The Aghmamedlo community center has been operating for several years aiming at strengthening civic society and activating young people in Marneuli municipality.
It was 4 years ago when, a first-year student, Zakhir Aivazov saw the need to increase engagement of the new generation and the development of civic activism in the region. He founded the center in his garage and started implementing projects in this direction.
“The key objective of Aghmamedlo Community Center is the facilitation and progress of the community, making young people more active, and creating of a strong civic society. It’s not that simple. I’ve walked a very hard path. I was a freshman, all by myself, and had no experience at that time. It was difficult to gain trust” – founder, Zakhir Aivazov.
There are about 30 members in the community center. They started active work during the pandemic.
They actively cooperated with the local population to deal with the main challenge at that time. They listened to the concerns of locals and helped to solve the problem. For example, such a problem was the lack of information about the Covid virus – it was also difficult for the population to write appropriate statements to the responsible agency.
Zakhir also says that during this period, important information was not distributed in the Azerbaijani language and they helped to inform the population.
In cooperation with various organizations, they distributed products and helped some citizens to cover Internet expenses.
It was also important to conduct an information campaign on vaccination. As a result, about 200 people got vaccinated.
“Aghmamedlo Community Center” often holds training, and informational meetings with young people, students, and parents. Locals actively attend the events. The head of the center explains that to achieve this output he went door to door, discussing with everyone the importance of participation in public activities.
“We already have the result. Our center is visited quite frequently. They know what we do and they trust us. We work jointly for the population, and for the community. We do everything voluntarily”, says Zakhir Aivazov.
The project “Green Activists” was implemented in the community center of Aghmamedlo. Within the framework of the project, a club of green activists was created and the members of the club took sanitation measures in the village – they planted trees in the yard of the Aghmamedlo mosque and their houses. The project was implemented with the support of the United Nations Development Program.
In addition, there is the book club functioning in the Aghmamedlo Community Center office. There is a library where books in Azerbaijani and Georgian languages are available to locals.
The head of the Centre underlines the importance of the fact that the members of the team are from the nearby villages as well. The young people gather and discuss topics that are critical to them.
Some contribution has already been made in solving the issue of irrigation water, garbage bins, construction of a kindergarten. Focus groups were created, research was conducted, signatures were collected, and the mayor’s office was addressed.
Rinat Massimov, one of the team members, talks about the importance of the community center:
“The existence of a community center within the community is of vital significance, both for us young people and for the population in general. With the help of the center, many people get new information and this contributes to the development of the community.”
Author: Guranda Phutkaraya
Azerbaijani translation: Chichak Guseynova
English translation: Tamar Cherkezishvili
The article was created with the support of the Civil Society Institute, within the framework of the project " Civil Society Initiative: Sustainable, Open and Accountable Civil Society, Organizations for the Development of Georgia" funded by the European Union and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Kvemo Kartli Media is fully responsible for its content and it may not reflect the views of the European Union or the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The project is implemented by a consortium led by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) together with the following non-governmental organizations – Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG), Civil Society Institute (CSI), Counseling and Training Center (CTC), Education Development and Employment Center (EDEC) and European Institute of Policy (IEP).
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