Friendship and business cannot be combined? Do you believe in this? We will lead you astray!
Once upon a time in Azerbaijan, Ramiz from our partner organization Common Sense, who was hosting a conference in Baku, introduced us to a Georgian organization International Centre for Peace and Integration (ICPI). Genesis was represented by our Managing Director Aneta Bednářová, ICPI by a Project Manager Ani Kokhtashivili. And.. It was love at first sight. Aneta and Ani that day became not only business partners and already started brainstorming partnerships in international projects but also became friends for life. And isn’t this what makes the projects spicy? When you mix professionalism with personal connection and when you together care about creating socially responsible projects with passion?
Most probably neither Ramiz, nor anyone else has realized what happened that day. And yet, here we are, 9 years later, when Genesis & ICPI common projects are still on and the girls celebrated Ani`s B-day in Tbilisi.
After the conference Aneta and Ani applied for the first common project. This two-stages training course was about personal development and the first stage took place near Genesis’s main office at the Vysočina region. A few months later, the second stage took place in Georgia near Tbilisi, where is headquarters of ICPI. After that we implemented many projects together such as The Art of Peace, Social Entrepreneurship for Rural Areas, Eco sharing for Greener Future o a recent project Inclusion for Empowerment, that aimed at personal development of people with visual impairments. Together we are mostly focused on topics of social entrepreneurship, human rights and personal development.
“It is such a meaningful and extraordinary cooperation for me that motivates me both on professional and personal level”, said Aneta, Managing Director of Genesis. Ani and Aneta are really good friends and they are strengthening their friendship through trips together, in the Georgian mountains and elsewhere.. It can be said that Ani and Aneta are simply one soul in two places.
It all started in Baku by Aneta and Ani, but this cooperation could not be so strong without amazing teams of both organizations. We cannot name all, but huge parts of it are Gocha, Ana, Mífa, Linda, Khato, Lydi and other members, interns or volunteers.
We also helped each other in the time of Covid-19 and despite that, we sent our volunteers and interns into Georgia where we knew they would be well taken care of. As a result of this international partnership other partners have joined us, some of them are through Genesis some of them through ICPI. Thanks to this extraordinary work-friend collaboration with a big trust, both organizations can expand their networks.
Together we organize international projects, mostly two stages, build strategic collaborations, and exchange volunteers and interns. For example our Project Manager Míša Musilová was on an internship for one year in ICPI and learned and shared a lot there. She really made a footprint in Georgia. Right now, there are also 2 volunteers from Genesis working and learning in ICPI – Vojta Šmerda and Marek Novák. They have the opportunity to learn from ICPI not just about logistics but also Georgian language, traditions and cultural habits, for example how to eat khinkali (traditional Georgian food) properly. 🙂 More about their experience in Georgia and internship in ICPI you can read here.
The truth is that even though our cultures have many differences, we have a lot in common. Except for volunteers, we are also exchanging our local products – we love to eat khinkali and chačapuri and Georgians love Studentská. It is always a pleasure to exchange these national treasures.
We are looking forward to our next cooperation and experiences. Thank you for your hard work and friendship.