New Playground Opens in Bolnisi

Georgia’s Kvemo Kartli town of Bolnisi has a brand new playground. The project ‘Friendly Monsters’ was initiated by Germany's Eberhard Schoeck Foundation and it was implemented within the ongoing anniversary year of German-Georgian diplomatic relations, marking 25 years of relations between the two countries.

The new amusement area was officially opened on Saturday by the Representative of the Department of Culture, Press and Policy of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany - Christopher Fronzek, German military representative to Georgia Lieutenant Colonel Franz-Josef Nolte, Peter Möller, the Managing Director of the Eberhard Schoeck Foundation, Bolnisi Governor David Sherazadishvili, MP Gigi Meshveliani and the Deputy Governor of Kvemo Kartli, Zaur Dargali.

The German foundation launched the Bolnisi playground initiative to help unemployed local youth obtain creative skills in craft work. The latter goal was served by the Learning by Doing method, implemented in order to enable young artists to develop their skillset while working on the playground.

The project aims at promoting creative work within crafts and trades, with the youth on the margins of society. The project results are available to the public in the form of public art and playground equipment and help to increase acceptance of the many different groups within society.

This creative collaboration enhances their sense of self-worth, their ability to work in a team and their own personal outlook.

This project is a continuation of the German cultural heritage in Bolnisi, or former Katharinenfeld, which was founded in 1818 by German settlers.

“Here, 200 years ago, the first German colonists arrived. Schwab Pietersettes invited Alexander I, founded the first colonies in Bolnisi and Asuria, and subsequently contributed to the history of Georgian culture,” Christopher Fronzek stated at the opening ceremony of the playground.

For the last 20 years Eberhard Schoeck Foundation’s Friendly Monsters has worked successfully in different countries in the field of preventative work for young people. The Foundation has implemented many projects in middle and eastern European countries, and has actively engaged in promoting the Vocational Education Modernization Project in the field of architecture in Georgia since 2015.

“If we take into consideration that this is a historical place where the Germans lived, I want this area to become a place of new ideas, new interesting friendships and a favorite space for children,” the Managing Director of the Eberhard Schoeck Foundation said.

Bolnisi Governor David Sherazadishvili thanked the German Embassy in Georgia, as well as the Eberhard Schoeck Foundation for a new recreation area and children’s playground in Bolnisi.

“I am glad that we are all able to celebrate the opening of the new children's space in Bolnisi. This project will be a continuation of the German cultural heritage that was created by our German colonists 200 years ago,” he added.

By Thea Morrison

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10 July 2017 17:30