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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.
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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.
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.
The Rebuilding Lives Project works to reintegrate street children into mainstream society, improve government strategies and coordination to respond to their needs, and enhance public awareness about the plight of street children to overcome stigmatization and prejudice. The Communal Centers Renovation/Rehabilitation Project for IDP Families provides renovation services to the dilapidated communal centers where IDP families are living. The Small Grants Program promotes environmental and social awareness among those living along the route of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Supporting Equal Opportunities for People with Disabilities advocates for equal opportunities and full participation of people with disabilities in the political, economic and social life of Georgia.
Save the Children's Caucasus Tolerance Education Project (CTEP) in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan introduces children, parents and teachers to conflict transformation concepts and encourages them to develop critical thinking, tolerance, cooperation, conflict prevention, and cross-cultural communication skills. The project's centerpiece is a groundbreaking series of educational television episodes featuring puppets whose messages about tolerance, compassion and respect for diversity have reached an estimated 2 million children, ages 5 to 11, and their caregivers.
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 June 2014