Fifth Wave of Natakhtari Fundraising Campaign Starts

On May 16, the Natakhtari Fund organized a press conference dedicated to the fifth wave of its fundraising campaign at the Holiday Inn Hotel Tbilisi. The company's management and representatives of the Our Home Georgia association introduced journalists and the audience to the projects aimed at educating and employing adolescents deprived of care.

Cuneyt Arat, CEO of the Natakhtari Company, discussed the Fund’s past activities and future plans. He thanked the Fund's partners and all those people who had been engaged with the charity. “We decided to establish the Fund approximately 5 years ago in order to take care of needy young people. Our goal is to equip them with the skills necessary for an independent life and make them feel that they are not alone. It was very hard, but the outcome of the project was the most important. Over half a million lari was collected for about 200 people as a result of the public's activities. Profits generated from the sale of Natakhtari Lemonade were all transferred to the Fund. Therefore, we would like to thank our consumers. The team of psychologists of the Our Home Georgia NGO showed great enthusiasm and professionalism. Also, we highly appreciate the efforts of teachers and employers who have been working on a daily basis for implementing the project. Special gratitude needs to be expressed to His Holiness the Patriarch of All Georgia, under whose blessings the project is being implemented, and to the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs.”

Nikoloz Khundzakishvili, Corporate Director of the Natakhtari Company, said: “[Young people] should be well prepared [for life] and this is our goal. Here we see the social responsibility of our company. We have nearly 200 beneficiaries whose lives have been changed for the better and will continue to improve. This project is distinguished from the other ones by its sustainability and what is more important continuity. I hope that the project will continue and every year we will be able to obtain funds to provide respective assistance to adolescents deprived of care.”

According to Manana Omarashvili, head of the Psychology Service of Our Home Georgia, the project turned out to be very successful. “The Natakhtari Company took on a lot of social responsibility when it started this long, needs-oriented project. The company appealed to those professionals who are familiar with the needs of children deprived of care. Also, significant activity was shown by our civil society. For instance, one of the teachers decided to train one of our beneficiaries for one of the national exams (GRE) for free; there were many cases such as this. It is noteworthy that the decision on allocating funding and incurring expenditure is not made by one person; there is a Coordination Council within the organization comprising of 11 people of various occupations. With a majority of votes, we decide which child needs assistance and in what ways. We are serving 167 beneficiaries, though the number of beneficiaries will increase from September. Apart from financial assistance, our organization is providing psychological assistance to beneficiaries. Of those we have assisted, 80 beneficiaries out of 167 are already working, and 66 adolescents acquired vocational education; 67 beneficiaries are studying at school and 15 at university. Five adolescents are currently preparing for the national exams. In addition, funding is provided for renting apartments for 77 full-aged beneficiaries. They are employed at cafes and restaurants, beauty salons, and the Natakhtari factory itself.”

Mariam Gelashvili, representative of the Social Service of the Patriarchate of Georgia said: “We are delighted with the success of the Natakhtari Fund and are actively supporting the project. Cooperation between the Patriarchate and the Fund creates even better opportunities for assisting more young people. Today we are talking about the future generation, and it is important that youth without a home have a stable residence. I, as a representative of the Patriarchate’s Social Service, would like to ask our citizens to be more active and support similar projects.”

Representatives of the company and the Fund thanked those organizations and people who, over the last five years, were engaged in the Take Care of the Future project, which provided employment and education for adolescents deprived of care.

Tornike Kajrishvili

30 May 2016 19:14