The Caucasian House, based in Tbilisi, Georgia, aims to contribute to the process of creating an ideological and intellectual basis for peaceful development and cultural integration of Georgia and the Caucasus region. To this end, the NGO, founded in 1999, organizes cultural events under the common denominator ‘Cultural Calendar’, sponsors theme discussions and mini conferences of subjects of interest to the peoples of the Caucasian region (‘Caucasian Folk University’), publishes (translated) literature, poetry and scholarly works, and is the initiator of a ‘Weekend School’ for refugee and other deprived children.
Caucasian House distinguishes three, partly overlapping program directions:
• The Cultural-Educational Activities aim to stimulate critical thinking and literary processes by supporting new generation of artists and translating significant works of Western and Eastern cultural heritage, including philosophical and theological texts.
• Caucasian Research aims to support the formation of a coherent and effective Georgian policy towards the North Caucasus by conducting permanent analyses of the situation throughout the region and providing appropriate recommendations.
• By civil dialogue and cultural-educational programs, the direction ‘Peace- building and Minority Integration’ aims to contribute to the process of a peaceful transformation of the existing ethno-political conflicts in Georgia and to integration of minorities.
Over the years, Caucasian House developed numerous donor and partner relationships with (international) organizations. The support given by Horizon to Caucasian House mainly focuses on the cultural-educational component of their activities. In addition, every year the Foundation makes a contribution to overhead expenses.
The publishing activities of the Caucasian House include the publication of scientific and exploratory books on the Caucasian peoples, the translation of important works of western and eastern thinking and literature into the Georgian language, and the production of the literary, religious-philosophical journal ‘Apra’. Since its inception Caucasian House issued ca. 200 publications. The Cultural Calendar and Café DNM contribute to the cultural diversity of Georgia and the broader Caucasus by creating a platform for poets, writers, artists and musicians, mainly from ethnic minorities, to present their work. Every year ca. 50 events are organized in the building of the House in the historical centre of Tbilisi.
The overall goal of the Learning Centre (or Caucasian Folk University) is to support regional cooperation and understanding of mutual values by facilitating a civil dialogue between young adults. More specifically discussions and seminars are organized on topics like Georgian-Caucasian relationships, Caucasian culture and history, ecology, and issues related to social psychology, economy, human rights, etc. Moreover the project aims to improve the integration of Georgian and non-Georgian students residing in the country and to support the process of socialization of ethnic and religious minorities living in Georgia and those having arrived from other Caucasian republics.
The Weekend School project aims to contribute to the process of integration and social/psychological rehabilitation of children from conflict affected, socially undefended, ethnic and religious minority families. Georgia is still a very poor country and many children, particularly those in communities of ethnic and religious communities, rise in difficult circumstances. Moreover, many families are socially undefended or effected by wars. In the safe environment offered by the Caucasian House, every year ca 30 children aged 10-14 years are invited to participate in this program of which the curriculum includes a broad variety of subjects like geography, ‘Caucasiology’, ecology, chess, making movie clips, conflict management, personal hygiene, chess, etc. Virtually all activities of the Caucasian House are video recorded and posted on the internet/social media. This ‘Internet Diary’ project aims to ensure a better outreach and transparency of the projects initiated by the House. The video’s on social, cultural and political themes can be found on the Caucasian House YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/CaucasianHouse). More information on the abovementioned projects and other activities of the Caucasian House can be found on its website: www.caucasianhouse.ge/en/