The project entitled ‘Sustainable Income Sources and Effective Social Integration of Persons with Disabilities and Socially Vulnerable Groups of Temi-Community’ financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland under the Polish Development Cooperation Programme, had been launched in March 2015 with the aim of increasing economic stability of Temi-Community by facilitating development of suitable for the institution social entrepreneurship model and providing it with the source of sustainable income.
Temi is an assisted living community located in Gremi – a little village in the north-eastern Georgia close to the Caucasus Mountains offering shelter to vulnerable social groups – people with disabilities, single mothers, neglected and partially disabled children and adults from torn-apart families as well as elderly people lacking family support. It is a place where people with different backgrounds come together to care, live and work for and with each other. In a country like Georgia where social structure is mainly defined by family and relatives, this is a very unfamiliar and new approach. However, due to the underdeveloped or inexistent social support system in Georgia, those who have found new home in Temi – misfortunate and socially excluded, often had no alternatives nor hope for governmental support. Of those living in Temi, only 27 are currently receiving disability based financial benefits.
Through creation of tourist culinary bike routes and opening of a summer restaurant at the premises of Temi (serving dishes prepared of locally sourced ecological products grown by the residents of Temi and selling wine manufactured in the community) objectives of achieving financial stability and extending social and professional activation of Temi-Community members can be reached.
Temi has been producing wine since 1998, gradually increasing its capacity. Temi devoted several years to perfecting its wine for distribution prior to bringing it to the national and international market. Over the last few years, Temi’s Qvevri wine (traditional Georgian wine-making technique) has been recognized for its excellence throughout Georgia and abroad. The employees of foreign embassies and international organizations buy the wine, and it is available in prestigious hotels, restaurants and shops in Georgia. Temi has had its wine exports in Norway, Germany, and currently working on other markets, constantly looking for commercial partners abroad, such as wine distributors and retailers.
In 2016 fully equipped summer restaurant and bike rental station to be managed by Temi have been officially opened and a bike route leading through vineyards and villages of Kvareli district has been designated and marked, additionally supported by IT on-line and off-line applications available for free (http://bikeandwine.org/).
Project was accompanied by the seminars and workshops on social entrepreneurship, tourism management, basics of Slow Food, marketing of local, regional and traditional products. Furthermore, study tour to Poland for Temi employees was organized to facilitate the transfer of Polish best practices and know-how in the mentioned fields.
Project was implemented by the Development Policy Foundation in partnership with Towarzystwo Rozwoju Gminy Płużnica and Temi-Community.
Find out more about Kakheti’s tourist offer and regional products at project’s official website http://bikeandwine.org/.