Ekaterine. Photo by Jens Depelchin
Ekaterine. Photo by Jens Depelchin

Internally Displaced Ekaterine

Ekaterine Zaridze (For Better Future, Georgia) and Jens Depelchin (iDrops, Belgium) have worked together on Post-War ECOnnecting during their Tandem Europe collaboration. In this story, Jens focuses on Ekaterine's story, "Because she inspired me"... read on.

The Georgian-Russian war in 2008 made sure that a lot of people (128.000!) in Georgia were internally displaced (IDP are internally displaced people, who had to flee inside their own country). People who are internally displaced are forced to leave their home, but still remain in their own country.

The majority of those displaced in 2008 have returned to their original places of residence, but still a lot of people are unable to return, and will not be able to in the foreseeable future. Distinctions in benefits and treatment are currently based on the timeline of the original displacement as well as people’s living arrangements, rather than the criteria of their needs, vulnerability and mental state.

This is Ekaterine’s story, presented and filmed by her Tandem Europe partner Jens.

Post-War Econnecting thinking narrative, phase 0: “the war is finished, the effects on lives everlasting, okay, how can we help, can we also positively shape the future, yes – with the promising youth, so many challenges in internally displaced settlements (IDP), traumas, let’s start from the start, purity and honesty, yes, nature!, let them tell the stories, let’s reflect, improve skills … ” And step by step our new methodology was born, based on wilderness therapy and participatory moviemaking.

But I wanted to share my story about my partner in this project: Ekaterine. Because she inspired me, she is strong, she means so much to so many youngsters in IDP’s, and because of her, I had the most amazing time in Georgia. As she also lives in an IDP and the war had an impact on her and her family, we thought it was a good idea to test the first developed activities with her as a participant, before testing it with youngsters. It was the best idea.

I was lucky to have filmed her, be able to ask her questions, to connect with her in the wild mountains, to see her open up and reflect, to feel a little bit what she is feeling.

We filmed in the Kazbegi mountains, and this experience has moved me deeply. I feel so thankful and connected.

I wanted to present a movie that showed her, with really her story. You can see the result here: