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ACF - South Caucasus Newsletter Spring 2012

ACF - South Caucasus Newsletter Spring 2012

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Published by: Acción Contra el Hambre on Apr 26, 2012
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04/26/2012

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ACF
 
South
 
Caucasus
 
Bulletin
 
Issue
 
VII
 
Spring
 
2012
 
ACF
 
organizes
 
Go
and
See
 
visits
 
to
 
Georgia
 
for
 
potential
 
Meskhetians
 
repatriates
 
ACF
 
is
 
an
 
international
 
organization
 
that
 
uniquely
 
bridges
 
emer
gency
 
relief 
 
and
 
longer
term
 
development.
 
Our
 
solutions
 
to
 
global
 
hun
ger
 
are
 
needs
based,
 
context
specific,
 
custom
ised
 
through
 
direct
 
com
munity
 
participation
 
and
 
distinguished
 
by
 
these
 
defining
 
characteristics:
 
Comprehensive
 
approach
 
Lasting
 
solutions
 
Community
centred
 
Independent
 
and
 
impartial
 
Full
 
accountability
 
and
 
transparency
 
Efficient
 
and
 
cost
effective
 
Action
 
Against
 
Hunger—Spain
 
Caracas
 
6,
 
Floor
 
1,
 
28010
 
Madrid
 
(+34
 
91)
 
391
 
5300
 
www.accioncontraelhambre.org
 
South
 
Caucasus
 
Coordi
nation
 
Office
 
Head
 
of 
 
Mission:
 
Celine
 
Carre
 
achhom@caucasus.net
 
30
 
Makashvili
 
Street,
 
Tbilisi
 
(+995
 
32)
 
988238
 
Field
 
offices:
 
Tbilisi
 
(East
 
Georgia)
 
Zugdidi
 
(West
 
Georgia)
 
Sukhumi
 
and
 
Gali
 
(Abkhazia)
 
In
 
Armenia:
 
Sisian
 
In
 
Azerbaijan:
 
Baku
 
In October and November 2012,within the framework of its pro-gramme ““Supporting the repatria-tion of persons deported fromGeorgia in the 1940s and their de-scendants”, ACF organised 2 Go-and-See visits to Georgia for po-tential Meskhetian repatriates liv-ing in Azerbaijan. All 17 partici- pants in these visits have receivedthe repatriate status document andthe visits allow them to make aninformed decision regarding futurereturn to Georgia.During each visit the participantswere able to visit regions in Geor-gia where other Meskhetian fami-lies are residing, discuss repatria-tion issues with national and re-gional government officials andmeet with Meskhetian organiza-tions working in Georgia. An ad-ditional benefit of these visits wasthat, on their return, participantswere requested to inform other applicants of their experience andthe information that they have re-ceived. This process builds uponexisting informational services thatare being implemented within theframework of the programme.The European Centre for MinorityIssues (ECMI) is working in part-nership with ACF on this pro-gramme and facilitated a meetingin Tbilisi for the participants,which was attended by governmentrepresentatives from the MRA, theMinistry of Justice and the Na-tional Security Council. Thegroups also met with Meskhetianorganizations that are working inGeorgia to hear their perspectiveon the repatriation process.Later in the visit the groups trav-elled to the villages of Ianeti inSamtredia Municipality and Tsite-lubani in Gori Municipality to meetwith local Meskhetian familieswho were able to share informationon the present situation in Georgia,regarding living conditions andopportunities.Finally the participants visited Ak-haltsikhe and Adigeni Municipali-ties in Samstkhe-Javakheti andvisited their villages of origin. Inthe village of Smada one of the participants located his homewhere he lived before being exiledin 1944 and talked with the familywho are now living there. Theexperience was very emotional andhe told to the ACF representativeshis story:
 Personal 
 
 Account of Meybiyev Dilavar from Smada
village of  Saatli region in Azerbaijan
(people gave the names of their old villages inGeorgia to the locations they settled in Azerbaijan) Dilavar was 11 years old in 1944 whenhe was deported from Georgia along with his mother, brother and sister. His father and his 4 brothers were away at the war at the time and never returned.The family were resettled in Kyr- gyzstan and life was extremely difficult but they survived due to hard work.The first time Dilavar re-visited hisvillage in Georgia was in 1978, having obtained, with great difficulty, the per-mission pass to enter the Akhaltsikhe zone (during the Soviet times it was forbidden to visit the bordering regions). He found his home in whicha Georgian family now live. Theowner welcomed Dilavar and invited him in, and Dilavar stayed a few daysvisiting the neighbouring forests and villages. No more Meskhetians lived inthe area. The Georgian host offered to share his land plot and to build a newhouse there for Dilavar and his 5 sons,but Dilavar refused the offer, saying that he will get a new land plot for himself. In the late 80’s Dilavar and his familymoved to Azerbaijan. The second timehe came to Smada village to visit hishouse was in 2000. His Georgian host  from the previous visit had died but his son also welcomed Dilavar.The “Go and See” visit was the third time that Dilavar has seen his old home and village. During the time hewas there he filled plastic bottles withwater from the local spring in the vil-lage and the Georgian family living inhis old home again welcomed him, and helped him to pick apples from theorchard – the water and apples were tobe taken back for family members and villagers in Azerbaijan.
ACF intends to run a further 6 “Goand See” visits from Azerbaijan inthe coming months as well as 1visit from Turkey and 1 from Kyr-gyzstan. It is planned that 90 peo- ple will attend these visits.
 
