The newspaper “Peace to All”…
After two years of its activities, again, under the initiative of Mrs. Nanuli Shevardnadze, the Association established the newspaper “Peace to All”. The first issue came out in August 1994. The main direction of the paper was clear from the very beginning, and it has been manifested in the title of the publication – peace and tranquility everywhere, combined with love of kin and doing good. It was targeted at giving comfort to distressed people. One of the main themes of the paper was to be coverage of the multiple activities of the Association. It is true indeed, that the staff of the newspaper is not sparing in its efforts to cover continuously and in an interesting manner the charity work of the “Georgian Women’s” Association.
Our Association is unable to be silent with regard to the acute needs of the country. A number of discussions have been held on problem issues; the main topics are as follows: “There is a psychiatric patient out in the street”, “Adoption of children abroad”, “The negative impact of erotic and horror films on adults”, “Reform of the educational system” and “The sanitary situation in the capital city”.
Without any hesitation, the newspaper got involved in combating foreign adoptions from Georgia and played a serious role in forming public opinion.
The issue raised during the round table discussion – “There’s a psychiatric patient out in the street!” caused a broad reaction from the public and was followed by an address of the Georgian psychiatrists to the mass media: “The psyche of the nation needs to be taken care of!”
From the very first day of its foundation, the newspaper undertook the task of disseminating medical knowledge among the population. For the purpose of establishing a healthy way of living and giving the readers information on reproduction issues, in July, 2001 the Association established an affiliated newsletter with the title “For Healthy Life”, which was published through the assistance of the UNFPA program.
It is worth noting that much space of the newspaper is attributed to coverage of outstanding deeds performed by celebrated public figures from Georgia, as well as from abroad. The materials on Ilia Chavchavadzec, Niko Nikoladze, Akaki Tsereteli, David Sarajishvili, Akaki Khoshtaria and others have stirred great interest among readers; they also find interesting the articles on the noble activities of the royalty and church leaders both in our country and abroad. The journalists working for the newspaper show equal interest in the public figures of the contemporary period as well, marking their jubilee dates and briefing the reader on present day activities and the lives of famous scientists and artists.
The readers showed special interest in the documentary story written by Nanuli Shevardnadze – “I’ll Bring you the Mimosa Flowers, Mother”, in which the ever bleeding wounds of the epoch of the Soviet purges and repressions are depicted with realistic emotions, conceived by the reader as very true to life. The board of editors of the newspaper received many letters containing high assessments of the story from regular readers, as well as from literary circles.
In the 1990s, together with the general problems facing the nation, there came to be a deficit of children’s literature. To compensate for this, our newspaper became one of the first in the country to feature a children’s page, with the heading, “The sun in our homes and the sun everywhere”, where stories for children by Georgian and foreign authors, as well as poetry, fairy tales, and paintings created by beginners and even by the children themselves were published.
As the printed organ of the Association, “Peace to All” gave much attention to the roles of women as mother, spouse and homemaker, as well as to the problems involved in rearing children, avoiding family conflicts, and other domestic issues. Interesting features—“Fashion, fashion…, “Our Cuisine”, “Sports”, and others-- have been introduced.
“Peace to All” has been covering the world ecological situation and has published information about the worldwide pollution of air, water, the seas and the oceans. It has also had articles about the grave ecological situation in our republic, reporting on the causes of pollution. This has caused an increase of awareness about the ecology among our population.
Thanks to its calm and serene tone, the variety of information it contains, and its perfect Georgian language, the public has welcomed this newspaper, and many people have become its devoted readers.
Talking about the activities of the Association is easy, because we have much to say; but on the other hand it is difficult, because it is a problem to express in a brief account those many deeds that we have accomplished over the last 12 years.
The length of our existence may not have been so long, but considering that this has been the most complex period in the recent history of our country – the wars, social instability, and chaos, all of which seemed to be endless - if we review the type of activities of the Association against such a background, the length of our existence may seem quite substantial indeed.
This restless women’s organization, from the very first day of its establishment, has been following its own path, never hesitating to undertake both small and large projects with equal enthusiasm. As a result, a large number of grateful people have gathered around the Association, and this is the highest justification for our existence. The everyday hard work has finally yielded fruit, and we’ve managed to establish our distinguished place among the NGOs which are so numerous in our country.
The mail received by the Association is always full of requests for help; our portfolio of correspondence contains numerous sad, emotional and even philosophical letters, letters of reproach and letters of gratitude; sometimes, the population is asking for even incredible things.… Through these letters alone, you would comprehend the broad scope of activities of the Association. But if not for the support of individual donors, the foreign and Georgian partners, and aid extended from various NGOs and governmental organizations, we would have been unable to achieve anything that we have accomplished. Therefore, we greatly appreciate the involvement of those who by their aid, advice and goodwill have assisted us, because it has often happened that we have felt quite weak and helpless and have had to overcome many barriers to our work.
The problems are endless, the population still is in bad need of protection and support; therefore, the work of the Association is going on. The success achieved in the past is filling the Association and its members with the enthusiasm to move forward to future accomplishments.