Since its recent founding in May of 2021, SADAGI’s astonishing growth has been nothing short of miraculous. Using common parlance for internet companies with viral potential growth and value creation, perhaps SADAGI has the makings of becoming a “Unicorn” charity – a uniquely successful entity! Let us make the case by examining the track record as presented at SADAGI’s recent second Annual Meeting held at Kiketi Farm in August.
Track record since inception:
SADAGI and its supporters have organized over 30 cleanups at 25 locations in 8 regions across Georgia.
Our efforts include the beautification of ski resorts, national parks, stadiums, tourist destinations, historic monuments and community facilities, as well as sponsored tree plantings and clearing access to critical municipal infrastructure. Within these efforts, over 300,000 liters of waste, not including large quantities of bulk items (tires, construction materials, etc.), have been collected and properly disposed of by the local municipalities.
Over 1,000 volunteers have participated with many repeat participants, among them a growing list of celebrities who have contributed their time and support for our activities and have helped spread our message, while more than 30 corporate sponsors have contributed both monetarily and with in-kind support of our efforts.
SADAGI is a very solid, promising, entrepreneurial charity demonstrating a pent-up selfless desire by many Georgians and others to support this exciting mission
SADAGI has featured on 19 TV and radio programs 10 internet media portals and boasts more than 4,500 social media subscribers. SADAGI’s Facebook/META page was accessed by almost 600,000 unique accounts and received almost 1.5 million hits.
The capability of SADAGI’s dedicated core staff (Dato Berdzenishvili and Maia Mestumre) has been multiplied many times over by volunteers with special expertise and expenses have been minimized so that membership fees and other financial support has enabled SADAGI to grow steadily since its beginning 2½ years ago.
A “Unicorn” must also operate in an environment with the potential for enormous growth and a management with the vision and skills to realize ambitious goals.
What are those goals?
There are hundreds if not thousands of beautiful and important locations within each of Georgia’s regions that would benefit from SADAGI’s efforts, and tens of thousands of Georgians who care so much about their neighborhoods that they could easily become pro-active SADAGI guardians of our clean environment. Enough Georgians believe in the dignity, satisfaction and camaraderie inherent in this simple physical activity to lead by example, and, as such, SADAGI can serve as a platform so that many more Georgians can become energized to beautify our homeland both for today and for future generations.
A very high priority is to create a volunteer management structure by region to permit cleanups in new locations at least once a month, creating a sustainable long-term capability under local volunteer teams to clean up – especially vulnerable locations such as Gudauri or Bakuriani at least once a year, or as needed.
To measure progress objectively a country-wide Pollution Index should be established and partnership with local governments, corporations, local businesses and other charities and NGOs should be enhanced to facilitate cleanups as well as to find ways to reduce the pollution left by local communities and visitors, including transnational truckers.
Sadagi’s mission needs to be publicized and popularized by partnering with sponsors to produce impactful videos aimed at young people and featuring Georgian heroic figures.
To stage, as soon as possible, a one-day nationwide cleanup with at least 50,000 volunteers!
The energy, creativity and inspiration to reach these goals originate with SADAGI’s founder, Nikoloz Shurgaia and the core team. When Nik Shurgaia made his presentation at the Annual Meeting, he stressed, in many cases by name, the contributions of the many people and organizations (both large and small), all of whom have collaborated so supportively to help make the SADAGI dream a growing reality. Among the largest and most frequent contributor members and other donors mentioned were Euroins Insurance, Dressup, Wondernet Express, Pasha Bank and Procredit Bank.
Nik also expressed much gratitude to the volunteers, particularly the most prolific and active participants of SADAGI clean-ups: over 20 youth organization members from Gori, Ninutsa Gabisonia and Bachi Valishvili from Tbilisi, Gigi Gogia from Senaki, and many others (The full list of donors and contributors is too long for this summary and is incorporated on the Sadagi website).
With its vision and visionary leadership, the potential for SADAGI’s growth and expansion is almost limitless: It could well become a Unicorn Charity!
“We need additional structure to handle the organizational and logistical requirements of making the SADAGI vision part of our national consciousness, part of our fellow citizens’ way of life and belief system. An effort such as this needs many Georgians to work together towards a common goal over a long period of time,” Nik noted.
He also expressed his thanks to Zaza Nishnianidze for hosting the Annual Meeting at his beautiful Kiketi Farm. Though acquainted for years, Zaza only recently heard about SADAGI via a social post. Our mission resonated very strongly with him: he felt that what he was doing on a local level SADAGI was aiming to accomplish on a national level, hence his spontaneous invitation. In the future, we will interview a number of SADAGI supporters for their perspectives on the SADAGI mission.
In closing, Nik cited Mark Twain’s belief that “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” to which we could add: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” And that is exactly what the SADAGI team has done – with no regrets! Let’s stand together, as each of us can!