Children playing at Bediani Village some years ago. Because of your help, some of these children have gone to university already.
It’s Giving Tuesday and this year we hope you will help us support the higher education of the young adults who grew up in Dzegvi Shelter and Bediani Village. Since 2004, AFG’s Higher Education Scholarship Fund has provided 37 of the 120 youth who were raised at Dzegvi and Bediani with the financial support to achieve their higher education goals.
Unlike many facilities for orphaned and abandoned youth which only provide a home to children up to the age of 18, AFG is committed to stopping the cycle of poverty and allowing those with difficult pasts to go on to greater opportunities. The Scholarship Fund covers university tuition, housing, living stipends and textbooks. Many students from this program have gone on to receive BAs, MAs or vocational training and have been able to pursue various careers with great success.
Top: Vano in yellow shirt with other children and Zviad, director of Bediani Village.
Center row: Misha at Bediani and behind the camera.
Vano is a wonderful example. He currently works at Tbilisi Energy Natural Gas as Head of Geographic Information Systems Division. He told me recently “I wanted to thank you because I feel that your work, your big effort, gave me a chance in life to survive and makes me want to do my best so that your efforts were not in vain.” Vano first became a specialist in Geographic Information System (GIS) and then obtained a BS in Mining. “I’m always thinking, if you were not the people who raised us, where would we be?”
Vano was 7 and living on the street when he was found by Mother Mariam’s Transfiguration Convent. He liked being fed and warm. He stayed at the Dzegvi Orphanage and when he was 12 or 13, he moved to Bediani Children’s Village after AFG had purchased houses for the children to live in a more home-like environment.
Vano with his three adorable daughters.
Like Vano, Misha wants us to tell his story. He is another one of the graduates of AFG’s wonderful Higher Education Scholarship Fund. Misha reached out to me a year ago and wrote “I was just talking to my wife about you and how you helped me get through university and how because of you I can speak English. I am glad for what you did for me and my future.”
Misha obtained a BA in Arabic Language and Literature from Ilia State University and a MA in International Relations from Tbilisi State University. Following his enduring and early interest in video, editing and shooting, he is now working as a cameraman and editor making short films about the political situation and the socioeconomic lives of people in Georgia.
Misha thinks he was 3 when he arrived at Dzegvi Orphanage with his brother and two sisters and was around 9 when he moved to Bediani Children’s Village where he lived for 11 years before attending university. He returns often to Bediani Village visiting and mentoring the younger children.
Misha playing guitar on a visit to Bediani
This year, there are 8 students in our Higher Education Scholarship Fund. We are covering tuition and living stipends for their studies in such areas as business administration, Italian, web programming, cosmetology, psychology and information technology. We need your continued support to cover next year’s students. Please consider a gift for this important program to continue to education these young students who we are so proud of.