Chai Khana media.code

Media and Digital Literacy Initiative
in the Conflict Regions of the South Caucasus

About the project

Chai Khana media.code is a Digital and Media Literacy Initiative for young people affected by the conflicts in the South Caucasus. Within the framework of this educational initiative, intensive training was conducted for 50 adolescents from Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the villages of Shida Kartli, where the families affected by the 2008 war live. The aim of the project was, on the one hand, to display what young people know about the media and digital literacy in the conflict regions of the South Caucasus, and on the other hand, to fill this knowledge gap; ...Read More to disseminate theoretical and practical knowledge about using media safely. In this regard, what tools are available, and how do they function. The project includes three stages:

  • Examining the needs of the target group and consulting with them.

  • Intensive training based on the five-component model of teaching by international media literacy expert and professor Renee Hobbs - Access> Analyze > Create > Reflect > Take Action.

  • Individual media projects were created by participants after completing the training. Media projects are a reflection of the conflicts in the South Caucasus. They are based on true stories, mostly personal experiences.
    It is important to note, that the participants chose to work on the projects voluntarily.

The project covers the period from December 2020 to January 2022 . The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors.

For confidentiality reasons, we do not publish the names of the project authors.



Media projects created within the framework of Chai Khana media.code combine photo, audio, and text stories. The invisible traces of the region's ethnic conflicts are told by young people who have personally experienced the consequences of the war.

“International space” on the ground

Author: Ulviyya Shahin Karimova

Ulvia Karimova, an Azerbaijani student, has been living in Marjanishvili, an old district of Tbilisi, with her daughter for several years. She devotes this photo report to the idea of diversity built by the coexistence of Georgians, Turks, Azeris, Arabs, Armenians, and Russians living in the area.


Authors: Salome Ketsbaia, Teona Akhalaia

The history of Salome and Teona's friendship is a clear example that boundaries and limitations are just concepts constructed by humans. This audio dialogue tells the story of how they became friends in Gali, on the stage of adolescence when you trust no one and nothing.

„War is a wound in every heart”

Author: Sakinakhanim Mammadova

"You will build a ruined house with this, but you will not be able to bring people back. War leaves wounds in everyone's heart" - these words by Armenian photographer Arthur Vartanian are the main message to Armenians and Azerbaijanis affected by the Karabakh conflict. Sakina Mamadova's article tells us more about the peace support from Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The forgotten ones

Authors: Lolita Gogokhia, Guram Makatsaria

Irakli was four years old when he fled Georgia to Russia with his parents and older sister due to the ongoing hostilities in Abkhazia. The expulsion was followed by integration difficulties into new and foreign societies. This text tells us about the constant feeling of exile, and shows the challenges seen through the eyes of one of its members.

Return to Gali

Author: Anonymous

The COVID-19 pandemic covered all spheres of public life. Closing the borders has doubly hurt people whose movement was restricted by long-running political or ethnic conflicts. In March 2020, the Enguri bridge, which divides Samegrelo and Abkhazia, was closed indefinitely. This record, based on the experience of a Gali student, describes the difficulties of returning to families across the bridge.

University Entrants From Gali

Authors: Anonymous

Preparing for university entrance exams is probably one of the most stressful times for adolescents. Both emotionally and rationally, it is a new phase in their lives. This comic, created by graphic design and journalism students, depicts Gali entrants' long and dangerous journey from their homes to the university gates.

Project in figures


Participants’ overall data

A total of 50 young people have participated in the project. Among them were:

  • Journalists
  • Graphic designers
  • Social and economic science graduates
  • Students
  • Schoolchildren


Participants joined us from

  • Gali
  • Sukhumi, and its neighboring villages
  • Gulrifshi
  • Shavshvebi
  • Kvemo Nikozi
  • Dirbi
  • Dvani
  • Tskhinvali, and its surrounding villages
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan

Training topics

Intensive training aimed at developing the following digital and media literacy competencies:

  • Mobile Reporting
  • Photography, Videography
  • Podcasting
  • Digital Communications Management
  • Digital Hygiene
  • Information Verification Methods
  • Facebook Analysis
  • The basics of Nonviolent Communication
  • YouTube Channel Management Basics
  • Music theory and practice


Iza Gambashidze

17 years old

Shavshvebi IDP settlement

“This five-day media literacy program was my first and most serious project in terms of non-formal education. During the time I spent with you and the attractive mentors, I gained a lot of interesting information and good experience ... I will apply the knowledge gained during the project in practice. This project has paved the way for me in many directions. For example, in the projects I am currently participating in, the knowledge and experience gained from your project are helping me a lot. I took a computer skills course, and more or less, we touched on media literacy and social media-related topics in general. I cannot describe how good it feels when you already have an idea about this and that topic, and then use it in various tasks or communication. If someone asks me what the best memory of this summer was, I will say it without thinking - mediacode2021! "

Rezo Turashvili

19 years old

Shavshvebi IDP settlement

"This project gave me very good and important information. I met people like you and had an unforgettable time. Besides, during the project, I touched on practical topics like mobile photography and videography that are beneficial every day. I look at the information spread on social networks more critically today than before. I learned a lot about cyber security. I can only say positive things about this project."

Lika Moshiashvili

Digital Communications Trainer

"Knowledge of new technologies and media literacy is an opportunity for the development of relations between people living in conflict areas."

Lily Pulariani

Social Media Platform Management Trainer

"This project, I think, serves as a turning point for the teenagers involved. They have mastered all the techniques or forms of modern communication that will help them find followers for their ideas, and convert their opponents into supporters “.

Guram Tsibakhashvili

Photography trainer

"Unfortunately, the project is over, but I think it was interesting and important in two ways: one is to meet new people who bring their world to you, and the other is to talk to them and share your knowledge and experience. They will most likely not learn it in school."

Maka Petriashvili

Cyber Security Trainer

"The project was very relevant in terms of both form and content for media literacy and peacebuilding in the region. It will definitely have a positive impact on the peaceful settlement of conflicts."

Giorgi Gogua

Multimedia Journalism Strainer

"Media literacy is extremely crucial in today's environment where social networking is so popular that it is difficult to identify true and false content in a massive flow of information. That's why every action that helps young people comprehend media literacy, both theoretically and practically, will increase the chance of gaining a better media environment in the future. This initiative, in my opinion, served this purpose, and it would be much more intriguing if the Training of Trainers was provided so that young people could share their experiences with others in a comfortable environment."