Georgia: Since the end of communist rule, the states of the former Soviet Union have embarked on the path of social reorientation. Unfortunately this process did not work very well in Georgia. Civil war and power struggles for political leadership, as well as ethnic conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, led to a collapse of the country’s economy. Due to the ruined economy the job prospects are currently very scarce for young people.
Amidst the conflicts of the post Soviet era a number of anthroposophical institutions were founded. In Tbilisi for example a day care centre for social therapy was established as early as 1990. Today, around 40 people work in various workshops and are being looked after by the initiative’s social workers. In 1994, the Michael School was founded and set out in a government building under most difficult conditions. Then in April 2002, an earthquake destroyed the building. Subsequently a large new building was erected with the support of the Friends of Waldorf Education and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Other small social therapeutic communities are working in Gremi in the northeast, in Sighnaghi in eastern Georgia, and not far from Tbilisi in the village of Saguramo. The latter is the only residential facility for people with disabilities in Georgia.
In 1994, the first Georgian Waldorf School opened in Tbilisi. The city administration provided a building that was renovated with the help of the Friends of Waldorf Education in cooperation with the BMZ. As a result of a successful fundraising campaign by the Friends of Waldorf Education, the school was able to finally buy the property in 2011 and obtained an official school license the following year.
These educational institutions are now islands in a difficult social environment. Parents sending their children to these initiatives appreciate them with gratitude. To the wider public, however, this valuable work for Georgian society goes mostly unnoticed.