Society Biliki has been implementing a volunteer program since 2006. The origin of the idea came from a Peace Corps volunteer. The aim of the program is to develop and/promote volunteerism in Georgia, offer students work experience, and develop motivated and qualified individuals through Society Biliki.
We receive volunteers twice a year; in autumn and spring. The program lasts for four months. Volunteers have to work 4 hours a week. They are provided with following trainings: Project management and design, social media, volunteerism, career planning, and effective communication; the trainings are held by our organization’s staff; Volunteers also have opportunity to attend other trainings, important meetings and events organized with Society Biliki’s partner organizations. Volunteers are able to network with Biliki’s various partner organizations giving them professional development skills, marketing skills, and communication skills. We have hosted approximately 150 in country volunteers.
During the implementation of organization’s short-term projects, priority is given to current and former volunteers. Ten volunteers have become staff members. Presently, three former volunteers are part of Society Biliki’s staff members.
Volunteers work with our social worker, psychologist, educational studio teacher, handicraft teacher, and supervisor of civil clubs. They are motivated youth with new initiatives, ideas and are ready to help others.
Our organization has received a status of a Hosting, Sending and Coordinating Organization in the frames of the European Voluntary Service in 2013. One former volunteer from our volunteer program/region will be assigned a mentorship role for any incoming EVS volunteers that serve under this program. Here is a short excerpt from her:
“My name is Rusudan Dalakishvili and I was a volunteer in the NGO “Society Biliki” at the beginning of 2014. I was a volunteer for four months and it was a great opportunity to develop and discover myself. First of all, I was working with the beneficiaries of our day center. My job included helping pupils with homework, teaching lessons and motivating them to study. We played games and also watched educational movies. After this, we had discussion groups where pupils were able to exchange their opinions. Once a week we painted and wrote stories. These sessions helped the kids’ to express their feelings while also sharing their experiences. “Society Biliki” gave me a good chance to examine myself as a teacher, showing me if it was the profession that I would like to pursue in my future.
Secondly, my volunteer program included being an assistant for our office manager. Some of the tasks assigned to me were translating topics and information into English. In August of 2014, the organization employed me short term, as an office manager. That chance gave me a big opportunity to improve my skills, my knowledge and my sense of responsibility. “Society Biliki” helped me to become a more independent person.
Lastly, my volunteer program gave me the opportunity to participate in various trainings, one being that I received a certificate as a “Trainer in Healthy Lifestyle”. Additionally, the volunteer program with Biliki provided me an opportunity to attend a week long training session on how to mentor incoming EVS volunteers in the program, “More Than a Friend”. Being that Biliki is expecting an EVS volunteer in the foreseeable future, I will be able to serve as their counterpart, supporting them with the challenges that come with being a volunteer in a foreign country.
To sum up, the NGO “Society Biliki” made me more experienced, showed me how to evaluate myself and allowed me to discover skills that I didn’t know I had before. “
Presently, “Society Biliki” has a Peace Corps volunteer, who helps Society Biliki in organizational development. He is one of 13 Individual and Organizational Development Volunteers serving within Georgia.
Another example of projects that Society Biliki has implemented is our media school. The duration of school is four months. Children between the ages of 13-16 study TV, radio and newspaper journalism. The trainers of our media school are famous journalists from the Shida Kartli region. The school aims to raise awareness in civic engagement, supports civil activities and helps children improve their communicational skills. Youth have an opportunity to meet media experts and have internship at local TV stationary.
Society Biliki is a NGO partner of PH International that implements English Access Micro scholarship Program (Access program). The purpose of the Access program is to make the study of English more accessible to adolescents from an economically disadvantaged background. In addition, while working on their language skills, the participants become familiar with aspects of US culture and thus develop a deeper understanding of current issues in North American (Western) societies. A greater sensitivity to cultural differences coupled with the acquired language skills enable the participants to take advantage of opportunities that had previously been unavailable to them.
The program works with economically-underprivileged students, aged 14-18, over a two year period, providing after-school and summer English classes. Enrichment activities are at no cost to the students as they enhance their English language skills, thereby developing increased self-confidence, stronger critical thinking skills, and increased opportunities for study or employment. Currently, 25 youth of Gori public schools are involved in this program.
“Society Biliki” implements a project “Let’s help each other”. It aims to raise awareness of youth, about the issues of healthcare, with the help of trainings, meetings, informational campaigns and actions. In the frame of this project five trainings were conducted: Healthy lifestyle, right of health, life skills, healthy food and reproduction health. About 22-25 youth of public schools attended each training. This is current project where more trainings and debates in this field will be conducted.
Society Biliki implemented Civil Education and Teacher Training Program – USAID/ PH International during four years. The project aimed to improve the quality of civil education in schools and help youth to enhance knowledge and help to activate their participation in democratic society building process. Our organization had 55 partner schools within this project in the Shida Kartli region. In each public school civil clubs were created and gathered active youth. This project will continue with new name “Future Generation” and our organization will work with other 37 public schools.
Ruska started as a volunteer in Society Biliki and now she is a staff member, working as an office manager. She is also a volunteers coordinator and organizes meetings, trainings, makes surveys about their work each mount, translates materials for the website. She supports the volunteer’s work and their initiatives and fosters their engagement in different events.
Maka has worked at Society Biliki since 2009. For about 4 years, she was an office manager and currently she is a program coordinator in small grants, social media and volunteer program manager.