Digitize Georgia" has been successfully completed
The USAID/Zrda-supported project "Digitize Georgia" has been successfully completed.
Digital missionaries have been digitizing various tourist destinations across Georgia for 5 months and making contributions to Google Maps.
Throughout the project, the missionaries competed against each other in various categories. At the final event, the winners were given gifts such as a smartwatch, tablet, camera, laptop, phone and a trip to Tao-Klarjeti.
he winners of the project were awarded with special gifts provided by Zrda. We congratulate the Digital Ambassadors with the winners and wish them further success in the future!
Kombucha Production Launch in ABL Karapila village
USAID/Zrda, JSC Partnership Fund/Start-up Georgia Program cooperated and facilitated the investment in the target communities located along the Administrative Boundary Lines (ABLs) including “Kombucha Brewers Georgia” facility in ABL Karapila village!
“Kombucha Brewers Georgia” groundbreaking took place in summer of 2020 and today US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan together with Executive Director of the JSC Partnership Fund David Saganelidze, Director of Start-up Georgia Giorgi Lomidze and USAID/Zrda Activity Chief of Party Ketevan Tchumburidze officially open the facility.
Raw materials for the organic and healthy, naturally fizzy “Kombucha” will be sourced locally, and major sales market will be Georgia, however beneficiaries also target to reach export markets in future as the project expands.
Overall, during 2019-2021, in the framework of the partnership, JSC Partnership Fund Start-up Georgia Program and USAID Zrda Activity financed five projects with the total investment amount of over GEL 1, 500, 000.
Zrda supported Vet colleges received national authorization
Five USAID/Zrda supported regional vocational education and training (VET) institutions, Zugdidi State Teaching University, Kachreti VET “Aisi” (Akhmeta branch), Gori VET “Gantiadi”, Akhaltsikhe VET “Opizari”, and Kaspi VET College have successfully received full authorization for the Regional Tour Guide Short-Term Training Program from the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE).From now on the Colleges are ready to announce call for interested persons for the authorized training program starting in the fall of 2021!Overall, Zrda has allocated funds in the amount of up to $70,000 to ensure smooth delivery of the Regional Tour Guide Short-Term Training Program by fully equipping the partner VET colleges with the required items and equipment to support the authorization process.
Online Festival of Craft Workshops 2021
On September 4-12, Georgian Craft Association with the support from USAID/Zrda is hosting the Online Festival of Crafts Workshops aimed at documenting traditional knowledge of craftsmanship in Georgia to promote the sector and increase the visibility of best Georgian artisans among audiences worldwide!At the festival you will be able to attend online master classes of pottery, embroidery, enamel, wool processing, weaving, carpet weaving, saddle making; listen to the stories of craftsmen and participate in online trainings and seminars.In response to COVID 19 pandemic crisis, the crafts festival is being held online. Zrda helped the Association to quickly adapt to the changed business reality, and to this end, supported the development of 8 video stories of the artisans from the Zrda target regions. Overall, the event gathered well-known artisans from five different regions of Georgia, to highlight their workshops, master classes (including ceramics, woodcarving, stone carving, natural dies, carpet/rug weaving, felt making, jewelry, musical instrument making) as well as offered amazing stories, online meetings and webinars. Part of the festival content was shared through the Create Day
2021 platform as part of the London Craft Week, a new interactive platform showcasing twenty-four hours of non-stop human ingenuity, imagination, diversity and skills from around the globe. The following 3 off 8 videos highlighting Georgian craftsmanship were selected for broadcasting through the international craft platform – Traditional Georgian Musical Instrument Making, Bell-founding, Knifemaking, Ceramic Making.
The event had its own social media pages Craftsworkshopfestival Georgiancraftsassociation to broadly publicize the event.
Beekeeping Training Organized by Zrda
On August 26, at 16:00 p.m USAID/Zrda organizes online training in Beekeeping conducted by project International Experts Scott Stanley and Nathan Weber. During the training the following survey results will be discussed: “The Bee Colonies Massive Collapse in Georgia”.
For registration to attend the training please visit the link below: https://bit.ly/2WjJ7HQ
Zrda Donates Books to Khurcha Library in Samegrelo
USAID/Zrda supports building resilience of the communities living along Administrative Boundary Line!
To this end the USAID/Zrda donated various much interesting and useful books to the tiny library located in the ABL Khurcha village, Zugdidi Municipality, Samegrelo region, that is a good gesture and nice present for the local population to benefit from it.
