and semantic data. Tommaso will provide task-related support to volunteers specifically in the field of media-literacy and in the preparation of their workshops.
Lela Pirtskhalava (Linguistic support) Lela holds a degree from Tbilisi State University in English language and literature. From 1993 to 2008 she has been lecturer in English language at Technical University of Georgia with concurrent assignments at International Institute of Ecology and Agriculture, Première Urgence Internationale, The Charitable Foundation of the Georgian Patriarchate, and International Institute of Economy in the same period. Since 2011 she has been English teacher at Professional college Eqvtime Ghvtiskatsi, Creative Educational School, Buckswood International School, Italian School "Tsiskari", and School of St. Nicholas presently. In the academic years 2015–2017 she has been co-organizer of the English language classes in Philosophy for high-school children "slow reading of Plato’s Republic" at "Junior Achievement in Georgia" organization. Lela has an innate vocation for English culture and language, which she has assumed as lifestyle, and together with her perfect command and expertise in both Russian and Georgian language she is an ideal person for leading any kind of student to the fulfilling of their learning objectives.