TBILISI, DFWatch–A bus with Georgian and South Ossetian youth was to start a tour of Turkey and the Balkans Saturday morning, Interpressnews reports.

The trip, called Georgian – South Ossetian Youth Peace Express, will last 17 days and bring the youth by bus through five European countries: Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo, where they will meet with students, civil activists and local governments to formulate plans and mechanisms for future cooperation.

During the trip participants will get a chance to acquire new knowledge and experience from their European fellows, and learn about their values ​​and activities.

The bus was to leave Tbilisi Saturday morning, and later the Ossetian participants will join the group in Istanbul. The youth will return to Tbilisi on May 12.

The Georgian – Ossetian Civil Forum told Interpressnews that the trip is funded by the joint UNDP and EU’s program COBERM.

This was created in 2010 to address challenges to peace. According to UNDP Georgia’s webpage, the second phase COBERM will last for three years and supports initiatives that are ‘applying a people-centric approach within and between conflict affected communities and build an enabling environment within the divided communities to strengthen respect for peace and stability.’