Kazbegi is one of the regions where the EU-funded rural development project was implemented. The project aimed to empower the community and improve the living conditions of the rural population through the introduction of the European model of rural development – LEADER and Local Action Group LAG.
The LEADER approach has been an important component of the EU’s rural development for over 20 years and is now piloted in Georgia. It was introduced to the municipality by Kazbegi Local Action Group (LAG) established in 2015 with the support of the EU in partnership with People in Need, a Czech nonprofit organization. The basic principle of the LEADER approach is that the action targets all types of local public, private and civic actors and individual inhabitants to create local partnerships and direct local resources towards more effective development.
With the support of the EU, Kazbegi LAG financed the initiatives that significantly contributed to the municipal development. Over the past four years, the project supported 110 local initiatives, created more than 100 jobs and brought benefits to more than 1000 residents of Kazbegi.
One of those initiatives is an eco- friendly electric bus service introduced to Kazbegi by Giorgi Avsajanishvili thanks to the EU funding. The service is very popular among tourists and it serves to encourage local people as well to introduce less costly and environmentally friendly services to the region.
Another such EU-funded initiative is the first dental clinic in Kazbegi providing high quality services, in line with modern standards to its patients and contributes to the dental service development in the region.
Tariel’s trout farm is also established with EU support. It is the only trout farm in the district and supplies not only catering facilities and restaurants, but local people as well. The farm is very popular among tourists and locals. Tariel is expanding his farm and will soon set up a relax space as well and offer on-site services to tourists.
Londa’s art school is another initiative funded by the EU. She returned to Kazbegi to teach kids to paint and encourage them to love art. Thanks to the Kazbegi LAG she realized her dream and she is now planning to reach kids in upper villages as well who find it hard to get to her school.
These are just some of the initiatives funded by the EU in Kazbegi that contributed to the development of the region. See these and other initiatives in the video.