From where I stand: “Vocational trainings for the survivors of domestic violence are very valuable”

Date: Friday, February 2, 2018

Salome Makaridze
Salome Makaridze; Photo: Tamara Gonjilashvili

At our company, we decided to offer something of value within the framework of social responsibility. More specifically, we wanted to select a direction that would be close to our hearts. My partner Lika Inashvili was the first one to come up with the idea of helping women who are the victims of domestic violence. She shared that there were many women around her who were facing this problem.

Our experience and resources suggested to us that providing the women with vocational training would be most beneficial, as far as good training can motivate people and evoke new powers within them. For women who have overcome the problem of domestic violence, financial independence is especially important. We also selected the topics that would be most beneficial for finding jobs or starting up one’s own business: communication, sales, leadership and entrepreneurship.

When I met with the first participants, some of them were fearful or withdrawn, but others were especially motivated. We found out that even an ordinary one-day training held such value for them. I have conducted trainings with many groups now, and I know that participants provide diverse feedback, but I will never forget the gratitude of that first group: they absorbed everything in the training and were happy to have the opportunity to participate, learn, express their opinions freely, and interact with one another. This was rehabilitation and, at the same time, motivation and hope for them.

These meetings made me think about many issues: I too had many stereotypes about domestic violence deep inside my heart, but they were disappeared after interacting with these survivors. In fact, getting closer to the topic of domestic violence made all of us at our company think more about it, and our team has since recognized this enhanced awareness many times. As for myself, I have learned more clearly how to react to cases of domestic violence and how to protect victims – this is my obligation as a civilian and a human being.

Salome Makaridze is one of the partners of the management consulting company PMO. In cooperation with the UN Women Georgia field office since 2016, PMO has been conducting vocational trainings for the survivors of domestic violence who now live at state shelters. Ms. Makaridze leads the trainings on service and sales. At the same time, Salome’s activities contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 5 on achieving gender equality and its objective to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.