NEW LESSONS, NEW LIVES
“Crunchy cucumbers. Juicy tomatoes. We grew these at the greenhouse. All kinds of herbs, too. We would have friendly competitions amongst ourselves to see whose vegetables were better. Everything tasted so good.”
Makhare Kvaratskhelia’s stories make my stomach growl and have me looking at my watch and wishing it were lunch time.
He, along with other orphaned children living in a care facility in the town of Tsalenjikha in West Georgia, was an active member of a public education and public outreach project targeting rural-domiciled orphans by providing capacity-building training to impart practical agriculture-based knowledge and resources alongside leadership and life skills with a view to increasing their opportunities for employment, inclusion and community leadership while raising self-esteem and self-confidence through the newly-gained abilities and experiences.
Georgian National Animal Health Steering Group Holds its Tenth Meeting
SAFEGUARDING GEORGIA’S HIGHLAND HERDS
by Jeffrey Morski, 28 December 2011
Akaki Elanidze, Chair of the Kakheti Veterinarians’ Regional Association (VRA), is using the map on the wall, pointing here and there over top of the words TUSHETI written in big letters in the fancy Georgian script, as he tells about visiting shepherds in these rugged and isolated highlands of northern Georgia and helping them protect their animals.
Elanidze is a part of the team of experts assembled for the Georgian Carnivore Conservation Project, organised by the NACRES Center for Biodiversity Conservation and Research and implemented in partnership with GRDP of GIPA and the Kakheti VRA.Read more
Marking a Milestone
The Center is funded by the Public Service Reform Initiative of the Open Society Institute and the Gori Municipality Local Government Office and implemented within ISEZ, a multi-component umbrella project designed and run by the GRDP of GIPA with funding from the US Department of State and the UNHCR in cooperation with local interest groups.
With the main hall filled with people—and the classroom, now emptied of its desks and chairs and turned into an art gallery—it is clear to see that this has been a busy year.
Set against a perfectly blue sky, the snow-covered mountains and bright sunshine make for an equally perfect canvas for the village farmhouses and their apple trees and cabbage patches that dot the fields and roadsides of Shida Kartli.
The simple beauty of this rural landscape, as if made to order, makes it easy to forget that Russian tanks rolled up and down the roads as Russian soldiers burned houses, killed animals and razed orchards during the August 2008 war which hit this region—and especially Gori and its environs—disproportionately hard.
Hundreds were injured, displaced and killed in an attack that no one expected and no one deserved.
Post-war rehabilitation is ongoing in the region as local and international organizations have risen to the challenges of helping the rural communities regain their lives and livelihoods through various programs of activity and engagement.
GRDP of GIPA, with funding from the US Department of State, the UNHCR and supportedby the Office of the State Minister for Reintegration, conceptualized, designed, built and now implements Georgia’s first rural development complex with the specific aim of assisting the rural rehabilitation process in Shida Kartli through providing opportunities for economic, social and community activities.