Rising from the Ruins: Help the School of Tomorrow

Although more than a month has passed since the devastating June 13 flood, for many the disaster managed to leave a deep wound which is still wide open today.

One of the many buildings destroyed in the huge wash of water, mud and debris that all but buried the Vera Valley, was the School of Tomorrow – a home of education to more than 200 students located on the territory of Mziuri Park. Today the institution is asking for your help to get ready for the new school year and Georgia Today sat down with the school’s Director, Ryan Arner to find out more about the center’s current state and needs.

“The building was completely destroyed by the flood,” said Mr. Arner. “There is nothing left that the school can use for educational purposes when studies start again in September.” However, the institution did manage to properly end the educational year with the help of the Ministry of Education and Science. “When the flood hit, we were in our last week. So, all that remained were several final exams for some of our older students. The Ministry of Education arranged for our pupils to take their exams in other schools across the city. We are very thankful for this assistance,” he said.

As for the loss, the exact figure hasn’t yet been calculated, but an estimated $1.6-1.9 million is expected to emerge and despite the fact that many governmental and non-governmental organizations managed to raise millions of Lari, the School of Tomorrow has so far received a total of 70,000 GEL (with a further 22,000 GEL expected). “We have received help from some individuals and business as well as from a few private schools, such as the European School which donated 5,000 GEL. The famous British-Georgian singer, Katie Melua, provided financial assistance and the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) is also planning to help. But the Georgian banks were required to send all their money to the government fund, so they couldn’t directly donate to us,” explained Mr. Arner.

Fortunately, the school has managed to find a new location – on Kavtaradze Str. However, the building needs to be made ready for September and is still in need of a variety of educational equipment including:

· Furniture (desks, chairs, office furniture)

· 15 computers (used PCs, any type)

· A projector system

· White boards or smart boards

· About 5-10 air conditioning units

When asked about the awareness of flood risks in the Mziuri Park location prior to June 13 2015, Mr. Arner said that when they first moved into the building the highway hadn’t yet been constructed, but said that the river had always had a reputation and they knew that risks existed. “Once the new road was cut that really changed things. Our American founder was constantly talking with the engineers about flood control and what might happen and they agreed to build a small flood wall beside the school,” he said. Mr. Arner also revealed to Georgia Today that there was another small flood on June 4, 2015, which, while not causing any substantial damage, was not stopped by the flood wall. When the June 13 disaster hit, the damage was inevitable- leaving the school completely devastated.

“Now that we have found a replacement building, we have less than two months to prepare for September 15th; to clean the building, equip it, furnish it, etc. So, if there’s anybody out there that could donate even some time and labor, that would be greatly appreciated,” Mr Arner said.

Established in 1992, the School of Tomorrow has been eagerly involved in boosting the general education level in Georgia. The school’s main aim is to tailor learning processes to each of their student’s needs and help them to develop and thrive individually. The institution’s learning agenda is specifically adjusted so that the involvement of the teacher is minimal and the students’ creative juices are allowed to flow to the maximum possible. Following years of continuously educating highly successful graduates, the School of Tomorrow received international accreditation just a month before the June 13 disaster struck.

If you want to donate to the School of Tomorrow, you can do so in the following ways:


JSC “TBC Bank”, Central Branch


BEN’S ACCOUNT - GE50TB7198636020100002

For PAYPAL (any currency) transfers use support@st.edu.ge

If you’d like to donate any of the above-listed equipment, the school’s temporary office is located at #57 Tsinamdzgvrishvili Str.

Beqa Kirtava

23 July 2015 22:27