Mountainous Adjaria is one of the least developed and poorest regions in Georgia. Finding work is a real challenge there. Caritas Czech Republic is helping local people start their own business and create sustainable jobs to prevent work migration from the region. One of the people we helped is Mzevinar Iremadze, who focuses on traditional techniques of embroidery and knitting. Thanks to the support she had received from us, she could open her own small studio, and her products reach more customers further away.
Despite the fact that Mzevinar is in a wheel-chair, she has mastered traditional embroidery and knitting techniques of Upper Adjaria that have been passed on from generation to generation. She started with these techniques when she was a little girl and has been knitting and embroidering stockings, gloves, or carpets ever since. She makes her living using this traditional craft, and she offers her products on social media to customers from all over the country.
Dreams come true
Thanks to financial support from The European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), Mzevinar was able to get professional sewing machines and other equipment, which allowed her to open her own small studio. She also presents her traditional Georgian handicraft at festivals and cultural events. Being dependent on a wheelchair does not make things easy for her, especially when it comes to travelling from place to place.
Always keeps smiling
In 2018, Mzevinar received an invitation to an exhibition in Tbilisi. She decided to go despite the fact that the bus she was travelling on was not suited for disabled persons, and also getting around Tbilisi without an assistant was a great challenge for her. She often ends up in similar situations, but she always keeps smiling: “I am grateful for my family and their support,” describes Mzevian the support she gets in her home town, where managing basic daily routines in a wheelchair is a challenge.
Tradition with love
Mzevinar would like to extend her business so that she could employ as many people as possible, and offer sustainable source of income also to others. She teaches he neighbours traditional embroidery and knitting techniques. For free, but with love. She believes that sharing and passing on these skills helps keep the culture heritage alive.
Supporting local businesses
Caritas Czech Republic helped create more than 200 jobs in Khulo, a village in Upper Adjaria, where also Mzevinar is from. In total, we have supported small and middle-sized businesses with 1 030 000 EUR, which will result in total 73 projects. Another 440 000 EUR came from co-financing by the beneficiaries. We are able to help in Adjaria thanks to financial support from the EU-funded ENPARD program and from the Czech Development Agency.