In the very beginning, the USAID/Zrda handed over the books to the Anaklia Education Hub, an educational facility that provided numerous trainings for all interested persons living in Samegrelo region during 2019-2020. After closing the abovementioned hub USAID/Zrda made every effort to find new home for all the books and donated them to Khurcha library.
“I’d like to express immense gratitude towards USAID/Zrda for giving us an opportunity to enrich our library with much valuable collection of books,” says Leila Esatia, Khurcha Library Head.
Ambassador Degnan met with Samtskhe-Javakheti DMO
USAID supports Georgia to build a strong cultural tourism industry that creates high-value job opportunities in the country’s regions.
Ambassador Degnan met with representatives of the Samtskhe-Javakheti Destination Management Organization, a local body established with support from USAID and the Georgian National Tourism Administration.
The meeting included a tour of Rabati Castle. In recent years, USAID has provided the destination with new infrastructure and equipment, as well as staff training.
International Day of Museums in Tbilisi National Park
On July 31, at Tbilisi National Park, the Agency of Protected Areas organized World Ranger Day. The event is celebrated worldwide to recognize the work the rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage as well as to commemorate the rangers killed or injured in the line of duty.
USAID/Zrda partners with the Agency of Protected Areas and actively supports the development of the protected areas system across Georgia. To this end USAID/Zrda handed over professional equipment and uniforms to the rangers, which provide them with the additional comfort during fulfilling their much responsible duties.
Kolkheti National Park recognized by UNESCO
Since July 2021, Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands in Georgia - in Kolkheti National Park has been recognized by UNESCO as he Worlds Nature Heritage Site! USAID/Zrda congratulates to Georgia this very significant world recognition and is proud to be the team, that contributed to the Park's development as one of the unique touristic destinations!To develop new tourist products in project project-supported Samegrelo region, USAID/Zrda in partnership with the Agency of Protected Areas (APA) and local municipality and in 2019-2021 implemented various activities at Churia Entrance of Kolkheti National Park including:Zrda developed a new tourist product/service– Rope Park for adventure and nature lovers;Zrda procured various items for the park rangers and installed a solar based power generating system at the Ranger’s Hut;Zrda procured a pontoon boat to bring tourists to the rope park attraction and other adventure activities throughout the park. The boat can hold up to 13 passengers;Zrda together with Ilia State University, supported the preparation of a promotional book featuring stories and facts about the rich history, traditions, and unique flora and fauna of Kolkheti National Park.Overall, total Zrda investments for the development and promotion of Kolkheti National Park and creation of new tourism products and sites, plus training and equipping staff equals GEL 532, 320.
Zrda supported Cheese Festival at Mtatsminda Park
On July 25, Georgian Cheese Fest took place in Mtatsmina Park, Tbilisi!
The festival featured Georgia cheese, honey, tea verities from all over Georgia including USAID/Zrda target municipalities.
On the central square of Mtatsminda Park, much experienced cheese makers, honey makers and other interesting entrepreneurs producing eco products hosted the visitors offering them delicious production!
The Cheese festival was organized through USAID/Zrda support by Georgian Cheese Makers Union and its founder Ana Mikadze.
Sustainable Tourism Development in Tusheti
USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia held presentation of Sustainable Tourism Development Model in Tusheti, aimed to ensure continues balance between economic development of the territory and nature/environment protection through involvement of the local community, through supporting community infrastructure development, raising international quality standards, building the capacity of workforce, providing business grants, creating job opportunities and new products in the tourism and agriculture sectors.The presentation covered Zrda’s support to Tusheti community through interventions in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors (tourism and services) implemented through grants, capacity building activities/trainings and technical assistance including engaging private sector actors as well as public sector representatives.The event also included panel discussion with participation of USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Nino Tandilashvili, Acting Head of GNTA Medea Janiashvili and Head of Tusheti Protected Landscape Administration, Lado Kakhoidze.Zrda started implementation of sustainable tourism development model in Tusheti in 2018, wherein Zrda assisted Tusheti community to create a sustainable market economy through interventions in agriculture, tourism, and service sectors.In 2018-2021, through initial investment of up to GEL 600,000, overall impact of Zrda’s sustainable tourism development model in Tusheti, resulted in around GEL 4.1 million increase in revenue totally in Akhmeta Municipality, out of which half generated in Tusheti, as well as 45 new jobs were created.
