New opportunities for supporting the youth who left the state care system appeared in local municipalities.
Main objective of the campaign is to support the youth based on their individual needs, in particular, to provide them with accommodation, job, as well as vocational and higher education opportunities and also meet their other needs e.g. cover their transport and utilities costs. As a result, the problems related to independent life of former beneficiaries and fears and complexities faced after leaving the state care system will no longer exist.
It needs to be noted that Natakhtari Fund has been engaged in resolution of similar issues since 2012 and accumulated wide experience in this area. That is why the Company decided to launch the advocacy campaign and applied with request to the Coalition for Children and Youth Welfare. A program was developed with assistance of the Coalition, later elaborated in consultations with the government agencies.
Other public institutions, including the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Government’s Administration got engaged in the program development process. Consultations and meetings are being planned with local self-government bodies. Recommendations and visions of all parties will be considered prior to finalizing the program.
The program consists of several important sections, which will represent a guide for municipalities in dealing with beneficiaries registered on their territories.
„The state care systems in the developed countries of the world (foster families and small family houses) assist children deprived of care not only until the age of 18, but even until the age of 21-24, as it is impossible for a young person of 18 to resolve the accommodation and job problems independently, not to say anything about necessity for psychological support. In our country, young beneficiaries, at the age of 18, have to leave the state care system, when they have not yet overcome the traumas inflicted by abandonment and sometimes violence. They are not independent financially and competitive for job opportunities, and do not have practical skills required for an independent life. Even those young people who were brought up in the best caring families in Georgia, traditionally may not leave their parents’ houses, since they are not ready to be independent at the age of 18. So why should we expect that the children deprived of care at the age of 18 can cope with an adult life and do not need assistance from the state?!” – stated the Coalition representatives.
The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Natakhtari Company and the Coalition for Children and the Youth Welfare on June 9. This memorandum was signed by Maya Mgeliashvili, the Chair of the Coalition Board and Nikoloz Khundzakishvili, the Corporate Director of Natakhtari. The purpose of this document is to assist the youth who left the state care system. Natakhtari Fund and the Coalition for Children and the Youth Welfare will jointly care for and advocate the youth who left the state care system.
Natakhtari Company established Natakhtari Fund in November 2011 and launched a new project Take Care of Future. Each year, during three months, within the charity campaign framework, from each sold bottle of Natakhtari Lemonade 1, 3 and 5 Tetri are being transferred to the Fund in accordance with the bottle volume. During 5 years GEL 747,857 were accumulated in the Fund and more than 300 adolescents were provided with various services in education and employment areas. The project is being implemented with the support of the Association Our Home Georgia and blessings of his Holiness and Beatitude the Patriarch of All Georgia.
The Coalition for Children and Youth Welfare represents an association of 41 civil society organizations working in Georgia and focused on children and youth issues based on an equality principle. It aims to develop the current welfare system for the kids and the youth and support protection of their rights. The Coalition’s main activity is to advocate children’s and the youth’s rights at international level, including through membership in regional and international coalitions.