Stories of Change

Nukri standing next to a solar dryer for fruit and vegetables that he learned how to construct

“The Light at the End of the Tunnel”

Like many young adults, when Nukri Adadze turned 21, he began to question what he would do with his life. However, Nukri, who lives in a small town in the Republic of Georgia named Ghorjomi, struggled with the many challenges his town was facing. Due to the effects of climate change, Ghorjomi is highly prone to natural disasters such as frequent landslides, hail, floods and mountain torrents. As a result, employment opportunities have diminished and many bright young residents, like Nurki, have had to migrate to cities where they often end up in low-paying jobs. 

In addition to these barriers, families in the community carry a heavy burden when it comes to affording energy needed for heating and cooking. In fact, about 30% of household incomes in Ghorjomi are spent on energy. Faced with these seemingly insurmountable challenges, Nukri planned on leaving the town in search of employment opportunities. He explained, “I didn’t know what to do with my studies or how to support my family going through these hardships.” 

Nukri’s plan, however, took a detour when he began attending seminars and training sessions hosted by our local partner. Through our “Building Resilience” program, Nukri learned about sustainable uses for natural resources, how to construct solar dryers for fruits and vegetables and how to make fuel briquettes from agricultural and forest residues. In addition, his family received a solar dryer for fruits and vegetables, which allows them to generate their own income. They also received a fuel-efficient stove, which has allowed them to spend less money on generating energy in their home. Nukri’s mother, Tamar, remarked, “now, my children and I collect fruit and berries which we dry and sell. It is a very good opportunity to gain additional income. I am very much convinced that with this support my family can finally overcome the vicious cycle of poverty.” 

Equipped with new skills and knowledge, Nukri is ready to start working towards a brighter future for himself and his family. He told us, “thanks to this program and your support, I am convinced of my own strength to change things for the better and lead my life with dignity. It feels like the light at the end of the tunnel has appeared.”  Filled with knowledge and gratitude, Nukri now shares what he has learned with other members of his community, and leads training sessions to teach others the skills he learned. Tamar, who sees Nukri’s day-to-day leadership, shared, “I am so proud of my son Nukri who has become such a respectable member of the community.”

With his newfound confidence and hope, Nukri now imagines new opportunities for himself and his neighbors. His dream is to start a youth-run business in Ghorjomi that would produce fuel briquettes out of residue to replace firewood and decrease deforestation. Through his motivation and optimism, Nukri is now leading his community to the same “light at the end of the tunnel” which he has found.