Delegation of the European Union to El Salvador and to the Central American Integration System (SICA)

My Village: EU support to communty based rural development in Georgia

01/10/2020 - 07:00

1000 jobs in rural areas and almost 10,000 improved lives - that’s the impact of community based rural development in Georgia through EU supported local action groups. Our “My Village” campaign presents seven stories showing how LAGs work and the impressive initiates they are supporting.

Rural areas are a great way to experience the true culture and charm of a country like Georgia. But there is more than the preservation of traditions and history waiting to be explored in the rural areas; there is an immense economic potential to unleash for almost half of the country’s population living and being employed in these regions. In many case, harsh living conditions and massive emigration flows triggered by the appeal of a better life in larger cities, have all contributed to the abandonment of the countryside. However, concrete examples of local communities finding solutions to save their villages and flourish life back in their community show that when there is a will, there is a way.
The EU is assisting Georgia to improve rural livelihoods. Since 2013, under the ENPARD programme, we have been working with the government to develop policies, but also bringing other successful European practices in the field. One approach is to work closely with civil society, public and private sector to empower local people so that they take the development of their communities into their own hands through Local Action Groups (LAGs). With our support, Local Action Groups (LAGs) in 12 municipalities have been established, mobilized communities and initiated various social and economic actions to improve lives in rural areas.
Through the LAGs, the EU has funded over 500 local initiativesthat have helped diversify local economies, provided better employment to more than 1 000 rural households, and improved living conditions of over 10 000 rural population.
Our goal is to help Georgia’s rural communities to make the best of the local economy, stay and prosper in their own villages without having to think about migrating somewhere for better livelihood.
We are launching a campaign to bring you the success stories of some of the LAGs and rural households from different parts of Georgia. We will show you how local communities are taking a wider perspective, where they are seeking economic upturn not only in agriculture, but also through entrepreneurship, tourism, services and other locally driven initiatives. It was in their power to grow their villages. What would you do for yours? Get in and grow! 
For more information on this support programme and the success stories, check out Campaign page and Facebook page.
EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell about Local Action Groups in Georgia
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