Monday, November 24, 2008


One of my buddies, Jeremy Bauman (pictured below), had his Peace Corps service in Georgia interrupted because of the August South Ossetia war. His hometown of Gori was right in the middle of the conflict. From the balcony of his house, Jeremy could hear and see the bombing occurring less than 20 kilometers away. After his evacuation, Gori was heavily bombed and occupied by Russian and Ossetian forces.

After spending three weeks in Armenia, Jeremy and Kelly, another Peace Corps Volunteer in Gori, returned to try to help their community recover. After talking with the Rector of Gori University, they learned that more than half of the 1,500 students, mostly from low-income families from the villages in the war zone and Gori, could not pay their tuition because of destroyed livelihoods. In response, Jeremy and Kelly started the Gori Regional Education Fund (GREF), a legally-registered NGO in Georgia. GREF awards scholarships to these affected students. Students must complete an application, submit a CV, and have an interview. Scholarships will be awarded on Dec. 8.

Believe it or not, one semester's tuition is only $532 per student, so even small donations help.

If you are able, there are a couple of ways to donate:

1) Using a credit or debit card: GREF has set up a custodial PayPal account to collect donations from the USA. To make a donation, please end an email to, and indicate the amount you wish to donate. You will receive--via email--a request link that takes you directly to GREF's PayPal account. From there, you just follow the instructions.

2) Using a check: To make a tax-deductible donation to GREF, you can write a check to GREF's fiscal sponsor in the United States, "The Megobari Foundation"--a registered non-profit. Checks must be made out to "The Megobari Foundation" with "GREF" written clearly on the notes line.

Checks can be mailed to:

The Megobari Foundation
PNC Bank
1900 Greentree Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

To learn more, visit GREF's Web site at or email Jeremy or GREF at

GREF Assistant Director Jeremy Bauman at a Nov. 22 GREF fundraiser in Arlington, Va.

1 comment:

BRN said...

You are a good man Toby or Not Toby!