Help Improve Education and Economic Opportunity in Georgia
Located in the Southern Caucasus and about the size of West Virginia, Georgia has a population of roughly 3.7 million people. Despite violent civil wars following the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia has emerged as a strong partner of the United States and an aspiring member of NATO.
In January 2008, after years of participation in NATO military operations in Afghanistan, Georgia held a national referendum on NATO membership that resulted in an overwhelming majority voting in favor of joining the alliance. Later that same year, Russian troops invaded the country in support of the separatist Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Though not yet a member of NATO today, largely due to the ongoing Russian occupation of these regions, Georgia continues to work towards better integration with the West.
In an effort to support Georgia’s continued development, sovereignty, and partnership with the United States, Spirit of America and a US Army team are working to improve education and economic opportunities in Pakulani, a community along the administrative boundary line (ABL) between the occupied Abkhazia region and Tbilisi-administered territory. Here, we are building a grove of walnut trees at a local school that serves children from both sides of the ABL. This grove will serve a dual purpose as: 1) an agricultural training ground for local students; and 2) a proof of concept for the viability of walnuts as a crop in the area where hazelnuts – a lower value crop and one recently besieged by an outbreak of stinkbugs – are prevalent.
With your assistance, Spirit of America can provide saplings and the labor needed to plant the new grove on school grounds. This will be a persistent reminder to the community of American friendship as well as a future economic and educational resource.