Meeting-discussions as part of Advocacy Campaign Ends in Regions
Presentations and discussions as part of the program for support of young people without care started on November 9 in 8 major regions of Georgia and ended on November 18. At the democratic involvement centers in Gori, Akhaltsikhe, Telavi, Rustavi, Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Batumi and Zugdidi, as part of the Advocacy campaign, Coalition for Children and Young People and Natakhtari Fund introduced a jointly developed program to interested parties, including, to local self-governments, nongovernmental organizations, media and business sectors.
It is important that in the program development process state offices, including, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Government Office were actively involved. The program consists of several important parts, which represent a certain guideline for municipalities in relation to beneficiaries.
The meeting participants discussed issues for support of young people without care. Namely, along with the presentation, they discussed new programs and the current situation in regions with unsupervised adolescents and young people.
“It is possible to unite the state and the Fund’s resources and achieve much better results. Local self-governments are able to allocate resources to support the beneficiaries. The issue is of problems arisen before beneficiaries over 18 years old, when, having left small family-style houses, young people cannot rent apartments, go to university and so on”, Nino Surmava, PR manager for Natakhtari company, said.
“1, 5 and 3 Tetri from sold bottles of Natakhtari is transferred to the Fund (small, big and medium bottles). These funds are managed by Our House Georgia association to assist beneficiaries over 15 years old. At the first stage, psychologists work with beneficiaries and they determine abilities, needs of the adolescents and develop individual assistance plans for young people.
The next phase includes an educational component. Some children may be doing badly at secondary schools and we assist them in overcoming difficulties. Those wishing to receive higher education, we hire tutors for them. If they give preference to vocational education, we enable them to continue studying or invite artisans, who know this or that specific trade. The scholarship includes the sum transferred for beneficiaries, who have left small family-type houses and have not found a job place and shelter. The scholarship covers accommodation fees, public utility payments and fares. Naturally, psychologists are involved actively in this process so as beneficiaries find a job place, develop their skills and not to wait for scholarships in continuous regime. The program for assistance-activation of beneficiaries guarantees that money spent by Government on these children up to 18 years old will not be lost in vain. They will grow as active and useful citizens of our society and they will not have to wait for scholarships in continuous regime”, Manana Omarashvili, head of the psychological service of Our House Georgia association noted.
The business company has been developing relations between the Authorities and nongovernmental sector. Today they share experience to local self-governments and nongovernmental organizations. In some municipalities they had to just explain that this program existed, while in other regions a wide range of the existing programs enables to determine a young person without care, as a target group, in any existing program, Nino Surmava noted.
“Cooperation between business, government and nongovernmental sectors enables to resolve any difficult problems, because the Government has leverages, nongovernmental sector has experience and business sector holds resources. In this case we can achieve bigger results through less resources”, Manana Omarashvili noted and added that it is of crucial importance to increase the role of local self-governments in implementing the advocacy projects.
We remind you that Natakhtari Fund has been working with beneficiaries of small family-style houses since 2011. Consequently, the Fund offers cooperation to local self-governments in this direction. As part of the mentioned cooperation, the Fund will be able to determine the needs of young people without care, plan interviews and carry out monitoring. Involvement of local self-governments may be expressed in renting residential space for them, paying for public utilities and/or granting transportation preferences.