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A social community at the foot of the Caucasus

Georgia: TEMI is located in a village called Gremi in North East Georgia. The initiative aims to turn new impulses into a reality by forming a community, uniting various people in need of special care and a social environment. This is a whole new approach especially in Georgia, where the social network is organized through family clans. TEMI Association bought a house in 1992, turned it into a habitable place and started their work with a group of young and disabled people from the orphanage.

During the civil war in Georgia (spring 1993 - spring 1995), the five orphans had to temporarily leave the house and had to be sent to other institutions in Tiflis, because the house, in which everyone had been living, was robbed and destroyed.

After the war TEMI resumed work. The house was renovated and slowly restored by volunteers, the accompanied and the co-workers of the initiative. Today around 70 people aged between 0 to 80 live there. The community unites people with mental disabilities, teenagers from the orphanage (who lost their social background after finishing their compulsory education) and people in need, coming from shattered families. All of them, together with the staff members, form a new family in which they care for each other and work and live together. Where possible, the accompanied are instructed in housekeeping, gardening, construction work and agriculture. Furthermore, the initiative offers drama classes, singing and piano lessons, reading, painting, handcrafting, pottery etc, as well as language courses in English and sometimes even German and finally computer courses, which can also be attended by interested villagers.

The private Georgian Non-Profit Organisation TEMI has been officially registered on September 28, 2000, in Tiflis. Under the administration of Nika Kvashali, ten further Georgians with a very modest salary work with the community. They take care of all necessary means like money, food and reconstruction, they recruit helping hands, work in the school and in the garden, they accompany and support the people in need and finally they even take care of accounting. The regular support from Susanna Reinhart, a Swiss woman who studied Waldorf Education and drama, is closely connected to the initiative helping a great deal to keep TEMI alive. She helped to build up the initiative and invested a great deal of energy in fundraising.

In order to secure the economic and material basis of the community, TEMI produces ecological wine and operates a carpentry, which is equipped with modern machines. Furthermore, biological fruits and vegetables are being cultivated and contribute to the initiatives financial stability.

The massive migration to the cities – 30 to 50% of the population lives in Tiflis – make the work at TEMI more difficult, because the infrastructure for handicapped and underprivileged people in Gremi is in a terrible state. Despite all the challenges, TEMI takes these people in, as they otherwise would have to live on the streets. Whenever possible people searching for help are being integrated into the community, which keeps on growing.

Since 2005 TEMI took in several highly disabled and autistic teenagers from state orphanages.  Thus, TEMI was granted government support for 26 young people: 15 Lari (6 Euro) per person per day. With the help of donations and the money they earn from their own products, TEMI is able to additionally provide a living space for a lot of other people in need.


Dreams of TEMI residents - Georgian with English subtitles

You can find a recipe from this project in our WOW-Day cookbook.


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