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Issue no: 002 georgiatoday

• MARCH 2016



In this issue... ENTREPRENEURSHIP Sponsored by

How to Rise above All Challenges: Meet Sir Richard Branson

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Prime Minister Presents Vocational Education Reform BY ANA AKHALAIA


rime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, has presented a vocational education reform, as the first of future educational reforms, which aims for a labour market-oriented vocational education system. International studies show that

one of the major obstacles for the country’s economic development is the lack of skilled workers. The new reform involves a completely different teaching model which will be based on partnership between the public and private sectors in terms of both training and working. PM Kvirikashvili stressed the importance of the opportunity for students to communicate with employers in the learning process,

European School Makes History as First CIS Member School in Georgia

after which they can become employed and then start their own business or continue higher education. He said the State aims to create the right conditions for them in every direction. “The partnership of public and private sectors is a process whereby the private sector gets a guarantee in advance that it will have quali- PAGE 5 fied staff, and on the other hand where the State is able to help reduce Vampires in unemployment and give a signifi- Town: Ex-Pat cant boost to the development of Launches Second the economy,” PM Kvirikashvili said. “We also plan to create a funding Book Translated institution for start-up ideas which into Georgian will give students- young people PAGE 12 with initiatives -the chance to finance their own ideas within new condiWeiss is Right for tions, which will not require them to have to go through normal banking procedures.” The above youth-oriented start-up financing institution is expected to be launched in the next month. PAGE 15






MARCH 2016

Sponsored by

How to Rise above All Challenges: Meet Sir Richard Branson BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES


here are a great many young entrepreneurs around the globe just starting out on their adventures of inventing, investing and making money. In this month’s GEORGIA TODAY EDUCATION we’re going to hear about one of the most successful entrepreneurs of recent times- Sir Richard Branson. Born in 1950 in the United Kingdom to an ex-ballet dancing mother and a lawyer, Branson grew to become an English businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which includes more than 400 companies. As a child, Branson was diagnosed with dyslexia and did badly at school because of it. But he was inventive and on his last day at school, his headmaster famously told him he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire. With the support of his parents, at the age of sixteen he started a magazine called Student. Branson interviewed celebrities for the magazine, including Mick Jagger. He began advertising popular records and then, in 1970, set up a mail-order record business called ‘Virgin’ which sold records at discounts which made them much cheaper to buy than at high street stores. Branson started a record shop in the famous Oxford Street in London and it was such a financial success that in 1972 he was able to launch the record label Virgin Records. He rented out studio time to new artists, including multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield, whose first album Tubular Bells (1973) ) became a best-seller, and signed controversial bands like the Sex Pistols. Branson opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. In 1984 Branson set up Virgin Atlantic Airways. In 1992, to keep his airline company, Branson sold the Virgin music label to EMI for £500 million. Branson said he cried when the sale was completed because the record business had been the very start of the Virgin empire. In 1996 he created V2 Records to re-enter the music business, owning 5% himself. In 1993, Branson entered into the railway business with Virgin Trains. Then in 1999 he set up Virgin Mobile. Having conquered airspace and transport, you’d think he’s be satisfied. But no. On 25 September 2004, Branson signed a deal under which a

What’s That? Philanthropist – a person who gives money help others Dyslexia – difficulty learning to read or recognise letters Mail-order – buying by catalogue/internet and having your purchase delivered to your house Discounts – cheaper prices Launch – start (a business/project) Controversial – something that many people disagree with Chain – connected, same name but in different locations Set up – start (a business) Knighted – given a title by the Queen of England Greenhouse gases – a gas that absorbs radiation from the sun, making the earth hotter

