P4P reaches new country, Georgia

Pedals for Progress partners with a wide variety of organizations to promote and aid sustainable economic development throughout the world. One of our partnerships this year was with International Relief & Development (IRD), a NGO with truly global reach that provides $500 million in development assistance in nearly 40 countries annually. Our collaboration with IRD involved a joint program of theirs with the United Nations to aid more than 800 refugee families in Georgia displaced during that country’s 2008 conflict with Russia.

P4P was pleased to be able to help that effort by providing 82 donated sewing machines. The shipment cleared customs in early September and the machines have by now been fully distributed. Our hope is that the sewing machines will in some measure encourage entrepreneurship and return self-sufficiency to families who had been forced from their homes during the fighting and returned to find their belongings stolen or destroyed. Most of the aid was distributed in the Shida Kartli region of central Georgia (just south of contested South Ossetia).

Below is a thank you note forwarded to us by IRD:

“I am Iamze Chutkerashvili, a solitary mother and I am looking after my two sons alone. I am a teacher and my salary is not enough for keeping the family. Without the assistance from non-governmental humanitarian organizations as IRD our life would have been much more difficult.

“I have already received a solid assistance from IRD and I was amazed and very excited when I saw your representative once again in my family with quilts, sewing machine, and sewing kits.

“As you know our village is one of the villages from the former buffer zone and during the war in August 2008 almost every family were damaged and looted, so you can easily understand how important such kind of assistance for me is.

“I want to say once again that all beneficiaries in my village are very thankful to IRD for the assistance.”

As much as we wish it were otherwise, Pedals for Progress simply can’t get the items our domestic supporters donate to all the places in the world where people desperately need a leg up. Partners like IRD help us help those whom it would normally be prohibitively difficult for us to reach alone.

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