The year 2020 was truly unusual. The life as well as working style of each of us has been changed abruptly, bringing many personal and professional challenges to surmount.
Caritas Czech Republic (CCR) in Georgia overcame these challenges without any major setback, and even experienced exceptional growth in its operations and further improvement in internal processes and accountability.
Strengthened old and forged new partnerships with the donors
During 2020, CCR strengthened its years-long partnership with Czech Development Agency by launching two new interventions. In May, we have started second phase of the project aimed at strengthening primary health care sector in Georgia and in July, the deinstitutionalization of services for adults with disabilities and creation of alternative social services has started.
We have been working on both projects in close collaboration with the Ministry of IDPs, Health, Labour, and Social Affairs and its subjugated institutions – NCDC, Emergency Situation Coordination and Urgent Assistance Center (ESCUAC) and Agency for State Care Assistance for the (Statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking (so-called AtipFund).
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 at development 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.
Finally yet importantly, MASHAV contributed with material donations to two CzechAid funded projects: the Israeli Development Agency bought medical equipment for the Zugdidi Oncology Screening Center and for provided toys for the inclusive kindergarten in Tbilisi that children with autism spectrum disorder can play with.
Relevant and flexible organization even in times of crisis
After the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, CCR showed its flexibility and relevance by swift and targeted response to newly emerged needs. One of our major achievements was the provision of online trainings in the management of suspected Covid-19 cases attended by 76 % (app. 1000) of rural doctors from all over Georgia. Together with NCDC, we have also built a laboratory information system for effective Covid-19 surveillance. This ensures the flow of information from Covid-19 testing facilities to all responsible institutions.
To enable provision of quality medical and social services even in the times of pandemic, CCR has delivered personal protective equipment, computers, laptops and other IT equipment to selected rural ambulatories in Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, and to boarding homes for children and adults under the state care. With our support, information and awareness-raising campaign was conducted in Zugdidi Municipality, which was among those hit the most by the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Except Covid-19 related achievements, we have experienced following successes:
- within ENPARD project, we distributed 791 640 EUR on procurement of assets for approved sub-grant projects aiming at increasing economic and social development in Khulo Municipality. 55 sub-grant projects were already completed and eight will be completed in January 2021. Estimated number of jobs created is 150;
- to AtipFund, we assisted to set up family-style service for children, who are currently living in Tbilisi orphanage home. For this purpose, CCR delivered training to the staff of the institution and handed over furniture specially designed to the needs of the beneficiaries with the cost of 22 000 GEL;
- Zugdidi Cancer Screening Center was equipped with surgical and other medical equipment worth of 70,000 EUR and despite the pandemic, the Center provided free-of-charge screening services to almost 1500 persons. The awareness-raising campaign on cancer prevention and importance of early detection reached 1800 persons who also received information about Covid-19 preventive measures;
- Minimal service standard for people with autism spectrum disorder has been approved by MoILHSA in December 2020 and thanks to CCR´s advocacy, municipal programs for children with autism have been provided by Rustavi, Ozurgeti, and Akhaltsikhe Municipalities;
- to mitigate negative economic impact of Covid-19, 154 vulnerable families from Racha received humanitarian assistance and 25 local SMEs were supported with small grants to sustain their businesses in the time of crisis;
- 100,000 Euro worth 14-cubic meter garbage truck and waste containers were handed over to Dusheti Municipality.
Internal improvements and EU ECHO Partnership certification
During last twelve months, CCR not only celebrated the successes related to the projects´ implementation, but also achieved further progress in internal standardization and fine tuning of the processes, guidelines and policies related to safeguarding, financial oversight, environmental impact, and accountability towards the beneficiaries as well as the donors.
With a positive assessment of CCR's internal standards and quality of work, European Union´s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has certified CCR as its partner organization to jointly carry out high quality and efficient humanitarian projects in 2021-2027. In order to receive the certification, CCR had to pass the organizational audit, which we did with the highest mark possible!