Giving better chances to people in Abkhazia
Nana Tskharozia is a school teacher in Chuburkhinji – a small village in Abkhazia, close to the administrative boundary line. Keeping school premises tidy was not an easy task before with the building deteriorating and in need of repair. But this year the Chuburkhinji School is greeting children with freshly painted walls, fixed roof and refurbished classrooms
- Armed conflict, social unrest and economic disruption in the past 20 years left Abkhazia with crumbling infrastructure and growing poverty.
- UNDP provides assistance with basic needs, such as critical infrastructure, medical service, water access and sanitation.
- “People in crisis areas need to have better chances in life. They need to be given opportunities to make their own choices and have a fresh start” - Inita Paulovica, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.
“Our school is very old. We did our best to keep the place neat, and parents of school children would help us. But this was not enough for making classrooms really comfortable. We have a brand new building now. It looks beautiful and shiny. Our students will come to the renovated school in September,“ Nana says.
Recently Nana attended training for start-up entrepreneurs and now uses her new skills to set up a tailoring workshop in the school.
“It’s just a start but we hope to get some profit soon. Many of our students are interested to learn how to make clothes. We will run tailoring classes and will also do something for sale,” she says.
The Chuburkhinji School is one of the many sites in Abkhazia to benefit from the UNDP assistance.
Armed conflict, social unrest and economic disruption in the past 20 years left Abkhazia with crumbling infrastructure and growing poverty.
With funds from the European Union, USAID, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Government of Romania, UNDP works with people directly to address their most pressing needs and help rebuild lives disrupted by crisis.
UNDP provides assistance with basic needs, such as critical infrastructure, medical service, water access and sanitation. It also helps people become self-reliant, receive better education, start new businesses and improve job prospects.
“Infrastructure, medical assistance and education –those are the basics of development, vital preconditions for people to move forward,” says Inita Paulovica, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.
Medical assistance is one of the issues in Abkhazia. Rural clinics suffer from the lack of equipment and qualified staff, and people have little access to information and services.
UNDP helped refurbish and equip maternity wards in Gali and Gagra hospitals, and to set up mobile labs that can go wherever needed most and provide testing for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and other transmitted diseases. More than 4,200 people all over Abkhazia have used these services throughout a year.
“People in crisis areas need to have better chances in life. They need to be given opportunities to make their own choices and have a fresh start,” says Inita Paulovica.
Timur Arshba is one of the first certified CISCO specialists in Abkhazia. He teaches computer skills in his home town Gali and believes that positive change always comes with education.
“It’s the first site of CISCO Networking Academy in Abkhazia. There are about 100 students for now and more are coming every day,” Timur says.
With this first success in Gali, four more IT centres opened across Abkhazia.
The IT centre in the Ochamchira Youth House attracts children and youth from all nearby villages. Their trainer – Lika Buava, recently graduated the first level of CISCO courses in Gali.
“Young people need decent education and professional skills. It’s no use to sit and wait for opportunities. The best way is to learn something new. You can achieve a lot if you are eager to learn”, Lika says.
From education and healthcare opportunities, to repairing critical infrastructure, and supporting individuals and communities with skills and training for improved livelihoods – UNDP’s comprehensive approach supports thousands in towns and villages across Abkhazia.
UNDP remains an important partner in many spheres, often silent and unrecognized but always reliable and welcome by people in need.
A normal day to day life helps overcome the impact of crisis. Traces of war are still apparent but people can deal with everyday problems and look to the future. It holds a promise and opportunity to Temur Arshba, Nana Tskharozia and many others in small towns and villages.
Source: UNDP Georgia
More about the project
Since 2010, the EU has supported UNDP's programme on "Economic rehabilitation and confidence building in Abkhazia and adjacent areas in western Georgia" with a total funding of EUR 2 million. The programme has contributed to the results featured in this success story.