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When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, Georgia became an independent republic. Its economy quickly collapsed and crime, gang violence and corruption increased dramatically. Since the Rose Revolution of 2003, some progress has been made in restoring the country's infrastructure. However, civil conflicts in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have led to the displacement of 300,000 Georgian children and adults.
Save the Children in Georgia
A presence in Georgia since 1993, today Save the Children is one of the leading nongovernmental organizations working to help the country’s vulnerable populations — street children, women and internally displaced persons (IDPs) — as well as promote the development of civil society. Focusing on health, education and the needs of women and youth, our dynamic and innovative programs work toward sustainable results, allowing beneficiaries to independently continue their own development.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Georgia has seen the collapse of basic social services, the loss of jobs, overwhelming corruption, ineffective government, armed conflict and displacement of citizens. As a result of the conflicts and displacements, children have suffered such severe psychological consequences as depression, phobias, behavioral problems, aggression and violence, learning disorders, inhibition and passivity. Many are growing up isolated from the stabilizing influence of tradition and strong communities.
Looking forward, Save the Children plans to build on our success in Georgia by enhancing our programs in social welfare and protection, expanding our health and education programs to cover conflict zones in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and working closely with the Georgian government to help reform the country and create a viable society.
Abandoned by her mother at birth and physically abused by her father, Ana entered the Rebuilding Lives Project with many problems — ranging from serious deficiencies in motor development, perception, memory, language and attention to emotional disturbances. Because she was neglected, she did not know how to comb her hair, wash, or dress herself.
After seven months of working with our staff, Ana's cognitive, social and language skills have drastically improved. Her attention span has increased and Ana has managed to acquire basic skills necessary for her independent functioning — she can comb her hair, wash and dress independently.
Currently, Ana enjoys making beaded jewelry and writing poetry. A cheerful child who can now express her emotions appropriately to her peers, Ana is prepared enough to go to school.
Georgia Facts and Statistics
Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers report. You can access detailed data here.
Other sources as follows: Infant Mortality Rate: CIA World Factbook 2012; Life Expectancy at Birth: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; National Poverty Rate: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; Population: CIA World Factbook 2012; Human Development Index Rank: United Nations Development Program
Last Updated October 2013