Info Box Branson’s Books to Read Branson has stated in a number of interviews that he has been very influenced by non-fiction books. He most commonly mentions Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, explaining that Mandela was “one of the most inspiring men I have ever met and had the honour to call my friend.” Owing to his interest in humanitarian and ecological issues, Branson also lists Al Gore’s bestselling book, An Inconvenient Truth, and The Revenge of Gaia by James Lovelock amongst his favourites. new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, would take paying passengers into space with tickets costing USD 200,000. In 2000, Branson was knighted by Charles, Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace for “services to entrepreneurship”. Branson’s next venture with the Virgin Group was Virgin Fuels, which aims to reduce global warming and offer an alternative to expensive fuel by finding sustainable fuel alternatives for three industry sectors: shipping, energy efficiency and aviation, and renewable jet fuels. In February 2007, Branson announced the new global science and technology prize - The Virgin Earth Challenge - with which he hopes to encourage technological advancements for the good of Mankind. The Virgin Earth Challenge will award USD 25 million to the individual or group able to demonstrate a commercially successful design that will reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases each year for at least ten years without harmful effects. “We all have a part to play,” Branson said. “But I believe entrepreneurs will have a really significant role in bringing investment and commercial skills to help develop the new technologies needed to grow a postcarbon economy.” He also launched Virgin Startup, an official delivery partner for the UK’s Start Up Loans program. Through this new organization, he will provide loans to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 30 in the UK. A pilot of the scheme, which ran for 11 months, injected £600,000 into 100 businesses. Richard Branson has broken world records by sailboat and balloon flight, won awards for his support of young businesspersons and humanitarian causes, and has helped more entrepreneurs than can be listed in this limited space. And, at the age of 66, he is still going. Last year Forbes listed Branson’s estimated net worth at USD 5.2 billion.





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Young Entrepreneurs Creating Success Stories throughout Georgia BY BEQA KIRTAVA


t’s been almost two years since the government launched the Support to Micro and Small Enterprises component (Micro Component) in the frames of ‘Produce in Georgia’, multicomponent program aiming to strengthen the local business sector, and it looks like the youth of today hasn’t missed a beat, as numerous young entrepreneurs all over the country have already put their ideas into action. GEORGIA TODAY asked Micro program beneficiaries Eter Mirotadze, Vladimir Shavdatuashvili and Marina Anesashvili to share their experiences with our readers. Eter Mirotadze (opened a dance studio in Sviri Village, Zestafoni Municipality): “I grew up in this village and have always wished for a place that would enable us to obtain skills we couldn’t learn in school. After realizing the extent of challenges and disadvantages facing young people in villages, I wanted to do something which would be beneficial for Sviri’s new generation. Last year, I heard about the new Micro Component of ‘Produce in Georgia’. After doing some research, I discovered that one could enroll non-agricultural projects, too, and that’s how the idea of opening a dance studio emerged.

My idea was met with a warm welcome from the organizers and in the end I got the loan needed to turn my project into a reality. Although the studio is not completely finished yet, the lessons started at the beginning of March. We currently have 20 pupils who are attending Georgian national dance classes. To those taking their initial steps in the direction of business and entrepreneurship I would advise: work non-stop and, most importantly, have the desire and enthusiasm to create something new, interesting and beneficial for the current state of Georgia. I would also advise them to aim towards problem-solving, even if the problems are minor; I believe that these small actions will add up to something truly great in the end. I wish huge success to all of them!” Marina Anesashvili and Vladimir Shavdatuashvili opened training center ‘Fitness +’ in Zhinvali, Dusheti region. Marina Anesashvili: “There definitely aren’t many places in our hometown where young people can meet and spend their time productively. I work in a local school as a sports teacher and, knowing the needs of our pupils, have always wanted to open a training center. However, finances have always been a big problem. We heard about the Micro Component of ‘Produce in Georgia’ in August, 2015. After the visit to Tbi-

What’s That? Launched – started to work Strengthen – make stronger Missed a beat – did not use a good opportunity Extent – level of Beneficial – good for Enroll – join (a course, club, program) Emerged – appeared Loan – something (such as money) given for a short time which must be paid back Productively – in a good and useful way

With the support of the 5,000 GEL grant provided by ‘Produce in Georgia’, ‘Fitness +’ now is a fully functional training center with showers and a variety of equipment

Food for Thought  What could you do to improve the lives of young people where you live?  Go to the ‘Produce in Georgia’ website What do you think of the Produce in Georgia program?

Eter Mirotadze, Micro program beneficiary: “Last year, I heard about the new Micro Component of ‘Produce in Georgia’. After doing some research, I discovered that one could enroll non-agricultural projects, too, and that’s how the idea of opening a dance studio emerged.”

lisi Business Training Center in Dusheti, we decided to participate, which involved completing several stages. After successful completion, we received the promised grant in November, with which we purchased training equipment and launched ‘Fitness +’. Our door is open to everyone. The youth of the village has the opportunity to engage in a healthy lifestyle and spend their time productively at ‘Fitness +’, which is a fully functional training center with a variety of equipment, and showers.

