RSF’s work falls into two broad categories. The first is to provide after school classes in English language. This is carried out in three villages in the Pankisi Valley and is centred around the village of Duisi. To this end the Foundation has employed 13 members of staff since 2007 to provide for an increasing pupil population. Currently there are almost two hundred students attending English language class with the age ranges from junior to pre-university level.
The second aspect of the Foundations efforts is in providing equipment and teachers for instruction in Information Technology or IT. The aim of this is to provide the children of Pankisi with access to educational opportunities that are online and to make them conversant with broader world at large. We hope over time this will translate over time into creating a mass of educated and enlightened young people who can add to their communities social and economic life. This will be no small achievement given the rampant and high levels of chronic unemployment in this impoverished part of Georgia.
Out of these two drives have come innovative ideas- the most successful of which has been the development of a children’s online newspaper the Pankisi Times. Vladimir Lozinski a journalist by profession has provided insight and supervision by internet and in person to the children to improve their literacy skills. One day Pankisi may well produce its own journalists. This would be a fitting tribute to the fallen Roddy Scott who died covering the Russian-Chechen was of the last decade.