Blueberry Manual handling to A/R Abkhazia
USAID/Zrda Chief of Party Ketevan Tchmunburidze met with the Minister of Finance and Economy of A/R Abkhazia Ivane Dolidze and handed over the Blueberry Manual developed and issued through Zrda and the Michigan State University partnership.The manual, that is available on Georgian, Abkhaz, Armenian and Azeri languages are distributed among farming communities in the Zrda target areas, libraries, Farm Service Centers, Information and Consultation Centers under the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Vocational Colleges and Universities.In parallel, very soon it will be uploaded to the E-library of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia as well as to online platforms like Agronavti and Kalo.In addition, USAID/Zrda in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Economy of A/R Abkhazia will arrange five more greenhouses for Zrda-supported IDP farmers, residing in Lia, Phakhulani and Photskho-Etseri of the Tsalenjikha Municipality, Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti region!To this end USAID/Zrda Chief of Party Ketevan Tchmunburidze and Minister of Finance and Economy of A/R Abkhazia Ivane Dolidze signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)!
ANTRIM webinar for DMO experience sharing
Today, Georgian Destination Management Organizations (DMO) and tourism industry stakeholders from Moldova participated in the webinar initiated by Association of National Tourism in Moldova (ANTRIM).
The webinar aimed to share the experience gained through the years from Zrda-supported Georgia’s DMOs (Samtskhe-Javakheti, Samegrelo and Kakheti) in order to obtain maximum engagement for future cooperation and collaborative efforts!
The initiative was supported by USAID Project for economic development, governance and growth of enterprises in Europe and Eurasia (EDGE) and USAID Zrda activity in Georgia and served as an additional opportunity to promote regional programs for best tourism development practices in all countries in the region.
Startup Week "MestFest" in Zugdidi
USAID/Zrda supported Startup Week MetsFest in Zugdidi has successfully finished!The startup week included exhibition of the local entrepreneurs and an Ideathon. The first place of the ideathon was won by the author of Tea Cultural Rout idea. The website visitors will have opportunity to find out about Georgian Tea Culture and Traditions. The second place winner became team Geovilly that developed an application for farmers and entrepreneurs supporting sales of their products.The MetsFest Zugdidi aimed to strengthen and support startup ecosystem in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region.The project was implemented by Be Active Group Georgia, through the support of USAID/Zrda and Startup Grind Tbilisi and partnership with Zugdidi Tech Park, Agriculture Development Association and Environmental Policy and Educational Center.
Zrda signed MoU for Tusheti Sustainable Development
USAID/Zrda continues partnership with international and local stakeholders for sustainable development of tourism in Tusheti.
The new campsite will soon be established in the stunning Gometsari gorge of Tusheti, through partnership between Zrda, Tusheti Landscape Administration (TPLA), Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) and Gometsari Gorge Council.
The parties sighed the MoU expressing their willingness to coordinate the sustainable tourism development in Tusheti, realizing the highly underutilized potential of exhisting tourism assets that require further sustainable development and effective marketing.
Testing and master-class of the new cookbook Ethno Tabla
After culinary cookbooks - Meskhuri Tabla, Kolkhuri Tabla, Tushuri Tabla and Kisturi Tabla, new Ethno Tabla will come on spotlight through USAID/Zrda effort, soon!
On June 30, Master class of noodle soup and making of the traditional Kvemo Kartli regional dishes from the new culinary cookbook Ethno Tabla, took place in Deutsche Mühle Hotel and Restaurant in Bolnisi involving USAID/Georgia Deputy Mission Director David Hoffman, Deputy Governor of Shida Kartli Kakha Koberidze and USAID/Zrda COP Katy Tchumburidze, guided by the Bocuse d'Or Georgia participant and winner chefs.
The Ethno Tabla Cookbook Activity is the new tourism product development initiative from USAID/Zrda implemented through partnership with Georgian Gastronomic Association.
Ethno Tabla culinary cookbook is a collection of old recipes of the ethnic minority communities (Armenians, Azeri, Germans, Greeks, Asirians) used to live in Kvemo Kartli region as well as are easy to follow and feature accessible ingredients.
