When it’s more than a job

Published by Sam Cage on 21 September 2018

As CSR manager with APM Terminals Marika Nadaraia oversees several programmes in Poti, Georgia. And in her spare time, she volunteers to help her home town and disadvantaged people in the local community.

It’s not normally considered a good thing to take your job home with you. The case of Marika Nadaraia is just a little different.

Marika is Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager with APM Terminals at Poti Port in Georgia, and has a strong connection and commitment to her home town. In her role, Marika runs a number of projects, particularly in the areas of children and education, such as supporting a local orphanage and schools.

And when she clocks off, it’s time to volunteer to help her community. She was born and brought up in Poti, studied at the University of Cambridge, and has founded a charity organisation called the Believe Foundation, which raises money for charity work mainly in Poti.

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In her role, Marika Nadaraia runs a number of projects, particularly in the areas of children and education, such as supporting a local orphanage and schools.

 

“I think it’s important to support the community where you grow up, because it’s very close to my heart,” Marika says.

“I don’t think I’m doing something special. This is not work for me, it is something that makes me happy. The feeling of giving is gratifying, when you feel the happiness of helping others, you are a different person from yesterday.”

Part of the community

APM Terminals Poti uses its CSR budget to support a local orphanage, providing brand new furniture and renovating the library/study room with tables and chairs, donating books, a variety of educational posters and school uniforms.

It also works with various state schools, such as sponsoring large-scale educational and environmental projects. And every year, APM Terminals Poti gives awards for the best students in the city, contributing to the development of the children and their motivation.

“APM Terminals contributes where we believe we add value,” says Nadaraia. “Our goal in 2018 is to benefit the community where we operate and to link our CSR initiatives to the UN Global Compact Sustainable Development Goals. These provide a great opportunity to unite all stakeholders to end extreme poverty, improve quality of education, and protect our planet.”

Joy, love and colours

At the weekends and in her free time, Marika Nadaraia does voluntary work, mainly at the Believe Foundation and at a daycare centre and orphanage in Poti on Georgia’s Black Sea coast. Believe Foundation is a non-profit organisation which supports children with disabilities and youth development to make their lives easier. It has support from private businesses and other volunteers.

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In her free time, Marika Nadaria does voluntary work, mainly at the Believe Foundation – a non-profit organisation which supports children with disabilities and youth development to make their lives easier.

 

“When you volunteer and do a community project once, then you see those hopeful and bright eyes of the children and believe me, if you do it once then you do it again it becomes something very important in your life. Those children bring joy, love and bright colours into my life and I enjoy what I’m doing, and I think it brings value for this community and I’m very happy that I can be part of this,” Nadaraia explains.

The fund-raising Nadaraia undertook with her friends was the first ever in western Georgia, and the money was used to make repairs to the daycare centre, empower socially vulnerable families and help the Deaf Union as well as supporting children and adults with disabilities in Poti. Now, she advises other NGOs on the fund-raising process.

Many friends have moved away from Poti but still support their mutual charity efforts.

“This is my home town. I was born and raised in Poti, and after graduating from high school I went to study in Tbilisi and came back to work,” she adds. “It’s not just one person – it’s a whole community effort to make the city a better place.”