To everyone who wants to start a career in business and entrepreneurship I would advise to participate in the State Program ‘Produce in Georgia’, but only if they are ready for hard work and have a clear vision of their goal!” So, why don’t you follow their lead and give the program a try? If you have a business idea of your own, visit the website of the State Program ‘Produce in Georgia’ (www. and find out more about Support to Micro and Small Enterprises component.




European School Makes History as First CIS Member School in Georgia BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES


he European School in Tbilisi has been awarded membership of the prestigious CIS (Council of International Schools) and is the first to achieve such status in Georgia. Sounds good, but what does it mean? GEORGIA TODAY decided to find out more, starting with a trip to the school

itself. European School, sitting in its own huge garden in Saburtalo, Tbilisi, was founded in 2007 and now boasts a fantastic teaching staff, all qualified pedagogical personnel, among them 12 doctors of science, 7 professors, 17 authors and co-authors of schoolbooks, and 12 instructors in modern teaching methods. Students at the European School follow the Georgian National Curriculum but in the same building you can also find the IB World School and the American High School. The European School offers French, German, Russian, and English taught with the help of native speakers. Students of European School can also take courses in the UK and Germany. Five sports halls, three of which are indoor gyms, means students never get bored- with chess, table tennis, tennis, basketball, football, and karate some of the more active subjects on offer. The school provides extra sessions for drawing, art history, piano and guitar. There are choreographic, theatrical and TV studios and the school has almost two hundred personal computers available for its pupils to use from kindergarten age. Alan Scott, a school support and evaluation officer on a visit to European School, said: “The range of programs and services on offer at the European School is impressive for the size of the school. The school is well-resourced with science labs, computer labs, library, cafeteria and physical education spaces. The school is justifiably proud of its closed circuit television studio and IT construction and school management has ambitious plans for further facility development both at the current location and elsewhere. Each classroom has a computer and projector and is cleaned to an excellent standard. There is good provision for professional development with a current emphasis on IB certification and AP training. The staff is always trained in any new technology introduced to the school. Students are regularly assessed using both internal and external tests including MAP testing, IB and AP tests, periodic national examinations in the Georgian section, and SATs.” School Director Nana Mosidze said: “It is our commitment and our

What’s That? Prestigious – with a good reputation Founded – set up, started Well-resourced – with a lot of good equipment Ambitious – big future plans Provision – (from provide): making available, possible Assessed - tested Tolerant – accepting different people and situations

Food for Thought  What is a Global Citizen? What does it take to be one?

Info Box European School, Ltd Address: 34a Al. Kazbegi Ave. 0177, Tbilisi Tel: (995 32) 39 44 94; (995 32) 39 59 64 Fax: (995 32) 39 54 17 e-mail:

goal to bring up tolerant, intelligent, self-confident children with a high moral standard and with a clear citizen-position; to provide a caring community within which pupils are enabled to acquire the skills essential for self-education and the skills essential to the formulation of a profession.” The CIS is a membership community committed to high quality international education. There are more than 660 schools and 475 colleges and universities in the CIS community, representing 110 countries, among them Washington International School, United Nations International School (New York), Atlanta International School, International School of Geneva, Institut Auf Dem Rosenberg, Stanford University, Columbia University New York, University of Oxford, London School of Economic and Political Science, Kings College, and Queen Mary University. The European School in Tbilisi is now proud to be on that very same list. CIS, a global non-profit membership organization, provides services to primary and secondary schools which aim to assist in the development of students as Global Citizens having the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that they need to be able to contribute to a more inclusive, just and peaceful world. European School IB 12th grader, Giorgi Kikoria, told us: “As a 12th grader, I have experienced the stress of applying to dozens of universities. The first thing those universities look for in my application is the school from which I got my diploma. For me as a student, European School’s CIS membership means credibility from the university’s point of view, giving me the ability to compete with students from around the globe.”




MARCH 2016

Tbilisi Landmarks Go Dark for Earth Hour



eorgia for the eighth time joined Earth Hour, the global movement for climate action, which celebrates the tenth edition of its signature lights off event in the world. On March 19, at 8:30 PM, landmarks and public buildings all over the country symbolically went dark for an hour, followed by street activities and rallies in support of a greener and safer future for the planet. The Earth Hour sites in Tbilisi included Narikala Fortress, Peace Bridge, the TV Tower, Presidential Palace, Parliament, Government Chancellery, City Hall, Youth Palace, UN House, government offices and main avenues. Hundreds of Earth Hour supporters, including Government officials, representatives of civil society, international organizations and embassies, came to the Round Garden in front of the UN House for a traditional lights-off celebration with live music, candles and the Shadow Theater show. Youth eco club members made the Earth Hour symbol ‘60+’ with candles to show that climate action needs to go beyond just one hour. Last year, more than 10 thousand iconic landmarks were switched off all around the globe. More than 378 million Tweets and over 36.5 million Facebook posts followed the Earth Hour events.

