IWPR has wrapped up an innovative regional fellowship programme that built lasting cross-border networks among local journalists in Ukraine, Moldova and South Caucasus.
Six journalists from the region undertook a month-long posting in another Eastern Partnership country where they were given the opportunity to explore relevant topics such as conflict, human rights, governance and European integration.
There has been little debate and dialogue between these countries to find ways of countering these common challenges. The fellowship aimed to not only support the development of individual reporter's skills but also enhance journalistic networks through improved information sharing across and around the Black Sea.
Piotr Garciu, a freelance journalist from Moldova's autonomous region of Gagauzia, travelled to Georgia where hefocused on issues surrounding the integration of national minorities, a key issue for both countries.
"The article on national minorities was very important," he explained. "The lack of knowledge of the state language is an issue in Moldova too in the areas where ethnic minorities live. Therefore, it was important to manage to describe the experience that Georgia has and the steps the Georgian state makes to improve the situation. I met former ministers of education, travelled to the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia, where Armenians live and extensively communicated with the people who actually implement education programmes for national minorities."