The Roddy Scott Foundation is a grassroots educational charity in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge.
Roddy Scott, the foundation’s namesake, was a young British journalist who was killed in Ingushetia in 2002 at the height of the second Chechen war. Roddy had been documenting the reality of the bitter conflict between the Chechens and the Russians, one that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. He was killed while shadowing a group of guerilla fighters from the Pankisi Gorge, where he spent time before his death and where he is still fondly remembered.
The Roddy Scott Foundation (RSF) was founded in 2008 by Roddy’s parents, Stina and Robin Scott, who identified a need to provide positive change to a valley deeply affected by the region’s recent conflicts and geopolitical events. They opened an English language school with the help of videographer Vladimir Lozinski, journalist David Loyn and the funding of a group of Roddy Scott’s friends.
Today the foundation provides English and computer classes to more than 200 children in four villages within the Pankisi Gorge. It also provides six scholarships a year for senior students wishing to further their academic studies. RSF students consistently gain the highest English language (pre-university exam) results in their region. Several former RSF students are now completing their university educations in Georgia, Europe and the United States.
Our organisation is supported regularly by close friends the McLain Association for Children, as well as on a project-by-project basis by the American, British and Estonian embassies. We are grateful to have a team of supporters from the United Kingdom, Georgia and around the world that lend our charity and the Pankisi region their enduring support and goodwill.
The foundation employs 5 local teachers who provide small-group targeted tutoring in English using research based protocols, provide whole-class support in English. The students are drawn from 5 of the valley’s villages.
The teachers are professional teachers with a university education in English, and their employment gives the valley the added benefit of local income. The teachers have in the past had supplementary training at Telavi University English language Faculty.
By equipping the future generations in the Pankisi Valley, the project ensures their increased participation in the decision making process at local and national level.
The Roddy Scott Foundation is well known throughout local and international communities in Georgia, the UK and beyond. We have been lucky enough in the past to receive donations from the Dutch and Estonian embassies in Georgia and maintain good relationships with them. We also fundraise in the UK and Georgia through various events, talks and sponsored activities.
Furthermore, it is important to note the increase in value that the foundation has been accorded within the valley. Originally the Roddy Scott Foundation provides all education facilities for the students. However, gradually over the years the parents have been absorbing the costs of the foundation. They now supply the textbooks needed for the teaching.
Vladimir Lozinski, a Trustee of the Foundation was recently invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with government ministers and NGOs to discuss the youth problems in Pankisi Valley.
The foundation plans to develop an English language book lending library in the valley to encourage diverse reading habits amongst the youth.
The foundation supports the accommodation costs of a number of promising ex students entering university in Tbilisi in the coming . This support comes from private donors in the UK.