Nino Magradze helps encourage a student drawing a self-portrait.

May Volunteer Highlight
Volunteers in the Republic of Georgia

The word "volunteer" is not part of the vocabulary for the majority of Georgians. Since the unemployment rate in Georgia is 29.2%, it is easy to understand why, however, eleven professional and student psychologists found the time to volunteer for over 2000 hours from April-June, 2010. After twenty psychologists received four months of free trainings from IOCC, thirteen were eager to give back. From January through March, 2010, the psychologists designed an anti-smoking and anti-aggression program for 5th-7th graders in cooperation with IOCC.

In March, the psychologists launched their programs in schools and an IDP (Internally Displaced Person) settlement in Tbilisi. Every volunteer provided between six and twelve one hour sessions to students in Tbilisi schools. After each session, the students were usually begging the volunteers not to leave. During one psychologist's last session with one of her classes, she said: "All the students hugged us and kissed us and asked us to make another project to work with them." Another member of the anti-smoking group said "I have learned goal setting, how to write a proposal, fundraising, making presentations to various groups and how to create a project on my own ... thank you IOCC."

Students write a letter to a hypothetical person in order to try to encourage the person to turn their life around using some of the strategies they learned during their sessions with the psychologists.
The program was not only successful to the beneficiaries, but also helped with Georgia's unemployment rate. Because of this project, two of the psychologists were able to find full-time work within the first month the project was launched. One psychologist, Sesili, was looking for work for months before the program began. After less than a month, the Georgian Orthodox Church hired Sesili to work at the psychological arm of the Patriarchate.

IOCC would like to thank all of the volunteers for the amount of time put into spreading the word on the good work we do. We could not start projects like this without your support!

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May 2012: Jim Angelus, Race To Respond

Fall 2011: Jan Buchanan, Integrated Direct Marketing Manager

August 2011: IOCC Romania Office

July 2011: New IOCC Metropolitan Committee

June 2011: Rada Tierney, IOCC Communications Manager

April 2011: National Volunteer Week

March 2011: IOCC Board Member, Elaine Cladis

February 2011: Emily Iglendza, IOCC Parish Representative

January 2011: Laura Nixon, IOCC Board Member

December 2010: Getting Youth Involved!

October 2010: Ioannis Apostokalis

September 2010: Presvytera Flora Moraitis

July/August 2010: Interns

June 2010: Emily Howard

May 2010: Volunteers in the Republic of Georgia

April 2010: National Volunteer Appreciation Week

March 2010: Eugenie Osmun's Sunday School Class

February 2010: The Lockyer Family

January 2010: Maria Christodoulou

December 2009: The Albuquerque Metropolitan Committee

November 2009: Anne Pourakis Alexandrou

October 2009: The Denver Metropolitan Committee

August 2009: Outreach Coordinator Megan Carniewski

July 2009: Maria Loukaki

June 2009: Ken Kasovac

May 2009: Debra George

March 2009: Nick Terezis

November 2008: Charlotte Todd

October 2008: Ruzana Hedges

August 2008: Karim Bishay

July 2008: Nick Janulis

June 2008: Health Care Kits Sent to Orthodox Communities Worldwide

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