EU4Youth: young environmental activist from Georgia wins EU-supported CENN Green Scholarship

27-07-2020
Photo: European Union
Photo: European Union

Traditional ‘Svanetian towers’ from the mountain regions of Georgia, flowers, mountains, and picturesque landscapes – these are the imprints painted on reusable tote bags, which have been created by 17-year-old Mariam Narsavidze and her apprentices at a social enterprise set up with the support of EU4Youth. Mariam has arranged production of eco-friendly bags in Svaneti to reduce the environmental damage from plastic bags.

Mariam Narsavidze has now won a 1,000 GEL CENN Green Scholarship for contributing to green entrepreneurship within the framework of the EU-funded EU4Youth – Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development (SEED) project, aimed at increasing the employability of young people and promoting their active participation in the society. CENN (the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network) implements the EU4Youth SEED project.

The one-year scholarship, aimed at funding further environmental activities, has been awarded to five winners in four categories. The competition aimed at encouraging future leaders to more actively advocate for the environment and green entrepreneurship in their communities and to contribute to positive change through personal example. Mariam Narsavidze is one of the most remarkable young people in the Pari community in terms of identifying and addressing entrepreneurship and environmental issues.

Mariam has been engaged in environmental activities ever since she was an eighth-grader. She is one of the leaders of the Green Space eco-club at Pari Public School.

“When I was younger, twelfth-graders arranged different activities, and I joined them. The first was wastepaper collection. The one who collected the most wastepaper would win a book. I didn’t win that time, but we collected up to 1,000kg of wastepaper altogether and exchanged it for books for our school. The eco-club kids also arranged for a clean-up event and conducted an environmental awareness campaign,” said Mariam Narsavidze.

Now Mariam is preparing for university entrance exams, but she continues teaching handicraft at her social enterprise and conducting environmental trainings.

The project EU4Youth: Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development (SEED) for Green Growth in Borderline Communities in Georgia and Armenia is implemented by CENN (Georgia) with its partner organisations Green Lane (Armenia) and KRDF (Georgia). The overall objective of the project is to develop the entrepreneurial potential of young people from the region in the field of social entrepreneurship, aiming to contribute to social cohesion, employment, inclusion and reducing inequalities.

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