Crafts as a Source of Employment of Youth from Samtskhe-Javakheti Region

This project aimed to promote the development and marketing of youth products based on traditional craft workshops in Samtskhe-Javakheti, to introduce a master apprenticeship model, and to establish a network of local craft social shops with cultural heritage sites in Georgia. To achieve these goals, product development training was held for young people within the framework of the project, created a new line of designs, arranged on the territory of the Vardzia Museum-Reserve, and launched a sales facility. The project involved 40 young people who have improved their knowledge of market requirements, product design, and functional group diversification tools, standards, packaging, and representation methods. This knowledge helped them to create a new product line and collections, as well as to diversify the collections in the future. As a result of the project were created the following functional categories: household items, interior accessories, toys, jewelry, clothing accessories, traditional weapons, carpet/rugs, souvenirs. For the marketing of the products, the project arranged a craft sales facility and open it in the Vardzia Museum-Reserve, which is distinguished by a growing number of visitors, including both foreign and domestic tourists. The strategy of the project also included the marketing of the same products at the following locations: Tbilisi G. Akhvlediani 23, Georgian Heritage Crafts Association’s Store "Ethnodesign". July 2, 2017, Akhaltsikhe Carpet Festival, August 2017 Fair of "Handmade Accessories" in Batumi. The project was funded by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, the Children and Youth Development Fund of Georgia. The project partner is the Georgian National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation, which is the owner of the Vardzia Museum-Reserve.