Government Reps Visit Rustavi Sewing Salon

Yesterday, Leila Burnadze’s small sewing salon in Rustavi received some big visitors – RDFG Chairman Vano Grigolashvili; Grigol Giorgadze, First Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia; and Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office on Gender Issues.  Leila is one of the 30 beneficiaries of the Livelihood Development for Kvemo Kartli IDPs project (LDKK) who received assistance to start or expand a small business or agricultural initiative.

Leila’s sewing business – where she designs and alters clothes for children, women and men and home décor – provides a sustainable income for her and her disabled mom who lives with her.  Only open a few weeks, Leila already has a steady stream of clients and she is confident her business will continue to succeed.  Vano, First Deputy Minister Grigol Giorgadze, and Ambassador Verveer spent time with Leila during their visit, learning about the life-changing impact of the program for her and her mom.

The groups was also joined by Tamar Basilia, head of the International Relations Department at the Ministry of IDPs, and Natia Khaindrava, UN Women Programme Manager.

The goals of the Livelihood Development for Shida Kartli IDPs project and the Livelihood Development for Kvemo Kartli IDPs project are to reduce poverty in the region and create economic opportunities for IDPs.  When the projects began in June 2016, more than 100 beneficiaries from the two regions learned the basics of project management in agricultural and self-employment businesses, and how to draft a business plan.  Of those, 60 were selected by an independent consultant and panel of experts to receive start-up funding for their new or expanded agricultural or self-employment initiatives.

The projects are implemented by RDFG with financial support from the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia. Technical support of the projects is provided by the IDP Livelihood Agency.  The project runs from June 2016 to November 30, 2016.