39-year-old Zviad Mgeladze lives in the village Zenith, Kobuleti. Despite the fact that he spent 7 years in custody and having difficulty to even dial telephone number to the rapid development in technology, currently he is running a modem automobile workshop, even offering computerized diagnostics to the clients. According to him, he has indeed taken effort for the progress of his own business, currently witnessing its results.
“After being released from custody, I started to return to life with doubled energy. I was in the mood of doing my best in order to start and advance the business. Though, I had difficulty to dial a telephone number when leaving the prison, as I was met with so changed and developed technologies. I even had to learn computer” – says a former inmate.
He was released from custody in 2012 and managed to get integrated into the society gradually. Initially, he failed to get employed in Georgia and went to Iraq for mastering car business in a special school. Though, after returning to Georgia he arranged a small workshop with friend’s assistance, gradually being expanded, currently employing three and soon recruiting the forth staff member.
In the frame of the Institute of Democracy Project for strengthening former inmates, Zviad was granted with the equipment necessary for his workshop, enabling the master to expand its business.
“I have a retired granny, wife and a small child, being a sole bread-winner in the family, sometimes even being forced to work until 2 p.m., though there is no other way to advance the business. It was rather difficult to initiate a business, I remember once dismantling first my own, two damaged cars into particles for selling” – recalls Zviad Mgeladze.
He also recalls the times spend in custody which he managed to overcome through reading. Despite of being short of time – he often reads and says that a set part of his income does to spiritual literature and historical novels.
Zviad is also applying other rehabilitation services offered in the frame of the project for strengthening former inmates, having already attended Business Management training and with the help of trainer, even has developed a plan for developing his own workshop. Recently, he visited Dadiani Palace in Zugdidi, Martvili Canyon and other tourist sites together with other project beneficiaries.
Project for strengthening former inmates has been implemented by the Institute of Democracy with the financial support from the European Union in four regions of Georgia together with partner organizations. The project is implemented by the Institute of Democracy in cooperation with Guria Youth Resource Center, Tanaziari and Foundation Abkhazinterkont.