Charity Foundation Lazarus of the Patriarchate of Georgia was founded in 1994 by the Catholicos Patriarch of all Georgia – Ilia II, as a charity centre of the Orthodox Church of Georgia. Lazarus was founded in the middle of conflicts in Abkhazia and Samachablo, with economic stagnation and the displacement of thousands of people.
Since 1994 Lazarushas worked with many partners on its humanitarian projects, including WFP, USAID, IOCC, UMCOR, ACT, Christian Aid, Save the Children, Caritas, USDA, IOCC, Diakonisches Werk and World Vision.
In 2000, under the initiative of the Patriarch, the foundation was registered as a nonprofit legal entity. Since then, Lazarus started carrying out development projects in addition to humanitarian programs.
In 2002-2004, with the financial assistance of the UNDP, USAOD, the World Bank, ACD and HEKS-EPER, it caried out a professional skills and business training project for internally displaced women.
In 2006-2012, Lazarus ran a professional training programme, supported by HEKS-EPER) for socially vulnerable young people and IDPs. The beneficiaries learnt how to process wood and non-ferrous metals.
In 2007-2014 Lazarus, together with Armenian NGO Syunik, carried out several “Camps for Peace in South Caucasus,” supported by HEKS-EPER. The aim of the project was to bring young people from across the Caucasus region - Georgians, Abkhazians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis - together in the peace camp.
Following the 2008 August war, Lazarus provided humanitarian aid for 600 IDPs from Samachablo.
Since January, 2015 Lazarus has run “Youth for Peace in South Caucasus” project, partnering with the Armenian NGO Syunik, the Regional Network for Peace and Reintegration and the Union of Azerbaijani Women. The donor for the Project is HEKS-EPER. Its goal is to challenge ethnic stereotypes in the South Caucasus through different activities mobilising young people, opinion leaders, media actors and community groups to develop a joint vision for peace, promoting it to wider society and therefore helping to promote peacebuilding processes across the region. The project will run with Georgian, Abkhaz, Azerbaijani and Armenian participants.