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Georgian Gymnasium Opens Its Brand New Cafeteria and Kitchen


Counterpart International (Counterpart) reconstructs school’s facilities for neediest Georgian children

Kvareli, Georgia, September 27, 2009 --(PR.com)-- After only four months of construction, St. Ilia Martali Gymnasium of Kvareli celebrated their newly renovated cafeteria and kitchen at the end of August with an official ribbon cutting ceremony. Counterpart’s Community and Humanitarian Assistance Program (CHAP) implemented this project on behalf of the US Department of State (DoS) under the Small Reconstruction Projects (SRP) initiative. The gymnasium was not only granted renovated facilities, but the fifty neediest children received clothing, household items and hygiene and school kits, donated by US DoS Grantees based in Georgia. Representatives of the US Embassy in Georgia, US DoS Grantees, Kvareli District administration and local businesses participated in the event.

Zurab Chekurishvili, Rector of the gymnasium, praised the efforts by Counterpart: “I can’t find words to express my gratitude for the great support provided by the US government and private donors. The project created better, safer hygienic and healthier living conditions for 200 especially vulnerable children of Kvareli District. The project will also have a positive impact on the social education and cultural behavior of the students.”

Less than a year ago, Counterpart first began plans to renovate the gymnasium’s kitchen and cafeteria. The school expressed its readiness to provide co-financing to the SRP in order to complete the necessary renovations. In May 2009, Counterpart staff in Georgia started the SRP implementation following the US Department of State’s approval and allocation of $12,000 for the project (maximum funding for an SRP).

Counterpart completely reconstructed the kitchen and cafeteria building of the gymnasium: electric lines were replaced; water supply, drain and waste systems renovated; ceramic floors laid; old doors and windows replaced; ceilings and walls repaired and painted. The gymnasium’s staff volunteered in various ways assisting with the reconstruction in the amount of $8,000. The total project cost reached $20,000.

St. Ilia Martali Gymnasium was established in 1961 as a regular boarding school. Due to lack of funds, the school ceased functioning in 1994. In 1999, the Patriarchate of Georgia decided to re-open the school for the relatively large number of vulnerable children who needed such an institution. Today, 255 children attend school at the institution. Fifty students are school residents and have full board and lodging, while the remaining 205 children get meals twice a day at the gymnasium. Since the school is a non-governmental institution, it does not get direct funding from the state budget like other public boarding schools. The gymnasium is supported financially by private and international organizations. Budget limitations greatly affected the gymnasium’s ability to make these necessary renovations.

Since 1997, Counterpart has provided assistance to the St. Ilia Martali Gymnasium of Kvareli through regular provisions of clothing and footwear, blankets and bedding, household furniture and supplies, food and hygiene kits valued at over $178,000. CHAP has been operating in Georgia since 1995. From its inception to the present, the program has assisted about 2.5 million needy Georgians. Through its network of 960 partner organizations, CHAP has imported and distributed humanitarian assistance to Georgia valued at over $150,000,000.

Established in 1965, Counterpart International (Counterpart) has forged strategic partnerships in more than 65 countries. With 350 staff currently operating in 25countries, Counterpart’s programs encompass humanitarian aid and relief assistance, health care, democracy and governance, natural resource management and feeding the impoverished. Though Counterpart’s projects are diverse, they share a common objective: improving the lives of those in need by empowering people and local institutions to develop innovative, holistic, and lasting solutions that address social, economic and environmental challenges. Learn more at www.counterpart.org.

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Contact Information
Counterpart International
Rang Hee Kim
703.236.3290
Contact
www.counterpart.org

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