What’s That? of people on the street Rallies – from rally: large group to show support this, symbol of a perSignature – well-known for doing son or organization Landmarks – well-known places re Climate – the air and atmosphe

Food for Thought  What can we do as citizens to support a greener, safer future for our world?

Info Box First held in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s largest annual movement for the environment. It inspires individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in over 170 countries and territories to take tangible climate action by turning off the lights for one hour. And to hopefully do more...




Youth Innovation Summit Full of Inspirational Success Stories BY EKA KARSAULIDZE


he Technological Park (Tech Park) by Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) was opened just two months ago in Tbilisi. The facility, which aims to support and help implement innovative ideas, actively encourages young people not to doubt their ideas and to try to make them a reality. One representative of the new generation of inventors is Peter Tomadze, Game Developer and Founder of Freaky Screen. “My business journey started very simply. When I was 13 I had very bad marks at school and my parents forbade me from watching cartoons. So, I decided to make my own and watch as much as I wanted. I sent the result to the international festival and won,” said Tomadze. Peter Tomadze has since created the International Festival of Animated Films ‘Tofuzi’ in Batumi. He has won a tender from Nickelodeon Company and is soon going to The Netherlands to conclude a partnership with a local company. He says it is thanks to the support of GITA that he can also run Freaky Screen. David Khosroshvili, the young founder of WiFisher and Co-founder of, highlighted that there are always many challenges to face in launching a start-up, and one of them is money. However, he says that in this case you just need to follow the “Other Peoples’ Money” (OPM) rule. “Nowadays, top business people have lots of money but low energy; when they were young they had to work hard to reach their current leading positions. Today, we [of the new generation] have energy and

What’s That? Facility – a building designed to serve a specific function offering a convenience or service Implement – start to do Forbade – (from forbid) didn’t let him do Tender - an offer or proposal made for acceptance; an offer or a bid for a contract Founder – the person who starts a business Start-up – new business

David Khosroshvili, young founder of WiFisher and Co-founder of

ideas but not money. To reach our own goals we have to cooperate with the older generation and use OPM,” Khosroshvili said. Tech Park was created especially for those who had no possibilities to realize their ideas. It is open to everyone and supports the implementation of projects, not only with technology and equipment assessment, but also by providing training, consultation with the facility’s foreign partners, and helping in the search for investors. Chairman of GITA, Irakli Kashibadze, recalls the time when he himself was a young innovator and how difficult it was to set up something new. “If Tech Park had existed in my time, I think I would have gone much further forward,” he said.

Food for Thought  If you start a new business, what can you do to make it successful?




MARCH 2016

Ms. Angelique Ruebe, the School Principal of BIST, with pupils

Real Life Learning at British International School of Tbilisi PREPARED BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES


eptember 2015 marked the opening of the new school campus of British International School of Tbilisi (BIST) which extends over 10,000 square meters right next to Lisi Lake. Creating a new school is a challenging task but it offers numerous benefits to the over 500 students of BIST and the British-Georgian Academy, who represent over 25 different nations. Not only does the new campus at Lisi Lake put BIST among the leading international schools in the country in terms of teaching standards and opportunities but it leads the way with its new state-of-theart facilities. Today, we live in a world of rapidly developing technology that fosters globalization. Unpredictable economic and social events are continually reshaping the world around us. Consequently, education must continue to evolve to meet the needs of current and future generations. We must prepare our young peo-

ple to thrive in a world of uncertainty, change, and rapid transformation by enabling them to develop the skills of independence, adaptability, creativity, collaboration and self-direction. These skills cannot be developed by using the 20th century teacherdirected methodologies. These skills can only be developed if the children are given opportunities to learn through active, inquiry-based, real life learning experiences. “We believe there are three main components that will enable our students to develop these 21st century competencies,” says Ms. Angelique Ruebe, the School Principal of BIST “These are: a comprehensive and creative curriculum, innovative and effective teaching, and cutting edge facilities. When these three factors work together, they create the best possible learning environment – which is what we envisage for our students.” BUILDING CONCEPT- GETTING THE STUDENTS INVOLVED A priority for BIST when starting the design and planning process was to enlist the help of those who

will benefit the most from the new school – its students. BIST encouraged the children to choose what was most important to them and what they would like to see in their ideal school. “It was amazing to watch how enthusiastically they set about designing their dream school and to hear all of the fantastic ideas they had to offer! We gave these ideas serious thought and have incorporated them as much as possible into the final design,” said Angelique Ruebe, the School Principal of BIST. The building itself has been designed in three separate sections; academic, administration and sports and recreation.

