Our Past Successes

Georgia – Supporting Young Children

We changed a young boy's life by providing him with vital surgery and gave him hope and a future


Datuna was a young boy, paralysed from the waist down after falling from a 7th story window when he was two. It was likely he was a victim of child abuse. In Georgia child protection services hardly exist. Datuna would be beg on the streets until he was 5 years old. It was then then when he was found by the police, yellow skinned, filthy and crying, with open wounds.

Temi Community took him in and cared for him. It’s a wonderful place that saves many lives, but living conditions are very poor. Datuna was often confined to his bed, and his spine continued to deteriorate as his scoliosis advanced. The severity of his spinal injuries was beyond the country’s resources.

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What We Did

A Life-changing surgery

A collegue from Braveheart Georgia met Datune in 2008 when he was seven years old and was struck that, despite everything, he always looked on the bright side of life. Braveheart Georgia partnered with Ecologia Youth Trust to launch an appeal to save Datuna’s life.

What We Have Achieved

Soon after, Datuna was able to get vital spinal surgery in Scotland and he attended Thornlie Primary School in Lanarkshire for a short time. Though he will remain in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, he can now expect a normal life expectancy and has a much more positive quality of life.

Now a professional wheelchair basketball athlete, Datuna is also an Ambassador for disabled children in Georgia.

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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.