In July 2021, Caritas Czech Republic's mission in Georgia went on a two-day retreat that effectively contributed to the mission’s team building, revealed achievements and failures, and helped to outline the organization’s future strategies. Jiri Skvor, Head of Humanitarian Aid and Development Cooperation Department of Caritas Czech Republic also participated in the event. Afterward, he got acquainted with the CCR-supported projects in rural Georgia and met with high-ranking representatives of our local and international partners. At the end of his visit, Jiri assessed the mission, “perfectly functioning, full of dedicated and experienced professionals, carrying very strong expertise.”
Jiri Says Georgian Mission is „Full of Dedicated People“
Mr. Jiri, you are visiting Georgia for the second time. What do you like most in the country and what are the feelings you are leaving it with?
There are plenty of reasons which make me enjoy visiting our mission in Georgia. First, that it is a perfectly functioning organization full of dedicated and experienced professionals, who carry very strong expertise. Secondly, Georgia is a beautiful country with a very rich nature and pleasant spirit. Also, Tbilisi is – from my perspective – one of the most picturesque capitals of the world. When I am here, I feel at home. Thirdly, there are other positives, among which of course is an extraordinary Georgian cuisine.
You have participated in the Georgian mission‘s retreat as well as seen the results of our activities on the spot. How would you assess the main achievements of the Georgian mission and the impact of our projects' results at the grassroots?
It was a great opportunity to participate in a retreat that was very productive and inspiring. I always appreciate open, honest, and straightforward communication in an organization and try to maintain the same culture at Caritas Czech Republic headquarters. The same very well functions here in Georgia and it is very much appreciated.
Georgian authorities perceive Czechs well. A shared history of both countries and the ability to cooperate on finding relevant solutions concerning the country´s specifics is our value-added. Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia has established its unique position through long-term and fruitful cooperation with key stakeholders in the country. Our current partnership for example with the Ministry of Health of Georgia is exemplary. Notably, it has been a long process, the organization had to prove its quality, expertise, and readiness to become the right hand and a partner of the ministry in many important changes. This is exactly what development cooperation should look like. Of course, it is possible only in cases when a recipient is also open-minded, ready to co-create wisely, and contribute to modern solutions. I am glad that we have an opportunity to help in the development and adoption of solutions, which are suitable for Georgian reality.
Jiri Expects Caritas Czech Republic Deepens Partnerships with Key Stakeholders
You held important meetings with our key partners – the Czech and Slovak Embassies. How do you see the way for deepening partnerships with them, and what are your expectations from this cooperation?
There are always ways how to deepen our partnership with the Embassies. We plan to keep them informed even more so far. And expectations? We will be glad if embassies keep supporting us and also communicate openly to their headquartes about the quality of performance of Caritas Czech Republic. If they are satisfied with our cooperation, it would be good if they acknowledge that and send such a message to Prague or Bratislava. If there were aspects they see space for improvement, then we also want to hear that frankly and timely.
I am sure that Czech NGOs are doing an extraordinary job and are significantly contributing to building a strong reputation of the Czech Republic abroad. At the same time, I observe that those organizations are still not adequately acknowledged, and their role in foreign policy is often underestimated. It is a pity for both sides, we should work in this direction as well.
Would you like to add anything?
I would like to thank our Georgian team and Jan Blinka as our Head of Mission in Georgia. Thanks to our experienced colleagues who conduct high-quality work, I can now speak so positively about Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia. I strongly believe that we will have even more opportunities to show to new donors that Caritas is a professional, fully reliable and flexible partner. Also, that the organization can make wise, modern and meaningful interventions even with a small amount of money. And that will be fully in line with the development goals of a particular country or a specific region. It is rewarding that we can help so many people through our work in Georgia.
During his visit to Georgia, Jiri Skvor got to know the Caritas Czech Republic supported SMEs in Racha and participated in the hand-over process of the waste truck to the Oni Municipality. He also went on monitoring visits to the Screening and Autism Centers in Zugdidi, rural IDP ambulatories, and Zhvania Children Hospital and LTC unit in Tbilisi.
Jiri Skvor accompanied by Jan Blinka, Head of the Georgian Mission of Caritas Czech Republic, also met the representatives of important donors and local partners, including Czech and Slovak Embassies to Georgia, UNICEF, EUD, ADA, Ministry of Health of Georgia, and State Care Agency. The parties discussed the results of current activities carried out by our organization and talked about the ways for deepening Georgia’s and Czech Republic’s strategic partnership.
Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia is carrying out various important projects that aim to support the Georgian health and social care system, agriculture, rural development, and natural resource management. With this in mind, our organization closely cooperates with international donor organizations and local partners, including the Government of Georgia.
Prepared by Nina Kopaleishvili – PR and Communication Officer, Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia, firstname.lastname@example.org