Partner of the Week – Rural Development Association

Rural Development Association (RDA) was founded in 2019 in Abkhazia. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, the mission of the RDA is to address a wide range of development issues in Abkhazia and to effectively promote growth and farmers’ capacities, business development, professional and skills development and access to education through planning, initiating and offering adequate solutions to local populations. Moreover, the RDA strives to build up resilient communities, by fighting poverty, promoting gender equality and reducing inequalities following a rights-based approach. 

To achieve its goals, RDA functions along its core sectors of expertise and is supported by its cooperation and partnerships with local communities to provide long-term, sustainable and cohesive solutions, secure resources for the organisation’s development and ensure that its actions are maneuverable to the needs of the local context. The specialised three core sectors of the RDA are at the intersection of humanitarian and development work to enhance: (1) support to farmers, training and awareness; (2) support small and medium enterprises and individual entrepreneurs through innovative trainings that adhere to social responsibility principles; and (3) improve access to community services for local residents through social cohesion and educational support projects.  


The Activities of the Rural Development Association 

 In line with the idea to expand youth cubs in Abkhazia,  the RDA screens short documentaries from the One World in Schools (OWIS) multimedia library. The OWIS is an interactive education model developed by People in Need that contains life skills content and provides access to other important topics that affect the youth. Furthermore, to make OWIS interactive and attractive to the youth, it includes role plays, discussions, brainstorming, group work and its programme focuses on human rights, media literacy, environmental issues and many other relevant subjects. As a result, the dynamic nature of OWIS has proven to educate and  empower a young generation of active citizens, as well as nurturing a didactic space to debate sensitive societal topics like social inclusion, conflict sensitivity, gender, peace building and more.  

Another activity is the raising awareness campaign for child inclusion, especially for isolated children with special needs. In order to engage in advocacy events for child inclusion, RDA created a book on disabled children from seven districts in Abkhazia. The book included illustrations and stories and it was disseminated to primary school children to raise awareness on inclusive education, promote human equality and empathy between people.  

Lastly, the RDA is also proud of its literature contests in support of human rights and social cohesion in Abkhazia. The participants include youth clubs and youth in general in a way to develop their critical thinking on the one hand, and increase their knowledge of world literature on the other hand. This allowed many children to become aware of the world around them and of their place in it. Similarly, teaching self-awareness or creating the space for students to grow, encourages the youth to explore their interests and their future paths in life. 


Our partnership 

The Rural Development Association partnered with Aflatoun in 2021. RDA  was highly motivated to enter Aflatoun’s partner network to enhance RDA’s efforts for change in the direction of youth development, local resilience and participation in Abkhazia. RDA as well as Aflatoun, are hopeful that in the future, social and financial education will allow an effective transfer of new educational practices and methods to Abkhazia, to be used either by local NGOs or Youth Clubs, to ultimately empower children and the youth in Abkhazia and surrounding areas.  

RDA is excited to start implementing Social and Financial Education: 

 RDA shared with us some of their impressions about Social and Financial Education, while waiting for implementation to start. With this enthusiasm, we cannot wait to see the impact that Life Skills and Financial Literacy will have on children and youth and their communities. 

Social education helps people become better citizens, get a better-paid job, and will help them improve their life” 


“To be financially educated from childhood gives a person the possibility they need to be financially secure later during the life.”  


“Financial literacy empowers individuals to make smarter decisions. Helps to understand better how to budget and save money.” 


“Youths teaching practices and awareness raising campaigns will provide children and youths with the importance of human rights protection, social inclusion, media education, the importance of protecting the natural environment by humans. This approach will help youths to learn about social issues that enhances knowledge, builds critical thinking skills, and helps youths make informed and responsible decisions”