learning environment is needed for a lesson. The classrooms are more spacious to accommodate dynamic learning environments and different learning and teaching styles. Gone are the days where all desks are lined up in a row facing the blackboard and children are using a text book to complete exercises. Classrooms of today are filled with tables that allow children and teachers to work collaboratively on projects. They are places where children can be spontaneous, creative and dynamic and places where students actively seek the answers to questions through a variety of different handson learning experiences.

ACADEMIC BUILDING – SPACE AND COMFORT The academic section incorporates the classrooms, specialist studios, suites and learning spaces that accommodate a variety of learning activities. These learning spaces are a pivotal part of our day. Teachers bring together their own class or different school communities for special events, sharing of different classroom projects or if a different

ADMINISTRATION BUILDING We believe that learning can and should happen everywhere at school. The spacious atrium, hallways and other informal areas in the administration building have been designed to provide flexible, friendly learning spaces where students and parents meet and work with others and build a sense of community. Within the administration building the children enjoy their meals


at the school’s Lake View Café. The children and teachers love to explore the large array of books in the Discovery Centre, use computers to research or enjoy a quiet space to read or study. The Discovery Centre has been designed as an enriched environment where students can work individually or together on projects or where visitors to the school are invited to view and listen to different student or teacher lead presentations. The administration section also features the Performing Arts Centre: a specialist room for different types of dance offered, drama or debate clubs and a specialist music room. SPORTS AND RECREATION BUILDING – HEALTH AND LEADERSHIP For many children the sport and recreation section of the school is the most important which incorporates the courts and play areas and soon to be completed gymnasium and pool. Sport promotes an active and healthy life-style while helping students develop team-building and leadership skills. “I believe we have seen a huge increase in the popularity of outdoor sports activities because of what we can offer on campus – with children having the opportunity to rollerblade and ice skate as well as use our large court and all-weather pitch for tennis, rugby, basketball and football. With Lisi Lake on our doorstep our outdoor clubs are overflowing with children wanting to be involved in outdoor pursuits, activities, mountain biking and cross country running clubs. OUTDOOR PLAYGROUND CREATIVITY, IMAGINATION, SOCIALIZATION High on the children’s wish lists



were fun and interactive playgrounds. “The lives of children today are much different than the lives of children in the 20th century. In today’s world children have fewer opportunities for regular outdoor play and contact with the natural world. However play is a pivotal part of a child’s life. Outdoor play fosters opportunities for creativity, imagination, social connections, and learned behaviors,” says Ms. Ruebe. “Our mission was to create a beautiful space where children can run, jump, play creatively and explore the natural world around them. Our playgrounds are comprised of not only the standard swings and slides but also climbing walls and towers, trampolines, skating rink, water and sand play areas and, go-carts, thus allowing children to create and use their own play ideas.” WHY WAS LISI LAKE CHOSEN FOR THE NEW DEVELOPMENT? 15 minutes’ drive from the city center, Lisi Lake has been identified as a green, ecologically clean area that boasts open spaces and plenty of fresh air. “The Lisi Lake area was chosen because its gives us more opportunity to develop a facility that has larger and specialized classrooms, bigger sports fields and a range of areas for play and recreation,” Ms. Ruebe says. The proximity of the lake gives the school an amazing resource that can be used for the many different outdoor learning opportunities that our children need. We’ll be hearing more from the British International School of Tbilisi in the next issue of GEORGIA TODAY EDUCATION.




