With funding from USAID, Global Communities began implementing projects in Georgia in 2004 offering vocational training and employment opportunities in construction while rehabilitating community-prioritized major infrastructure. The goal was to help Georgian communities to achieve greater self-sufficiency and stability by improving essential infrastructure services and enhancing local economic development.
At the community level, these initiatives have helped to support agriculture and tourism, two sectors which have tremendous potential for the economic well-being of Georgia’s rural population. Global Communities also helped facilitate public-private partnerships with the government, private sector and civil society. For example, we partnered with the local NGO Civitas to implement a Municipal Economic Development Planning program in 20 municipalities in the regions of Guria, Imereti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Shida Kartli, and Mtskheta-Mtianeti to encourage local economic development initiatives.
From 2009-2012, Global Communities helped to upgrade and rehabilitate schools in the former conflict zones of Gori and Kareli, within the Shida Kartli region, so that children can learn in a safe and energy-efficient environment. Even before conflict broke out in South Ossetia in 2008, 68 percent of children living in Georgia’s region of Shida Kartli were living in poverty and many schools had not been repaired in over 20 years. During the conflict, 25 percent of schools were affected through looting or building damage, including fire. Through the program, Global Communities rehabilitated schools with items such as new roofing, insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, replastering/repainting, heating and toilets with water tanks. Global Communities also ensured the use of energy efficient materials and removal of all toxic building materials in all school structures, including lead paint and asbestos. As an extension of this program Global Communities also helped to renovate and furnish orphanges in ethnic, minority areas.