Meybiyev
 
Dilavar
 
from
 
Smada
 
village
 
 
 
Public
 
water
 
point
 
in
 
Vestomta
 
Throughout the summer of 2011 the ACF technicalteam was working up in Tusheti, constructing andrehabilitating water systems in eight mountain vil-lages. The water systems were rehabilitated under the EU-funded programme, "Delivering protectedarea capacity and engaging traditional pastoral com-munities to conserve Georgia's unique and interna-tionally important biodiversity in the Republic of Georgia, Kakheti region", that is being implemented by Fauna and Flora International and NACRES.Construction work in the mountain communities inTusheti is never an easy venture, with the terrainand weather throwing up constant challenges andcalling for a high degree of patience and adaptability.The plan had been to start in early June, but with theroad only opening up for heavy vehicles at the end of that month, it meant that the team and local villagersonly had a three-month window to complete all theworks, before the snows arrived again and roadclosed for winter.Before work could begin though, there was the smallmatter of transporting building materials and pipesfrom Tbilisi and Telavi up the recently opened roadand over the 3,000 metre Abano pass to Omalo.Residue snow, rock-falls, hair-pin bends and moun-tain streams flowing across the road,
 
meant this was
ACF
 
South
 
Caucasus
 
Bulletin
 
Issue
 
VII
 
Spring
 
2012
 
Working
 
with
 
Communities
 
in
 
Georgia’s
 
Highlands
 
News
 
in
 
brief:
 
Natalia
 
Duguy
 
left
 
the
 
mission
 
and
 
her
 
role
 
as
 
Regional
 
Director
 
Joiners:
 
Celine
 
Carre
 
 joined
 
the
 
ACF
 
team
 
as
 
the
 
new
 
Regional
 
Director
 
Amiran
 
Vacheishvili
 
 joined
 
as
 
Base
 
Adminis
trator
 
for
 
the
 
East
 
Geor
gia
 
base
 
Nino
 
Kvinikadze
 
 joined
 
the
 
East
 
Georgia
 
Base
 
as
 
Administration
 
Assistant
 
Irma
 
Kortua
 
 joined
 
the
 
TA
 
Project
 
as
 
Deputy
 
Program
 
Coord
 
inator
 
Medea
 
Gugeshashvili
 
 joined
 
the
 
Repatriation
 
Programme
 
as
 
Deputy
 
Program
 
Coordinator
 
Gocha
 
Beridze
 
 joined
 
the
 
East
 
Georgia
 
team
 
as
 
Driver
 
for
 
the
 
NSA
 
project
 
Zurab
 
Iakobashvili
 
 joined
 
as
 
Head
 
of 
 
Project
 
for
 
the
 
EU
 
NSA
 
project
 
left to the services of a professional haulage company with experience of the terrain. After three separate10-hour trips, all the materials were finally delivered and stored in Omalo and the outlying villages.A local engineer and a group of technicians were recruited to perform the work and were supported in their efforts by villagers from each of the communities where the water supplies were being rehabilitated. Inmost case the rehabilitation works were composed of performing head works to capture the mountainsprings and laying new pipes underground to bring the water down to the villages. Technically this wasn’tso difficult, but with limited vehicular access to the site of the springs, materials often had to be transportedon horseback and technical monitoring often called for tough mountain walks for the ACF engineers.With the summer months of July, August and September dry and devoid of any weather constraints theconstruction work continued unimpeded, only stopping on the odd day to allow for the festival celebrationsfor which the Tusheti region and Tush people are well known. By the end of September though, all workshad been completed and the communal water points in the eight villages were once again connected to aconstant water supply.On the 3
rd
October, just as ACF was preparing to deliver the small visibility plaques, that had been de-signed to publicize the project, the snow fell again and the region was once again closed to visitors. These plaques will now have to be delivered in June 2012.
Connected
 
water
 
pipeline
 
in
 
Chesho
 
ready
 
for
 
laying
 
underground
 

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