Thousands of Georgian Youngsters at Risk of Substance Abuse Reached with IOM’s “Life is Better” Campaign

Internally Displaced Persons, Migrant Assistance

Georgia - In response to high rates of substance abuse among Georgian youth, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) has implemented a pioneering information campaign on prevention of substance abuse among internally displaced and ethnic minority youth.

The Campaign, “Life is Better”, was implemented in public schools selected by the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) of Georgia. Almost 500 children aged 13–14 years old created artistic projects, including essays, poems, video and songs on the theme, “Life is Better”. The initiative reached over 4,000 school children and 377 staff.

“How you deal with substance abuse, and how your school deals with substance abuse, and how your government deals with substance abuse will determine whether your country succeeds or fails,” said Mike McMahon of the United States Embassy, while addressing school children, their teachers and parents during the concluding event of the campaign in the city of Gori.

“’Life is Better’, it is indeed yours, the choice is in your hands and it is up to you to achieve all your goals,” added Ilyana Derilova, IOM Georgia Chief of Mission.

IOM’s campaign was designed not solely to prevent substance abuse but also to reduce its intensification and to deal with child and adolescent development.

For further information, please contact Ilyana Derilova at IOM Georgia. Tel. +995 32 225 2216, Email:


  • Mr. Mike McMahon taking part in the chemical experiment prior to the Award Ceremony. Photo: IOM 2017

  • Sport competition at the school yard in Gori. Photo: IOM

  • From left: Mr. Mike McMahon, parent of awardees, Ms. Ilyana Derilova, Gvantsa Shubitidze and Giga Shubitidze Awardees of "Life is Better" School Competition for the production of an art video "The Way Towards Bright Future", Director of the Gori Public School no.12 Ms. Rusudan Lomidze. Photo: IOM 2017

  • Ms. Rusudan Lomidze hands over to Mr. Mike McMahon the Certificate of Appreciation for the implementation of "Life is Better" Campaign project. Photo: IOM 2017

  • Ms. Ilyana Derilova and Mr. Mike McMahon are planting tree saplings in the school yard in Gori. Photo: IOM 2017