“Peer shadowing is a wonderful chance for you to explore how your peers are working in another country”

Mari Kapanadze, a lawyer working in the civil society in Georgia, wants to contribute the development of her country. She shares her experience of peer-shadowing at the organisation “Civil Rights Defenders” in Sweden and participating in the SI Summer Academy for young professionals (SAYP) at Malmö University.

Why did you apply to SAYP and later to peer-shadowing?

I set a dual professional goal for myself. On the one hand, I would like to be one of those people who will take a turn of Georgia’s future to the better one. On the other hand, I intend to contribute to raising the number of such people by motivating and educating them. I believed that my participation in SAYP and later in “peer-shadowing” could play a considerable role in reaching both goals, and I was right. Both programmes helped me to broaden my knowledge and acquire practical experience, which I intend to apply in my work and simultaneously share with my peers and students.

Is there something you will do differently in your work because of what you learned at SAYP and during the peer shadowing?

One of the critical aspects that I have learned throughout the programmes is the significance of transparency and credibility. Even though I am a representative of a civil society organisation  I realized that not only the state but also the civil society should be more transparent to gain more trust from society.

What are your recommendations to anyone thinking of applying for peer shadowing?

Don’t doubt it! Peer shadowing is a wonderful chance for you to explore how your peers are working in another country on a daily basis. It is an effective way to come up with new ideas for the improvement of your work and create new contacts for further cooperation.

Where do you see yourself in the future – what’s your goal?

I see myself as a decision-maker and an active contributor to the development of Georgia, especially concerning human rights and the rule of law. I feel the responsibility to be a productive citizen of my country on its way of becoming a modern democratic state. I am pretty sure that it is achievable if the number of people having the same spirit increases. The role of the programmes like SAYP and peer shadowing is indeed decisive in this sense.

Note: We will open for applications to Peer Shadowing when the situation caused by Covid-19 pandemic will allow for safe travel. You will then be able to find updated information here.