Rotary Helping IDP Students in Georgia
05 September, 2013
Rotary Helping IDP Students in Georgia
In the issue of the Rotarian District Magazine No. 431 had an article on Rotary’s humanitarian “Mentoring Project” aimed at helping IDP students in Georgia.
IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) appeared in Georgia as a result of two wars actually initiated by Russia – the former in 2001 in Abkhazia when substantial territories were taken away from Georgia; the latter - in 2008 in Samachablo (South Ossetia), which was separated from Georgia by the same scheme.
IDPs flooded cities and villages,
the capital city Tbilisi in particular. Since then there have been many problems connected with the housing of IDPs, their education, healthcare. Permanent displacement and scarcity of job positions difficulties stood in the way of IDP children’s education, their full and harmonious integration in the Georgian society.
Rotary Club of Tbilisi Georgia, founded in Georgia in 2009 by Prof. Tamari Tsintsadze, does much to help IDP students fully integrate into the Georgian society, its various institutions. This was attained through two humanitarian educational projects initiated by Nebraska’s South Lincoln Rotary Club (USA), sponsored by it and Rotary International and implemented by Rotary Club of Tbilisi Academia.
In 2012-2013 the club recruited 25 mentors (volunteers) for 60 IDP students. Professors, employees of the Parliament of Georgia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading members of the government of Abkhazia for an year held academic sessions with mentees, taught them professional and life skills, prepared them for the job-seeking process after graduation. Three IDP students, as a result of their training in the project, created NGO ‘’IDP Youth in Action”. The project got positive evaluation from Rotary International which decided to sponsor another mentoring project in Georgia, again together with South Lincoln Rotary Club.
Dr. Tamari Tsintsadze and the Board of the club introduced many changes into the project: geographically (Telavi city was included into the project) and structurally (new mentors, including well-known businessmen; excursions to important historical sites; new NGO ‘’IDP Youth in Action” as the implementor of the project, monthly lectures for all mentees on various aspects of international life, other novelties).
Particularly important is the fact that the Adviser Council will be created (with professionals and businessmen, other donors), which would supervise the project and seek donors for the realization of its third stage. It is a very important point: the American side, which sponsored the project for two years, expects the Georgian side, its businessmen to take an active part in supporting the third stage of the project. In one academic year in the framework of the project 60-70 students can be trained. Other IDP students are worthy of support and attention.
At the end of the project there will be the final conference, during which International certificates will be handed out to all participants of the project – students, mentors, representatives of the NGO.
The new project started in August 2013. Though the preparatory work was going on since January. It was a time consuming job but finally all main points have been worked out, mentors invited, IDP students interviewed, the general plan drawn. In September mentor - student pairs will start to work. The whole team – Rotary Club of Tbilisi Academia, its advisor Mr. Tom Cardwell (Nebraska), NGO ‘’IDP Youth in Action” - are on the verge of an important stage of the Mentoring Project 2013-2014.
In September 2013 the Governor Mr. Jamil Mouawad, Secretary David Zein, main trainer Mr. Ignace Mouawad and 35 rotarians from Lebanon will arrive in Tbilisi. This will also be beneficial for the project. The Governor’s advice will be invaluable, as well as some potential help from the District. So we are looking forward to the beginning of the project and arrival of the Governor’s team, which will add new dimensions to the project.
Board and members of Rotary Club of Tbilisi Academia address businessmen and other potential donors in Georgia with the suggestion and request to put their share into the realization of the third stage of the Mentoring Project. Let us join forces to help IDP students become genuine professionals, broaden their outlook, get better acquainted with Georgia and the society in which they live, become its full-fledged, valuable members.

Prof. Tamar Tsintsadze,
Charter President, Rotary Club of Tbilisi Academia

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