Wounded Warrior Support Foundation (WWSF) has published its 2022 Annual Activity Report summarising its activities throughout the year. In 2022, the Foundation continued to support Georgian veterans and military servicemen who defended Georgia and who contributed to international humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.
WWSF celebrated an important milestone in 2022 by partnering with the renowned Invictus Games Foundation (IGF) to provide specialised basketball wheelchairs to the wounded warrior basketball team. Together with the British Embassy in Tbilisi, WWSF organised English language learning courses for veterans’ underaged children. Additionally, the Foundation successfully continued to finance urgent surgeries, psychological and medical treatments, medication for wounded warriors and the adaptation of living spaces for those in wheelchairs.
On 21 December, WWSF held its traditional pre-New Year Charity Gala in Tbilisi where government representatives, business leaders and distinguished members of the public sector gathered to give support to the Foundation’s activities. The event is always attended by the highest rank military representatives of Georgia’s armed forces and military attaches of NATO countries. Speeches were delivered by head of Georgian defence forces, General-Mayor George Matiashvili, and NATO Liaison Officer, Colonel Rusen Abidinoglu. Those speeches stressed the importance of peace and Georgia’s participation in peacebuilding, thanking Georgian soldiers for their invaluable contributions.
US Ambassador, Kelly C Degnan, also gave her traditional speech during the gala. She also expressed her gratitude to Georgian soldiers with special accent to the WWSF beneficiaries. She underlined the importance of Georgia’s contribution, as a partner of the US, in international peace missions: “Over the past thirty years we have become strategic partners, we’ve become friends, we’ve been through war, we have tried to work together to build peace and now we are trying to work together to restore peace to this region and this relationship is built on shared values, some of the most fundamental share values and I would say, that caring for our soldiers and our veterans and their families is a good example of how strong this relationship is and how strong the foundation of this relationship is”.
At the event, executives of WWSF presented the annual activity report which outlined the Foundation's activities and progress throughout 2022.
“As Co-chairs of the WWSF Mental Health Advisory Board, we are proud of the work that WWSF continues to do to meet the psychological needs of Georgian Veterans and their families” said Dr Barbara Van Dahlen and Randy Phelps. “In addition, we were honoured to announce at this year’s WWSF Gala, a partnership between WWSF and the US non-profit organization we co-founded, the WeBe Life Foundation."
The latest cooperation with the renowned Invictus Games Foundation (IGS) marked an important milestone in the life of the WWSF. In 2022, WWSF received a grant from IGS for the purchase of specialised seated basketball chairs for Georgia’s wounded warriors’ basketball team that was established with the support of Georgia’s Ministry of Defence. This latest grant will provide the basketball team with necessary basketball chairs and latest technologies that will allow the players to receive better training and compete in tournaments.
“Each year, the Wounded Warrior Support Foundation continues to grow its efforts to give back to Georgia’s community of wounded veterans and servicemen. Becoming a grantee of IGF gives us additional motivation in our work and strengthens our commitment to serving Georgia's wounded warriors. This will be another important step in the history of WWSF, and we are proud to be part of this great effort”, said George Ramishvili, the founder of WWSF and Chairman of Silk Road Group. “We are proud to be part of the IGF effort of helping our team recover through sports, and to have a capable participation in the Invictus Games, which are coming up next year. I am honoured to extend my profound gratitude to IGF for this”.
In keeping with its tradition of cooperation with international organizations and diplomatic missions, WWSF also partnered in 2022 with the British Embassy in Georgia and His Majesty’s Ambassador in Tbilisi, Mark Klayton, to provide educational programmes and language courses to underaged children of wounded warriors through British Corner English language learning course.
Founded in 2018 by Georgian telecommunication giant Silknet, WWSF became the first foundation within the local business community to provide support for Georgia’s wounded servicemen and veterans in close cooperation with the Ministry of Defence of Georgia and State Service of Veterans’ Affairs. Since the Foundation’s inception, around 2,3 million GEL were donated to military servicemen, veterans and their underaged children.
“WWSF has become a beacon of hope and a source of comfort and healing for Georgia’s wounded veterans in need, as shown by our numerous activities during 2022. The new year will present significant opportunities for WWSF to increase our support for these courageous soldiers and their families. 2023 will also bring important challenges to expand our impact in the region, especially for our friends and compatriots in Ukraine. It is one of the greatest privileges of my life to be a part of the WWSF team as we, together with so many others, bring a special sense of relief and personal care to those who have bravely borne the battle for freedom”, said David K Shimp, Honorary Member of the Supervisory Board of WWSF and Honorary Consul of Georgia in South Carolina.
To make the Foundation even more successful, Silknet pledged to contribute 300,000 GEL annually on top of funds provided by the government, business leaders and individual donors. The Foundation is actively seeking donations from the business community, the Georgian government and wider society as it prepares to unveil ambitious plans for the coming year 2023.
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