MARCH 2016

Focus Mokus Gains International Recognition as Entertainment Center BY WILL CATHCART


ntertainment center Focus Mokus, which was recently opened in East Point shopping mall, has received an international entertainment industry award called the Golden Pony – in the category of “Family Entertainment Center.” The awards ceremony was held on March 3rd. The Golden Pony Award for Family Entertainment Center means that Focus Mokus has satisfied certain criteria based on the scale of the center, diversity of amusement rides, as well as safety standards. The amusement rides and unique concept of the center are what distinguished Focus Mokus from other contenders up for the award. An award of this scale, this level of recognition, is not only important for Focus Mokus but also for Georgia’s entertainment industry as a whole. An international award of this sort will help develop the local Georgian entertainment industry and it shows that Georgia is a country with an entertainment industry built on international standards. The award has provided an exciting boost of momentum. Focus Mokus employees are hoping that the entertainment center will attract not only local, but foreign visitors as well. They are proud of the quality and diversity of their amusement park rides.

The Golden Pony Awards is an international Award in the Entertainment industry. This organization was one of the first in the early 1980s to contribute to the industry. The first step was to publish a magazine called ‘Games and Parks Industry,’ which featured new technologies and innovative ways to improve amusement centers and parks. Later,

What’s That? Criteria - a standard by which something can be judged or decided Contender – a person or company in a competition for an award Momentum – energy or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes Evaluate - to judge or determine the significance, worth, or quality Simulation - something that is made to look, feel, or behave like something else to entertain people

they hosted annual expositions dedicated to the technical innovation of amusement rides. In 2002, they began evaluating entertainment centers, amusement park ride manufacturers and parks themselves. They came up with

various industry standards and when the criteria of those standards were met they would issue an award. Last year, the following amusement centers received an award: Blackpool Pleasure Beach (UK), Tivoli Copenhagen (Denmark), Lieseberg (Sweden), among others. Every year, centers are evaluated based on three main criteria: scale, diversity and safety. With 16 main amusement rides and more than 60 video or simulation games, Focus Mokus is the largest entertainment center in Georgia sprawling across a generous 3.500 m2 space. The entertainment center is built with a classic circus theme intended to give visitors the feeling that the circus is permanently in town.

Info Box Focus Mokus is located at East Point Mall at 2, A. Tvalchrelidze Street. For more information visit: Call +995 555 07 55 55. The amusement park is open from 10:00 to 22:00

Food for Thought  What makes an amusement park ride truly thrilling and why?  What would you include in your ideal Entertainment Center?




MARCH 2016

Vampires in Town: Ex-Pat Launches Second Book Translated into Georgian

Author Katie Ruth Davies at a book presentation in Gori



rom Bram Stoker to L.J. Smith, from Nosferatu to Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and beyondthe vampire genre is the world’s most enduring and influential horror genre; crossing film, television, literature, theater, games and new media. The latest addition to this? Blood Omen! Katie Ruth Davies launched the second of her books to be translated into Georgian last Halloween. She has been working on the five book vampire saga for ten years and has already uploaded the first four of the series onto The Blood Omen Saga (in Georgian

‘vampiruli omebi’, or ‘Vampire Wars’) follows seventeen-year-old Dea on a journey of discovery, love and horror as she delves into the secret world of the vampires- meeting both friend and foe along the way. “There’s nothing scary about these books,” the writer told GEORGIA TODAY. “It’s about an everyday teenage girl living in an everyday world (England) where vampires exist. While there are a few bloody scenes, the story contains a lot of love and teenage problems mixed in with some serious action scenes and mystery. The story leaps from cliffhanger to cliff-hanger and my growing fan base loves this page-turning aspect. The record reading I heard last weekend: one 16-year-old girl finished both books in one day!”

What’s That? Launched – started to work, made public Attended – went to, visited Delves – jumps, dive into Foe – enemy, not a friend Cliff-hanger – the point where the story pauses, leaving you curious what will happen next Enthusiastic – happy, energetic, excited about

As the writer noted, many surprises await readers from the second book and she has been very secretive about the character development. “My fans are crazy about the love story in the book. They also keep asking me who will live or die or become a vampire. I can’t tell them, of course, but it always warms me to see how enthusiastic they are and how well they know and love the characters that came from my imagination!” While having been a writer of vampire fiction for most her life, she is currently working on another young adult fiction book about angels, set in Georgia and built around a halfGeorgian, half-English teenage girl dealing with a new aspect of the supernatural. “If I get it done, it would be nice to have it published ready for the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2018. As Georgia is the Guest of Honor, there will be special interest on any book related to the country.” The first of Katie’s vampire books was translated into Georgian and released on Halloween 2014. It

sold out within 9 months and the second was translated with funding from the Translation Program of the Georgian National Book Center (GNBC), under the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection. “I’m very grateful to both my publishers and the GNBC for believing in me and to The Vampire Translator(!) Ana Chichinadze who brought the vampires so well to life for my Georgian fans.” While only a small number of fans was able to attend the launch of Book Two, nearly 2300 are currently following her on facebook (www. and on her English-language blog Katie Davies was born in the UK and has lived in Spain, New Zealand and now Georgia. She is a dedicated wife and a mother of three and when she’s not writing, she works as an English Language Specialist and as CopyEditor for several cultural and business journals in Tbilisi.

