Norges Naturvernforbund assists war torn school in Georgia

Pupils from school number 7 in Gori.
Norges Naturvernforbund has together with local partner EcoVision rebuilt the minor wing of school number 7 in Gori, Georgia. All the windows were blown out when a bomb hit nearby the school during the war actions in August. 1500 pupils have since the war had to attend education in regional schools.

The minor wing was re-opened on the 1st of February, with new and improved windows. Norges Naturvernforbund works in Georgia together with EcoVision on environmental education and demonstration of improved energy efficiency and utilization of renewable energy. In 2008 three villages was picked out to participate in pilot energy projects. Improvement of old windows at schools is also is one of the key elements in this work. School number 7 in Gori has for several years participated in the educational project SPARE. When the school was so severely hit during the war, and with no financial possibilities for reparations, it was natural to use part of the funding to help the school.

Fortunately, the main construction of the building was saved, but most of windows were broken. Most of the walls were damaged and one wall in the gym was destroyed. The boiler-room was ruined and the roof of the building was also broken. Under the restoration, we have used high quality windows with double glasses for classrooms, corridors, stair halls and toilets in the given wing. Totally 84 windows were rehabilitated.

The school administration and representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Education are very satisfied by the quality of the rehabilitation. Our activities have highly stimulated the school administration and they decided to immediately start additional activities to prepare school for future rehabilitation. All classrooms in the saved wing has now been cleaned from broken window glasses and ruins. Locks for all the classrooms were made. School inventory was stored in locked safe and the cleaned classrooms. The nearby territory of the rehabilitated wing was also cleaned from broken window glasses and ruins. The school administration expressed sincere gratitude to Norges Naturvernforbund.

Improvements will continue In 2009 Norges Naturvernforbund plan to continue cooperation with the school number 7 in Gori and contribute to additional measures for energy saving under the restoration of the buildings.

After the war in Georgia around 20,000 persons are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and settled in the region around Gori. To repair the schools is important, but it’s also important to look at the situation in the refugee villages. There are two priority areas - community mobilization and measures to fight the lack of resources in the refugee villages.

One idea is to build a public bath house in one of the refugee villages. None of the new houses that were built for refugees have bathroom, but the need for a bath is of course great. The possibilities for building a public baths that are heated up with solar energy and other renewable energy sources will be evaluated.

The measures are in cooperation with Norwegian Refugee Council and Georgian department of refugees and rebuilding.

Windows before restoration

Windows after restoration

Walls before restoration

Windows after restoration