Meet the Youth Bank members: Atuka Samadalashvili
Atuka Samadalashvili, 16, is a member of the Gori Youth Bank. He’s been actively engaged in local youth projects since middle school. Currently, he’s one of the most active members and the Financial Manager of Europe Foundation’s Gori Youth Bank.
“As I began my junior year of school, I decided to focus my time one major project instead of keeping myself busy with many different activities, to also start preparing for the national exams. This was when I learned about the Youth Bank program. I knew right away that I was extremely lucky when I found myself among the young people who were also selected to join. What I like most about being a part of the Youth Bank is that it provides the freedom to choose what initiative you would like to implement most and how you can take it forward, which is not the case with other programs. I am also pleased that I got to meet my peers, who are as active as me. It was always disappointing to me that there were not many people around me who shared the same enthusiasm and drive as me. The situation is the very opposite when you’re a part of the Youth Bank. This project is where everyone is open to new ideas and experiences. Together we have planned and implemented many events, including interesting trainings for school students. We have organized several activities and mobilized numerous young people to participate in them. The most important thing, however, is helping young people better understand such major issues as gender equality, animal protection, preserving the environment. The lack of information and the low level of awareness about these issues are some of the biggest challenges the world, including young people, are facing.
Many of my peers are still trying to dissuade me, saying working on these projects is a waste of my time. I’m happy though because these claims don’t affect my motivation. On the contrary, I always try to convince others that volunteering is important. As a volunteer, I am learning a lot of new skills relating to management roles, and have developed leadership qualities, which, I’m sure, will help me in the future.”
With the support of Europe Foundation, Gori Youth Bank Committee has funded 4 micro-projects in 2021. Two of the projects aimed to resolve improper waste management and the rest – to promote youth involvement in animal protection and healthy lifestyle in youth. As part of these projects, young people organized a clean-up of a specific area of Khidistavi, Gori and restored it as a gathering place. With the bottles and fabrics the youth gathered from the landfill site, the project participants designed and produced various new usable items, such as accessories. Furthermore, as independent initiatives, the Gori Youth Bank members offered their peers trainings on topics such as gender equality, raising youth awareness on animal rights, etc. The young volunteers also engaged in a campaign aiming to provide better understanding of sanitary and hygienic standards in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic and produced an informational video.
Empowering Youth for Peace project is supported by USAID.