Food for Thought  Why are some people crazy about books and films about supernatural creatures?  What would it take to become a successful writer of teen fiction?




Stories from Pankisi: Nature for Us BY LAINA PAREULIDZE

H Stories from Pankisi: Protect the Environment BY RUMINA ALKHANASHVILI


What is the government doing against this? They are doing nothing. The inhabitants of our Gorge don’t have gas yet. That’s why we have to cut down our trees. Another cause of Global warming may be smog. In the cities there are clouds of smog produced from factories. The government has to work hard to produce and use equipment that gives off less smoke. A lot of cars are used in our country. It would be better if we used bikes instead of cars. It would be healthier and more useful. So, every member of our society has to do his bit to protect the environment. If everyone does a little, perhaps together we can really make a difference.

owadays, global warming is one of the world’s most serious problems. What must we do to protect the environment? How is global warming caused? What do we have to do to avoid it? The Pankisi Gorge is surrounded by forests. These forests save us from heat waves in the summer and from strong winds. Hot summers are pleasant in our Gorge. But lately the forests are getting thinner. The local people are cutting more trees down every year because they don’t have another ways of heating their houses in the winter. Deforestation has become the main problem in Rumina Alkhanashvili is 16 year old stuour region, as in other parts of Geor- dent of Birkiani’s public school in Pankisi Gorge. Rumina says: My favourite Georgia.

umans get a lot of things from nature. We get oxygen, water and food from it. We use all nature’s kindness, but we do nothing to protect it. What’s more we dump rubbish. Nowadays, the relationship between humans and nature is one of self-interest. In the technical century humans are using nature much more than at any other time. We aren’t thinking what may happen until we see the results. Nature is punishing us. Humans steal the homes of animals and plants. Our responsibility is to protect and appreciate the wealth of nature. If you plant only one tree, it will be a kindness for nature. In Georgia at this moment lots of trees are endangered and are in the Red Book. Plants are the biggest part of live nature; they grow, feed and multiply like us. It is our obligation to save nature. Without nature we won’t survive.

gian writer is Alexandre Kazbegi. I like his style of writing and getting acquainted with the traditions and life of mountainpeople. I’ve not chosen my future profession yet. I once wanted to be a lawyer and then a journalist but now I’m inter- Laina Pareulidze is a 14 year old student ested in chemistry. of Jokolo public school in Pankisi Gorge. Laina says:

When I was small my mother noticed that I was interested in learning English, so she enrolled me at the Roddy Scott foundation school. I hope to become a successful journalist and I know that a knowledge of English will help me to get a good job.




David Lordkipanidze, famous archaeologist and General Director of the Georgian National Museum

Rome and the Shocking Dmanisi Findings BY EKA KARSAULIDZE


GeorgiaOne conference was organized in Rome recently to which went the world’s experts from various fields in order to find out more about the shocking discoveries made in Dmanisi, Georgia. An important presentation of the current realities and future prospects of Georgia was given and Georgia’s history and its findings of the first European humans were discussed. The findings have resonated strongly in the scientific community, surprising many and leading to studies into the new theory of human migration. “We all are interested in human evolution. We all knew that the first humans appeared in Africa, but the question was exactly when humans left it and began to spread out into the world,” said David Lordkipanidze, famous archaeologist and General Director of the Georgian National Museum. Previously, it was thought that humans had migrated from Africa about 1 million years ago. However, findings of skulls in Dmanisi in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia showed that it actually happened much earlier – 1.8 million years ago. The findings have given more detailed information about human evolution and settlement. “First we found out that humans back then were much more primitive

What’s That? Shocking discoveries – finding things which surprised them Resonated - affected many people strongly Migration – movement from one place to live in another Spread – extend, disperse Discussed – talked about Settlement – from settle: start to live in a place Brains – the organ in your head which controls thought and body functions Fossils – the shape of dead animals or creatures preserved in stone


