May Volunteer Highlight
The word "volunteer" is not part of the vocabulary for the majority of Georgians. Since the unemployment rate in Georgia is 29.2%, it is easy to understand why, however, eleven professional and student psychologists found the time to volunteer for over 2000 hours from April-June, 2010. After twenty psychologists received four months of free trainings from IOCC, thirteen were eager to give back. From January through March, 2010, the psychologists designed an anti-smoking and anti-aggression program for 5th-7th graders in cooperation with IOCC.
Volunteers in the Republic of Georgia
In March, the psychologists launched their programs in schools and an IDP (Internally Displaced Person) settlement in Tbilisi. Every volunteer provided between six and twelve one hour sessions to students in Tbilisi schools. After each session, the students were usually begging the volunteers not to leave. During one psychologist's last session with one of her classes, she said: "All the students hugged us and kissed us and asked us to make another project to work with them." Another member of the anti-smoking group said "I have learned goal setting, how to write a proposal, fundraising, making presentations to various groups and how to create a project on my own ... thank you IOCC."
The program was not only successful to the beneficiaries, but also helped with Georgia's unemployment rate. Because of this project, two of the psychologists were able to find full-time work within the first month the project was launched. One psychologist, Sesili, was looking for work for months before the program began. After less than a month, the Georgian Orthodox Church hired Sesili to work at the psychological arm of the Patriarchate.
IOCC would like to thank all of the volunteers for the amount of time put into spreading the word on the good work we do. We could not start projects like this without your support!