Disability World
A bimonthly web-zine of international disability news and views, Issue no. 7 March-April 2001


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Georgia Republic Disability Organization Asks for International Assistance

Sir/Madame,

We've just learnt about activity of your organization from Internet. Let me tell you briefly about us. Disabled people and Veterans Assistance and Employment Union as an independent non-governmental organization exists in Tbilisi, Georgia (former Soviet Republic) since 1995. Nowadays there are more than 500 members in Union, among them 10 staff members and volunteers who work at several projects.

Our mission is to promote open society building in Georgia, support peaceful initiatives by creation of disabled and veterans' civic institutions and their integration into international democratic systems.

Our organization has already carried out several projects, financed by the OSGF, SAVE THE CHILDREN FOUNDATION, DEMOCRACY COMMISSION OF UNITED STATES EMBASSY,we are still struggling for funding of our future projects.

One of the most important projects we are going to carry out , is the establishing of a special library "ASSISTANCE" for disabled , It will be the first such kind of establishment in Georgia aiming at filling the gap between disabled people's community and the rest of the society, assistance to their integration and active involvement to social life, reduction of the disabled person's informational isolation.

We have got building with special spaces and entrance lift for disabled people on wheelchairs.

We'll highly appreciate if you provide us information about possibility of our participation in your grant making program.

Thank you in advance

With best regards,

Nana Aleksize
Project Manager
Disabled people and Veterans Assistance and Employment Union
4 Makashvili St. 380008
Tbilisi
Georgia
E-mail: pupa@ip.osgf.ge

Georgia is a hilly and mountainous country situated on the eastern shores of the Black Sea, which stretches into the Southern flanks of the Caucasus Mountain. It covers an area of 70 thousand square kilometers and has a population of 5.5 million.

Following the disintegration of the former USSR, Georgia was among the first Soviet republics to gain formal independence and sovereignty on April 9,1991. In 1995 the country adopted its new constitution. In November of the same year presidential and parliamentary elections were held. The Head of the State was elected and the Parliament set up, while a new government was formed.

After the elections of new parliament and government this year, two independent Ministries (Healthcare and Social Welfare) were united and today the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is in charge of all the issues related to the problems of disabled people in Georgia. Special governmental program is carrying out by the Department of Disabled People's Affairs. In 2000 they were financed by 3,300,000 Lari (national Georgian currency) equivalent to US$1,650,000. This amount is spent to carry institutional programs, such as supporting of pension houses, implementation of integrative programs and social adaptation of disabled people. Unfortunately this amount is only 25% of needed sources. The slim governmental budget actually has no sources to support disabled People. There is no financing considered by the state budget in 2000. The same position is considered for 2001.

Next to the governmental institutions, a great number of non-governmental organizations carry their activity in favor of disabled people. For better coordination of their activity, on December 6, 1996, 20 organizations have joined into a Coordinating Counsel - The League of Disabled People, which carries its activity in several directions. The chairman of the league is Mr. Giorgi Dzneladze.

In 1998-99 it became possible to create the economical mechanism, considering the Standard rules on equal rights as defined by United Nations.. This fact enabled NGO-s to accumulate and spent on implementation of special rehabilitative programs for disabled $12 mil., but unfortunately in 2000 this mechanism was suspended, of course this fact caused the interruption of 90 projects at the stage of their implementation: Integrative education, producing of wheelchairs, provision of disabled with public conveyances, development of sport activity for disabled and many others.


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