Regional Conference 2018 - Welcome to Georgia! - Picture: Nino Gambashidze, Caritas Georgia

Gamarjoba! გამარჯობა! Hello!

Gamarjoba is the most common greeting one hears in Georgia. Needless to say, it will be among the first words participants will hear when they attend the next Caritas Europa Regional Conference, which will be held in May 2018 in our capital of Tbilisi!

Gamarjoba comes from the word “victory” (Gamarjveba). For Georgians, victory is connected to the sense of survival, as for centuries, we have been embroiled in power struggles between the world’s biggest empires. Luckily, with the hopes and prayers of the people and the engagement and devotion of young people, Georgians have managed to preserve their identity.

The Regional Conference 2018 in Tbilisi will be dedicated to youth and the importance in investing in young people. From 7 to 9 May, delegates from all European Caritas organisations will gather with representatives of Young Caritas and young volunteers, to create a space for dialogue, listen to each other and devise join actions to take care of the young generation.

As His Holiness Pope Francis said when he received the Charlemagne Prize in 2016 : “… our young people have a critical role. They are not the future of our peoples; they are the present. Even now, with their dreams and their lives they are forging the spirit of Europe. We cannot look to the future without offering them the real possibility to be catalysts of change and transformation. We cannot envision Europe without letting them be participants and protagonists in this dream”.

I dream of a Europe that is young, still capable of being a mother: a mother who has life because she respects life and offers hope for life. … I dream of a Europe where young people breathe the pure air of honesty, where they love the beauty of a culture and a simple life undefiled by the insatiable needs of consumerism, where getting married and having children is a responsibility and a great joy, not a problem due to the lack of stable employment.” [1]

Tbilisi, the city where East and West meet together. Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali, drawn by the hot springs for which the city is named “Tbili” what means “warm” in Georgian. Hence, it is with a big open-heart that this warm city is waiting for you, members of the Caritas Family, to take a joint step forward towards Pope Francis' dream of a young Europe!

Gamarjoba!

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