The fire took everything: clothes, the children's favorite books, toys, all our modest belongings - four fire engines did not help.
Four little children and their disabled mother were left naked and barefoot ... Only ashes and ruins ...
“We are ghosts in our homeland! From morning to evening, I knock on all doors, but officials don’t notice us. Their hearts are made of ice. We almost lost all hope, but you have suddenly come today. Thank God!” - with tears in her eyes says Thea Gulikashvili (34-year-old-) mother of four wonderful Georgian children: Elene(5-year-old), Keti (7-year-old), Nikoloz (9-year-old), Luka (10-year-old) along with her husband David (36-year-old).
“Mommy, look! White feather has flown into the window,” - joyfully shouts little Elene. And she points her snow-white chubby hand at me, and asks me seriously: “Is it your feather, aunt? You are an angel, aren’t you? Mommy, do you remember how we prayed yesterday and asked dear God to send an angel to us today? And she came! Fess up!” - the little one insists.
"Tell it to mommy, aunt! She has never seen angels before”. Little Elene (5-year-old) was so sure that I invisibly flew into the window, that I felt shy, I blushed, and my eyes became wet of tears. I had to give an immediate answer to the child.
I turned away to brush away a tear, thinking of what to answer. But while I was thinking, Elena changed the topic and was already chattering about something else, so there was no more need to find the right answer. Children are like that!
“If the children keep living in these ruins, the house will bury not only their miserable domestic utensils but also themselves!” God, it’s so terrible!
Our compatriot Thea Gulikashvili (34-year-old), her husband David (36-year-old), and their four wonderful children are sheltered now in the ruins of the house, which has completely burned down.
It’s hard to imagine, how the family can live in this horrible space. But they have no other place to go.
And even those burned ruins do not belong to them.
Thea Gulikashvili is a 3rd category disabled, she has a leg defect from her birth - one leg is 4 centimeters shorter than the other, and there is nothing to do with that. She gave our country four wonderful children, the hope for the future of Georgia. Despite her disability she desperately fights for her kids’ well-being, but she cannot cope without our help. Imagine, this limp woman even tried to work as a waitress!
This wonderful family is in trouble now, hoping for your help! Friends, God always sends us good people on time, when we need their support most. And generous Georgian people never leave their compatriots in trouble.
-Thea, what happened?
Thea: Look around. We live in a house which burned down! It happened in 2017, on 3rd of January, I will never forget this terrible day. We went to visit my mother, all our family, and in the evening my brother-in-law called and said that our house was on fire. Four fire brigades could hardly put out the fire.
When I got married, my husband and I lived in a tiny shed, where our neighbor used to store hay. He generously gave it to us. Imagine, there wasn’t even a window there. There was only one metal bed and a small drawer there. Needless to say about any conditions, there was nothing... That’s where three of my angels were born. My brother-in-law lives not far from us and we have close contacts with him. I noticed that this house was abandoned, nobody lived there for a long time. At that time I already had three children in my arms, and we lived in a shed. And I thought: “Here we go, let’s live here for a while, and then we’ll see. Maybe the house owner is a good man, he does not need this house, and he will not let us out from here.” This is how we moved here. It was in 2014. We started to settle down here somehow... Three years later this terrible fire happened ... and we found ourselves homeless. We addressed the local government. As far as the house was not ours, they refused to pay us any compensation, but they offered to cover the rent if we found anything within 160 GEL. But you see, it’s impossible to find a house for such a price even in the village. At that time we already had four kids and everybody refused to let us in. We wandered a lot looking for a shelter, but nobody let us in. That’s why we returned to the burned house. It was better than nothing. Kind people helped us to put it into order somehow, but all we have so far are just six plates and forks. Our school teachers were shocked when they saw in what conditions we lived, so they gathered some money and bought us some stuff.
It is very, very difficult to live here (cries), we have neither sewage, nor toilet. The children use the toilet in my brother-in-law’s house. At night I put buckets for children. As a matter of fact, we live like primitive people.
- Thea, how did you meet your husband?
Thea: It's an hour- and- a half drive from here to the village where I come from. My sister-in-law is married in this village, which is called Grigalati. My future husband often used to come there on a visit, and we were friends with his niece, who is only a year older than me. That’s how we met. We had dated for 8 years before we got married ... My mother-in-law didn’t like me, and I know why: I have been disabled since birth. One of my legs is 4 centimeters shorter than the other. But later, since we met for a long time and loved each other very much, we still decided to take this step. Love has no limits, we live in harmony.
- Does anybody help you? Parents or relatives?