The cookbooks are designed to promote the local food, raise awareness of the regions among domestic and international travelers, and be used as a gift for tourists.Photo credit: Mirian Meladze
USAID/Zrda Familiarization Tour in Pankisi Gorge
Through June 9-12 USAID/Zrda organized an Information Tour in Pankisi Gorge for 14 leading tourism agencies to introduce and promote new tourism destinations, products and services. The Familiarization Tour covered yet unexplored and less popular touristic attractions Jokolo, Duisi and Omalo villages, including local cultural, religous and natural monuments.
Through supporting tourism development, USAID/Zrda aimes to encaurage and promote new tourism product develomnet, increase revenuews of MSME businesses and sustainable economic development of the region.
USAID/Zrda Familiarization Tour in Samegrelo
Through June 9-12 USAID/Zrda in cooperation with Samegrelo DMO organized an Information Tour in Samegrelo for 14 leading tourism agencies to introduce and promote new tourism destinations, products and services. The Familiarization Tour covered yet unexplored and less popular touristic attractions of Martvili, Zugdidi, Tsalenjikha, Khobi and Poti Municipalities, including Wine Cellar "Oda", Martvili Ethnographic Museum, Tea production, Dadiani Summer Residence in Salkhino, Nokalakevi Castle, Dedamoka Gorge, Wine Cellar "New Martvili", Khobi Monastery, Folklore House of Beso Chitanava, Intsra Gorge, Hours Riding Tour, Rope landing from Intsra waterfall (Canyoning), Guesting Prince Miurat in village Chkadua, Ceramic Studio "Orkol", ethno village "Sisa Tura" in Chkoria and Poti lighthouse.
Through supporting tourism development, USAID/Zrda aimes to encaurage and promote new tourism product develomnet, increase revenuews of MSME businesses and sustainable economic development of the region.
MestFest StartUp Week in Zugdidi
June 18-20 Zugdidi will host Startup Week MetsFest, aimed to support local etnrepreneurs and improvement of entrepreneurial eco-system in the region.Registration Deadline: June 15!The Startup Week is divided according to different discussion themes where relevant panel speekers will be introduced gradually.For individual registration please follow the link: https://bit.ly/3fHHIk0Registration for team is available here: https://bit.ly/3fnUTrmRegistration for entrepreneurs to participate on the exhibition is available here: https://bit.ly/3cwFHq9MetsFest Zugdidi is organized by "Proactive Group Georgia" in partnership with Zugdidi Tech-Park, Regional Development Association and Environmental Information and Education Center, through the support of USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia andStartup Grind Tbilisi Georgia.
Opening of the Rehabilitated Potable Water Supply System
Tsitsagiaantkari village, Gori Municipality, Shida Kartli, Georgia - Monday, June 14, 2021, at 13:00 p.m – 14:00 p.m, Kelly C. Degnan, US Ambassador to Georgia joined OSCE Secretary General, Helga Maria Schmid, Minister ofthe Reconciliation and Civil Equality Tea Akhvlediani, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Mzia Giorgobiani, Shida Kartli Governor, Valerian Mchedlidze and Gori Mayor, Konstantine Tavzarashvili to open the newly rehabilitated potable water supply system in the ABL Tsitsagiaantkari village, the activity designed to showcase continuous support the US is providing to improve the livelihoods of highly vulnerable communities along the ABL.
Today marked the conclusion of yet another USAID/Zrda, OSCE and Gori Municipality-led initiative to improve community infrastructure and enhance livelihoods in the community along the Administrative Boundary Line with the occupied territory of South Ossetia (Samachablo).
Since 2017, Zrda has been working with 17 target municipalities of six regions of Georgia as well as with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia to support economic infrastructure and disaster mitigation activities by developing infrastructure design packages for selected priority municipal projects, while the municipalities have committed to implementing the full scope of infrastructure rehabilitation works. In addition, Zrda partners with other donor organizations to improve community infrastructure and enhance livelihoods in the communities across Administrative Boundary Lines (ABL). Zrda developed and handed over 27 full project design packages to the municipalities including 10 in Shida Kartli region. In particular, Zrda and local government partnered with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to jointly implement two infrastructure rehabilitation projects in Shida Kartli - the rehabilitation of the kindergarten in the ABL Kveshi village, and the installation of the potable water supply system in the ABL Tsitsagiaantkari village leveraging over EUR 120,000 for both projects. Back in November 2018 USAID/Zrda and Gori Municipality signed MoU to develop the full project design package for the potable water supply system (with capacity of 50 tons) rehabilitation in the ABL Tsitsagiaantkari village. Zrda partnered with the design company “Adjarkampmsheni”, which prepared the full project design package for further implementation by May 2019. The cost of the project design package totaled GEL 16, 539, 98. USAID/Zrda and local government partnered with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and jointly implement the potable water supply system installation in the ABL Tsitsagiaantkari village leveraging over EUR 90, 074 grant from the Republic of Italy. As for the Gori Municipality contribution, GEL 24, 000 was spent for the project finalization. The installation of the potable water supply system in the ABL Tsitsagiaantkari village launched in September 2020, finished in May 2021 and the overall amount for the full project implementation totaled GEL 358, 844. From now on through this assistance, 144 households will have access to clean drinking water in Tsitsagiaantkari, as a result of which the life quality, the social and health conditions of the locals, as well as other visitors will improve and cease an active migration process from the village.
