The year 2021 Caritas Czech Republic (CCR) marks six years since the registration of its branch in Georgia. In 2015, the local representation of CCR was officially registered as “Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia”. Since that time, Czech Caritas has implemented about twenty development projects and improved the lives of thousands, focusing in particular on people with disabilities, children with autism, and people living in mountainous regions.
“The work of CCR in Georgia follows the overall strategy of our development interventions which is focused – among other things – on systemic approach bringing durable solutions and sectoral diversification reflecting manifold needs of our target countries. Thus, we have been developing quality management system in primary health care, services for people with autism, or solid waste management in municipalities. This approach leads to extensive positive impact on the country and, last but not least, stimulates the professional growth of our Georgian team,” Regional Director at Caritas Czech Republic Evzen Divis said, adding that he highly appreciates the professionalism and dedication of our colleagues in Tbilisi. “Thanks to them, we are able to implement successfully technically highly sophisticated projects and develop our capacities in new sectors.”
Caritas transforms the Georgian Healthcare System
Caritas Czech Republic works in close cooperation in its development efforts the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (MoILHSA), to which CCR provides support in reforming the health and social sectors through the development of relevant policies and standards.
Current CCR projects are aimed at improving the quality of the primary healthcare system, increasing accessibility to national cancer screening programs in West Georgia, establishing a long-term care system for children with severe disabilities as a part of the state deinstitutionalization process, and providing quality services for children with autism spectrum disorder.
After the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, CCR showed its flexibility and relevance by swift and targeted response to newly emerged needs. As a result of active consultations between Caritas Czech Republic and MoILHSA, Czech Caritas came up with a unified electronic laboratory system - COVID Lab with the aim of strengthening COVID-19 surveillance capacity of the Georgian government. The COVID Lab system allows people with access the right to search and edit the information they need to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the success of the COVID Lab, the Ministry of Health of Georgia underlined the urgent need of further IT solutions, which helps the healthcare system to manage the planned immunization phases in a right and effective way.
Improving the lives of those living in mountainous regions
The goal of CCR in the fields of agriculture, rural development and environmental protection is to support the development of climate-smart agricultural practices and alternative income-generating activities, and to enable efficient management of natural resources and waste.
Through its activities, CCR improves the livelihoods of the rural population, supports the diversification of economic activities, develops new economic opportunities and increases the competitiveness of those involved in the farming sector. When it comes to environmental protection, our organization focuses on the sustainable management of natural resources, as well as on waste management.
Strengthening old and establish new partnership with the Donors
During 2020, CCR strengthened its years-long partnership with Czech Development Agency by launching two new interventions. CCR started second phase of the project aimed at strengthening primary health care sector in Georgia and the deinstitutionalization of services for adults with disabilities and creation of alternative social services has started.
As for the new partnerships, CCR has enriched its portfolio of institutional donors by agreeing on joint interventions with SlovakAid and with UNICEF. With the former, we have been working on two projects in Racha: one of them aims to develop of waste management infrastructure in Oni Municipality, another mitigates negative economic impact of Covid-19 on the population of Oni and Ambrolauri municipalities.
The two projects funded by UNICEF focus on strengthening maternal and child health components of the primary health care system and ensuring the continuity of maternal and child health services during the Covid-19 pandemic. With those interventions, CCR positions itself even stronger as one of the main players in health care system development in Georgia.
Another new and the most recent partnerships are those with Lithuanian government, with which Caritas promotes sustainable waste management plan for Racha-Lechkhumi and Lower Svaneti region, and with International Visegrad Fund, with which Czech Caritas extends its support to strengthen technical as well as professional capacities of so-called “COVID hotels” and rural ambulatories in West Georgia.
“There would not be any of those above-mentioned successes without the commitment and dedication of my colleagues. Thus, I would really like to acknowledge their hard work and enthusiasm, and thank them for great time, I am having working with them,” Head of CCR in Georgia Jan Blinka said.