MARCH 2016

than we previously thought. Their brains were very small, about 544 cubic centimeters, around 1/3 of our current brain size. Their bodies were not like ours and they used primitive stone tools. That means that humans left Africa much earlier and spread out while they were still at a very primitive stage,” explained Lordkipanidze. The oldest fossils outside Africa have also been found in Georgia by archaeologists. In addition, the Dmanisi skull is the most complete ever found in the world. In fact, Georgia is the proud owner of a very rich collection of five skulls. During the Conference, Georgia was shown as a country worth visiting and discovering: “a small and still untouched paradise”. The conference speakers, among whom sat Davit Bakradze, State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, highlighted that Georgia, with its rich cultural heritage, nowadays is an excellent destination for business investment, too.

Info Box In 1991, Georgian scientist David Lordkipanidze found traces of early human settlement in a cave in Dmanisi, Georgia, a village and an archaeological site about 90 kilometres southwest of the country’s capital, Tbilisi. Since then, five early hominin skulls have been discovered at the site. Skull 5, found in 2005, is the most complete specimen of them all. After further analysis, it was coupled with its jaw bone found five years earlier. The final analysis of the discovery took many years and was published in 2013.

NEWS World Bank to Give USD 40 Mil to National Innovation Ecosystem Project BY ANA AKHALAIA


he World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of USD 40 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for Georgia’s National Innovation Ecosystem (GENIE) Project. The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development’s Innovation and Technology Agency is in charge of a project aimed at creating enterprises based on a digital economy, as well as innovation and technology in the agricultural sphere. The project aims to promote investments in community centers by increasing access to financing and the internet, and by offering more innovative skills to household agricultural enterprises and small businesses. “GENIE is the World Bank’s new phase of support for the Georgian Government, during which inclusive growth will be promoted by developing innovation and a knowledge-based economy. The investment will be carried out through various activities to increase access to innovation potential, human capital, and funding,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. The project is part of a partnership between the World Bank and Georgia and is in line with the ultimate goal of creating mutual cooperation and improved competitiveness in the private sector.




Weiss is Right for Georgia BY ALASTAIR WATT


lovakian Vladimir Weiss was officially unveiled as the new head coach of the Georgian national football team on March 14, ending months of speculation surrounding previous head coach, Kakha Tskhadadze. Following the election of Levan Kobiashvili, who played a record 100 times for Georgia, as president of the Georgian Football Federation (GFF) last October, big changes have been made in an attempt to resuscitate the national game with Tskhadadze an unlucky loser in the revolution. Tskhadadze had been in the job less than a year and had enjoyed some good results including a 1-0 victory over Scotland in September. But the GFF was not impressed and after trying to change Tskhadadze’s contract, the parties eventually reached an agreement to part ways. Weiss comes with a notable international background, having led his native Slovakia to the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup. The 51-year-old Slovakian had recently ended a successful three-years in Kazakhstan with Kairat Almaty before taking the Georgian position, a role he has described as an “honor”. Georgian fans are nervous about appointing a foreigner, given the failed leadership of Argentinian Hector Cuper and Germany’s Klaus Toppmoller, among others, in the 2000s. “I immediately viewed this offer as a challenge,” Weiss said. “I studied the history of Georgian football, watched the national team’s most recent competitive and friendly games, and saw a lot of potential in this team – our team, as I can now call it.” The Slovakian, who will move to Georgia for the time of his position, will soon announce his first team for the friendly match with Kazakhstan in Tbilisi on March 29. Early summer matches against Weiss’s homeland Slovakia, as well as Romania and European champion Spain complete Georgia’s preparations for World Cup qualifying which Unveiled – revealed, shown begins in September against group Speculation – guessing, favorites Austria in Tbilisi.

What’s That?

Info Box The Georgian Football Federation (GFF) was founded in 1936 as part of the Football Federation of the Soviet Union from 1936 to 1989. The Independent Georgian Football Federation was established on 15 February 1990 as the governing body of football in Georgia. Based in Tbilisi, it organizes the football league, the Georgian Premier League, and the Georgia national football team.

Food for Thought  What makes a football coach good or bad?  What incentives can make players play better?

wondering about Election – vote, choosing Resuscitate – bring back to life Impressed – liked, appreciated Notable – special, good value Potential – positive future



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Georgia Today Education #2  

March 2016

Georgia Today Education #2  

March 2016