The first public discussion under the „EU4Culture: Stronger Communities and Initiatives“ Project was held in Gyumri, Shirak region, on June 14, 2018 marking the launch of the project in Shirak region.
About 50 participants representing Shirak regional and local authorities, local CSOs and tourism-related businesses were present at the public discussion. The event kicked off by welcome speeches from the implementing partners followed by Project presentation. Through a facilitated discussion in groups, 9 clusters (Arpi, Akhuryan, Artik, Marmashen (2), Ani, Azatan, Amasia, Sarapat) were identified by participants. According to the Project design the final cluster selection will be based on a due diligence process through on site visits, situation assessment and consultation with different stakeholders, including a regional level multi-stakeholder group (MSG) representing regional administrations, CSOs and entrepreneurs. The MSG will actively participate in Project related decision-making, organisation of events and project monitoring. Once the final cluster is known, the regional group will be enhanced by representatives of cluster communities.
The „EU4Culture: Stronger Communities and Initiatives“ Project is co-funded by the European Union and is implemented by DVV International, Media Initiatives Center, Association of Museum Workers and Friends and Armenian CIVITAS NGO. This three-year project (February 2018 - February 2021) with a total budget of 547,000 EUR is targeting Shirak, Gegharkunik and Kotayk regions of Armenia. It aims to contribute to inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development of target regions through cultural and environmental education and initiatives targeted at community-based tourism development led by civil society organisations.
During the project up to 40 CSOs of Shirak region will be trained to enhance their capacity in developing and implementing cultural, environmental and tourism projects that emphasise benefits for the communities. Competitive grants will be available to the trained CSOs to implement 3 pilot projects and establish up to 4 social enterprises to promote local tourism development. About two hundred (200) school and university students will be better equipped to contribute actively to local research and facilitate participatory processes to create new cultural and tourism events and projects in their communities. Two museums will be trained and supported to prepare modern exhibitions and use modern communication tools and one of them will be selected to prepare multimedia exhibition. 2000 Armenians and tourists will enjoy access to rural festivals, outdoor events and traveling exhibitions.