Georgia Red Cross Society (GRCS) was established as a humanitarian organisation in 1918. According to State Law on Georgia Red Cross, it is auxiliary to government with a statutory obligation to help people in need. GRCS operates through its national headquarters in Tbilisi and its branches. GRCS has an extensive role in response to natural disasters and other emergencies, as well as the role of coordinator of all in-country Non-Governmental Organisations and agencies' active in the case of a national emergency following the Presidential Decree of No 415, 2008.
Since 2010, several regional DIPECHO-funded programme phases under the lead of Danish Red Cross (DRC) have been implemented by GRCS in Imeteri, Racha-Lechkhumi and Qvemo Svaneti regions (Ambrolauri, Oni, Tsageri and Lentekhi municipalities, Tkibuli and Sachkhere towns). The current DIPECHO IV phase "Building Resilient Local Communities" is implemented by GRCS in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti regions (Oni, Ghari, Sheubani, Pipileti, Tkibuli, Jvarisi, Mukhura, Sachkhere, Chalovani, Argveti, Ambrolauri, Sadmeli, Tsesi, Nikortsminda, Tsageri, Lasuriasi, Chkhuteli, Kveda Tsageri, Lentekhi, Chikhareshi, Kheledi, Chiatura, Mandaeti, Katski) with DRC leading a consortium consisting of Icelandic Red Cross (IRC), Austrian Red Cross (AutRC), plus Azerbaijan Red Crescent (AzRC) as observer.
Since 2012, the regional programme “Building Safe and Resilient communities” is implemented by GRCS with the financial support of Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), Swiss Red Cross (SRC) and Austrian Red Cross (AutRC). Phase II has started in December 2015, and programme area of intervention is Kakheti Region: Sagarejo, Telavi, Kvareli, Lagodekhi and Akhmeta municipalities, which are prone to different natural disasters.
The objective of the project is to contribute to increase the resilience of targeted vulnerable rural and urban communities to natural and manmade disasters, to reduce vulnerability of the target communities, raise awareness and reduce disaster risk. In the frameworks of the project the following result were achieved:
- Trained and equipped Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Volunteer Groups. 20 Volunteers in each four targeted communities in the first phase of the project had seven theoretical and practical trainings (4 basic and 3 refresh trainings) and had permanent trainings with Fire and Rescue Brigades in order to increase their knowledge and capacity for responding to emergencies. CBDRR Volunteer groups are ready to raise awareness and to respond to the different emergency situation. During the project implementation they responded to several emergencies;
- Informational and Educational Materials on Red Cross (RC), Disaster Management (DM), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) were elaborated and printed within the program. Informational and Educational Materials (IEM) has been distributed among beneficiaries, which increased level of awareness among population, they became more informed and prepared for the emergencies;
- Permanent (quarterly) information sharing meetings contributed to raise awareness and behavior changing among beneficiaries;
- The Community Preparedness and Response Plan was elaborated on participatory approach and distributed among beneficiaries in four targeted communities;
- Volunteers were trained in Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA). Four trainings were conducted in four targeted locations;
- Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) was Prepared and distributed among key stakeholders in four target communities;
- Small Scale Mitigation Projects (SSMP) were elaborated in five communities and implemented jointly with Local Authorities (Co-funding from Local Authorities around 70%); which significantly reduced vulnerability and risk among local population in targeted areas;
- Awareness raised among school children and their families through six Family Emergency Plan (FEP) (two of them refresher) trainings for teachers with 4 targeted schools. The Family Emergency Plans (FEP) were elaborated by students and their family members. 12 students from each school were selected and awarded who prepared the most innovative plan (in total 48 students);
- 8 School simulation exercises were conducted in the targeted schools which contributed to the improving of school safety. Main goal during the simulation exercises were to activate and improve existing evacuation plans. All key stakeholders were involved in the simulation. It helped students and teachers to transfer theoretical knowledge in practice;
- One of the good and important achievement during the project implementation was small scale mitigation project in the school in Lagodekhi. Fire safety board was delivered and it was supported to construct the stairs in the contingency entrance.
- Five simulation exercises were conducted on Municipality level jointly with Local Authorities involving all key stakeholders. During the simulation exercise there was activated existing municipality emergency response plan and in the end of the simulation, there were identified the gaps;
- Simulation exercise was conducted with Emergency Management Agency (EMA) at central level involving all stakeholders and volunteers from 8 branches (Building Safe and Resilient Communities (BSRC) Project-4 branches and Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project-4 branches). The simulation exercises contributed to Georgia Red Cross Society (GRCS) clearly identify the role and responsibilities of staff and volunteers.
- Eight roundtable meetings were conducted involving all stakeholders to discuss activities, challenges, problems and to find the ways of jointly coping with them;
- Annual meeting has been conducted among representatives of branches to share information and experience;
- There was also conducted summer camp for the winners of Family Emergency Plan (FEP) and volunteers in Bakuriani, which contributed to share experience, knowledge, and to motivate volunteers and beneficiaries to be actively involved in the project implementation;
- 2 Georgia Red Cross Society (GRCS) staff members are funded at local level by the local authorities.
- Pilot version of Heat Waves for Tbilisi has been elaborated and implemented.
- Lack of interest from the side of beneficiaries, due to the hard social background;
- Unstable Political situation in the country;
- Frequent Rotation of the Local Authorities;
- Rotation and lack of motivation of Volunteers;
- For Local Coordinators it was difficult to find time which was favorable for all the 20 volunteers;
- Lack of funds at the municipality level;
- Lack of time of stakeholders to be involved in the different activities;
Medea Margania – Secretary General – Headquarter - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kakhaber Mamuladze – Head of Disaster Management Department – Headquarter - email@example.com
Gvantsa Zhgenti – Project Senior Officer – Headquarter - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamar Kamkamidze - DIPECHO Project Coordinator - email@example.com
Mariam Nikolashvili – Project Officer – Headquarter - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tsismari Petriashvili – Local Coordinator, Sagarejo Branch – email@example.com
Giorgi Michilashvili – Local Coordinator, Telavi Branch - firstname.lastname@example.org
Nana Mamulashvili – Local Coordinator, Kvareli Branch
Ketevan Talakhadze – Local Coordinator, Lagodekhi Branch - email@example.com
Aleksandre Keinishvili – Local Coordinator, Akhmeta Branch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Grabner - email@example.com