I am Mariam Gordashvili, a 17 years old who leads the State of Youth chapter in Martkopi, a village in Georgia known for its extensive history. Our community is grappling with various challenges, but violence stands out as the most critical issue. Leading a team of five, we have embarked on the “Youth Voices against Violence” project to confront this pressing matter.

In Martkopi, the extent of physical and psychological violence is alarmingly high, a situation that is completely unacceptable in any aspiring developed community. Recognizing the complexity and severity of this problem, our chapter has initiated this project to address and mitigate the impact of violence in our area.

Our Project

So, how did we tackle this? My team and I embarked on a carefully planned initiative, executing a series of small, impactful steps over nearly two months. Our primary goal was to elevate the community’s consciousness regarding violence. Initially, we conducted a street survey to obtain residents’ perceptions of violence and their awareness of its consequences. Following this, we organized an educational session at a local school, engaging youth of various ages in enriching and interactive activities designed to shed light on this issue.

Additionally, we hosted a session featuring a guest psychologist and a therapy session filled with insights into the psychology of bullies and victims, aiming to deepen our understanding of violence. Our team led an art therapy workshop, where participants were encouraged to express their feelings about violence through creative means.

We also explored creative and engaging approaches to further our goals. We illustrated violent scenarios and depicted potential resolutions by organizing a puppet theatre and developing an animated presentation. These activities, characterized by their lively and colourful presentations, were not only entertaining but also educational, offering the community insightful reflections on addressing violence.

It’s important to discuss our social media information campaigns, which focused on the nature of violence, laws against it in Georgia, ways to protect oneself if bullied, highlighting famous women who have fought against violence, and our team members’ views on why youth should participate and work towards awareness to eliminate violence.

Despite encountering challenges with youth mobilization due to weather and technical issues, which required us to adjust event timings, the project concluded successfully. This experience highlighted the strength of teamwork, cooperation, and the desire for positive change. We met our goal of raising awareness about violence, effecting gradual changes in attitudes and actions. These changes, we believe, will continue to evolve, as meaningful transformation takes time to fully manifest.


Our Impacts
Our initiative profoundly impacted the local community, focusing on engaging youth aged 12-30 and their parents. Through puppet theatre, street surveys, and social media, we provided vital knowledge on self-defence and understanding physical and psychological violence. This multifaceted approach helped spread critical information and significantly influenced community attitudes.

We aimed to transform perspectives on bullying and violence, arming our participants with the necessary knowledge and skills for self-protection and fostering a sense of unity and engagement among all involved.

One of our crowning achievements has been elevating our village’s standing as a global inspiration for young people, propelled by KidsRights and the State of Youth support. This support has broadened the reach of our mission, bringing our efforts and the unique qualities of our community to an international audience.

Source: youtu.be