The August 2008 war over South Ossetia had a significantly constraining impact on opportunities for peaceful interaction in the region. In January 2009, together with our international and local partners, we began a series of six Abkhaz-Georgian and six Georgian-South Ossetian dialogue and study-visit workshops.
In the immediate post-war situation, the process aimed to expose as many young leaders as possible to trust-building interactions. The six-day workshops brought together carefully selected young leaders from across the conflict divide. Participants were mostly between 23 and 30 years of age, with several years of work experience. The workshops combined political dialogue with a study-visit dynamic. They took place in Chisinau, Tiraspol, Prishtina and Mitrovica.
In total, 60 Georgian, 30 Abkhaz and 30 South Ossetian young leaders participated both in the workshops and in the preparation and follow-up activities that our local partner organisation held regularly. Even today, the alumni of Engagement through Dialogue in many ways form the basis of our engagement in the region (see our current project Young Facilitators Group).
2009 - 2012
Engagement Through Dialogue was conducted jointly by the former Berghof Foundation for Peace Support and Pax (formerly IKV Pax Christi), Utrecht, Netherlands in partnership with
- Agency for Economic & Social & Cultural Development, Tskhinval/i
- International Center on Conflict & Negotiation, Tbilisi
- World Without Violence, Sukhum/i
- European Union, Instrument for Stability