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If you’re in Gori and your car breaks down, don’t worry. You can go to Shindisi highway car service and get any kind of help there, from tire repair to car washes. If you need your car fixed, you can get best service from Levan Burnadze. He will proudly take you to his small workshop and fix your car with the help of modern toolkits and a four-ton electric crane.
Levan Burnadze was displaced from home twice – after the civil war in the beginning of the 90s and in the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. Now he lives in Berbuki IDP settlement with his family. To have a basic livelihood and support his family he first started working as a driver, but then decided to automotive repair. To fix a car he was borrowing tools from other mechanics but things have changed since he was granted with modern toolkits and four-ton electric crane through the LIFE Georgia project. Now others are asking him for help.
LIFE Georgia Project worked to increase opportunities for sustainable livelihoods of IDPs and the host communities in Samegrelo and Shida Kartli. Association Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG) was one of the organizations that implemented the LIFE Georgia project in Shida Kartli, providing financial support to small and medium scaled business ideas. The information about the granting program spread in the Berbuki IDP settlement; Levan decided to take the opportunity but his friends and colleges had a very pessimistic attitude. Despite that, Levan didn’t lose his faith and succeeded at the end.
“In spite of others pessimistic opinion, I was sure anyone could be successful in this project and if I did my best, I would win the grant. I was right, I succeeded and became more competitive in my business. I’m the only one in this car service who has modern toolkits and a four-ton electric crane and therefore I have more clients.”
Finally everyone is happy – the customer who can get better service in a shorter time, and Levan, who has more clients and has more income. His income has increased about three times after he was granted through this project by RDFG.
“There are people in this car service, who work more than 10 years and have nothing like that, neither crane nor toolkits. They can’t effort those things because they are very expensive and the car service income is enough just for basic needs, for supporting their families. Without the RDFG grant, I would never be able to buy these tools,” says Levan.
Nowadays friends and colleagues, who were pessimistic once, are waiting to participate in other granting programs. Levan’s success has stimulated them to take chances while he works happily in his car service and thanks RDFG for changing his live for better.