For those who don’t know me, my name is Maria and I am from Tbilisi, Georgia. I am an NGO worker, active citizen, libertarian, and a Jewish community member. As a personal trip planner, I have been organizing trips to my beloved Georgia since 2013.
Svaneti - a homeland of Svans
Georgia (Sakartvelo in Georgian) is a country in the South Caucasus, bordering the Black Sea in the west. Georgia is located at the crossroads between Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Georgia shares borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey.
Svaneti region is situated in northwestern Georgia along the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Upper Svaneti is a popular tourist destination and probably one of the most beautiful regions in Georgia. Upper Svaneti consists of several small villages forming a community and has an exceptional mountain landscape with snow-covered peaks, gorges, alpine valleys, and arts of medieval origin. The most notable feature of the region is the unique defensive towers.
Community Youth Space in Mestia
Mestia is the main town of the Upper Svaneti. Mestia Municipality consists of 17 administrative units with population of 10,960. There are 24 public schools in the municipality. According to the latest research, 76% of locals have no access to educational, cultural, and entertainment events. There is no community space for young people where they can gather and connect, share their interests, be engaged in different activities, and feel like they have an investment in their community.
After meetings with local youth, I formed a team of enthusiasts and we decided to create a community space in Mestia to provide young people with opportunities to come together, engage with each other, to read modern books, to play board games, and to participate in educational activities.
As a youth worker, I am experienced in organizing educational projects and I know specific people and organizations in Georgia who will be delighted to cooperate with our future community space.
What will your donations be used for?
Your donations will be used to cover rent costs for the first 6 months (690 USD per month), basic furniture (bookshelves, tables, and chairs), and the crowdfunding platform fees (GoGetFunding charges a 4% fee on any donation, plus a processing fee of 4.4% + $0.30 per transaction).
Some of our contributors will provide the community space with books and magazines, and will cover interior design costs.
As for our team's contribution, we are ready to work pro bono (to run the space, organize events, manage social media, etc.).
Later we are planning to source money from grant competitions. Also, we are hoping to be self-sustaining on the profits made in our space (starting a social enterprise and suggesting different services for tourists).
How soon do we need the funds?
Due to a space shortage in Mestia, it's quite difficult to find and rent space. Currently, there is only one place available in Mestia, which is suitable for our community space. The owner agreed to keep it for us till the end of March 2020. I truly hope that with the help of donor contributions, we'll be able to start this really important project.
UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, the space owner extends the deadline to April 20.
Where can you see updates?
We are currently working on the Facebook page for our community space. All updates, pictures and related information will be posted on the page. Later we are planning to create a website.
All donors will receive reports, progress updates, photos, and stories.
You can also follow me on Facebook: www.fb.com/mariadarchievi
If you have any questions, comments or ideas, feel free to contact me.
UPDATE: Now you can follow our community youth space on Facebook: www.fb.com/MishgovLarda