Overall, Zrda developed and handed over 27 full project design packages to the municipalities. To-date, through support from Zrda, fifteen infrastructure projects have been completed and have benefited over 3,610 households with a municipal contribution of approximately USD 2,5 million invested in the full scope of infrastructure rehabilitation works.
17 ICCs with modern field laboratory equipment
USAID/Zrda partners with the Rural Development Agency (RDA) under Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, in the frames of which the project equipped 17 Information and Consultation Centers (ICC) with modern field laboratory equipment (kits) enabling the professionals to provide the field-based laboratory services in soil, irrigation and plants analysis/testing to the farmers. Now Zrda additionally handed over laboratory and digital equipment to the same ICCs and conducted the training program for the ICC extension specialists.The abovementioned activity aims to improve the quality of the extension services provided across Zrda target municipalities.
USAID Supports Building the Capacity of Tourism Workforce
USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler joined Katy Tchumburidze, USAID Zrda Chief of Party and Ekaterine Dgebuadze, the First Deputy Minister of Education and Science to handover the equipment and commodities to four regional VET colleges - Zugdidi, Akhaltsikhe, Gori and Kachreti for establishing the Regional Tour Guide Program. As well as to attend Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between USAID Zrda and two VET colleges – “Modusi” in Marneuli and Kaspi collage to introduce the same Regional Tour Guide Program and provide necessary equipment to get authorization and facilitate its implementation. That in long run will build the capacity of tourism workforce and create job opportunities within the tourism sector.
International Day of Museums in Uplistsikhe
#IMD2021 we celebrate "The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine"
On May 18, USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler joined USAID/Zrda Chief of Party Ketevan Tchumburidze, First Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth of Georgia Kakha Sikharulidze, and the Governor of Shida Kartli Mamuka Saghareishvili to celebrate the International Day of Museums and summarize the successful conclusion of the partnership between the USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia and the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation to implement joint development projects in Shida Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti.
The event was the demonstration of the significant projects, fulfilled as a result of the USAID/Zrda and the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation much productive partnership in 2019-2021.
Overall, in 2019-2021 in the framework of the USAID/Zrda and National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation partnership GEL 450, 000 was allocated for the project related activities, as well as Zrda’s additional financial support for 15 museums in its target municipalities of Shida Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, and Tusheti ranged over GEL 500, 000.
Easter Fair of Georgian Artisans Craftworks
From April 26 – May 1 Georgian Crafts Association invites you to the annual Easter Fair supported by USAID/Zrdal!
The Easter Fair is held at the City Mall Saburtalo (1 Petre Kavtaradze St, Tbilisi) to offer amazing handmade Easter crafts including unique works of USAID/Zrda beneficiaries from different regions of Georgia!
Keep the distance, wear masks and purchase wonderful Georgian handmade decorations for your beloved ones!
Shop online: www.ethnodesign.b2c.ge
Let's support the Georgian artisans together!
MoU with Kvemo Kartli Regional Development Agency
USAID/Zrda partners with Kvemo Kartli Regional Development Agency (KKRA) in the frame of which the Zrda Chief of Party Ketevan Tchumburidze and KKRA Head Mikheil Gurtskaia signed an MOU to reflect their mutual intention to cooperate and coordinate for the sustainable development of tourism in Kvemo Kartli!
Under the MOU, Ethno Tabla, a cookbook of local recipes will be developed, which echoes the cuisine of the ethnic groups living in the region! The book will be designed to promote local food, raise awareness of the region among domestic and international travelers, and be used as a gift for tourists.