Thea: You know, it so happened that there is nobody who can help us. Terrible grief overcame us last year: my younger brother fell from the fourth floor at a construction site and was left disabled, now he has to use diapers! He has two children. My elder brother is not married, so he takes care of the children. My brother-in-law lives nearby, but they are socially disadvantaged and the family struggles to survive with their two kids. They can only treat my kids to dinner sometimes. Mom is old now. She lives in the village, but what can she do with her pension? Sometimes she manages to make some jam or fruit preserves and sends it to us, so that the children could get some vitamins.
- How did you imagine you future when you got married? What were your plans and dreams?
Thea: My husband always used to work hard. And we used to dream of a huge table in a large bright room, where every week, according to our Georgian traditions, we would gather many-many guests and treat them with delicious khachapuri, mtsvadi, chakhokhbili or satsivi. My God! Could I ever imagine that my kids would never try these favorite Georgian dishes? Woe is me!
- Did you address anybody for help? The local government, for instance?
Thea: I knocked on every door! Begging for help! I am disabled with four kids, my husband is unemployed. And what? When the house burned down, the only thing they offered was to rent a 160 GEL apartment. What can you rent with this money? A dog kennel? With four kids in your arms.
- What do you believe in? Where do you see the salvation?
Thea: I am very religious, and I try to introduce children to church, bring them to communion ... Only God will save us, God the almighty! It should be his will why this house keeps standing, why it did not bury us under the ruins (she sobs)
- Do you believe in the kindness of strangers?
Thea: Yes, of course! We exist because of the kindness of the people surrounding us. When everything had burned down, my kid’s teachers came. You know, they cried together with me. Our village is very poor, everybody lives a hard life. But the teachers managed to collect some money and buy basic things for us.
Many thanks to our kind neighbor who gave us his gasoline coupons from Gulf filling stations, they had a draw and Gulf gave us a refrigerator! We do have a refrigerator, but nothing to put into it, just pasta.
- Do your children go to the school and kindergarten? Tell about them, please.
Thea: The elder Luka (10-year-old), Niko (9-year-old), and Keti (7-year-old) go to school and they are doing well. They make me happy! And little Elene (5-year-old) goes to the kindergarten. Each of them is gifted in their own way. The eldest, Luka (10-year-old) was eager to attend the drawing club, but the fee is 10 GEL per week.It is too expensive for us.
Niko (9-year-old) is very active and agile, he loves football and wanted to attend the football school.
Keti (7-year-old) - she is a sickly child, she was born with weak legs, we even took her to the professor. He said it was hip dysplasia, he prescribed her massages, and during six months, she had special pieces of iron attached to her legs. The doctor told us strictly: “Take her to the seaside, to magnetic sands” But what kind of sea can it be in our situation? We managed to pay only for six massage sessions. Keti is very sensitive and shy, she is worried that we live like this. She does not want to bring her friends home, they laugh at her ...
And the youngest Elene (5-year-old), is very spirited, she loves dancing. You should see what she does when they show dances on TV!
- What do you give your children to eat? What is their day-to-day diet?
Thea: Diet..(she waves her hand hopelessly). Pasta and potatoes. Water-based soups. That’s it! My heart bleeds, because they are growing and they need vitamins.
- I want to talk to your children. Guys, can I talk to you? Luka, you are the elder, let’s start with you. Please tell me how you study, what your hobbies are. What is your favorite subject?
Luka(10-year-old): I study very well, I want mommy to be happy and proud of me! She shines all over when the teachers praise me! Most of all, I like math, I am good at solving problems, and our teacher is very good and kind! I love swimming a lot ... But we have neither sea, nor river nearby ...
- Where did you learn to swim?
Luka (10-year-old): In the river at my grandmother's village ... But I dream of seeing the sea ... It is so huge, beautiful ... I saw it on TV ... And I also like to draw ... I draw the sea, mom and dad, my brothers and sisters ...
- Do you help your mom and dad?
Luka (10-year-old): Yes, of course! Mom's leg hurts, of course she needs help. I carry out all her orders, I watch the younger ones, so that they aren’t naughty, I take out the trash.
- What are you dreaming about?
Luka (10-year-old): I dream that my mother would be healthy, and that we would have our own beautiful home ...
- What do you need to be happy?
Luka (10-year-old): I really want a phone with headphones ... My neighbor has one, there are so many interesting things it can do! So many animated films and games!
- What would you wish to all the children in Georgia?
Luka (10-year-old): Health and success! And also, so that all of them would have their own home, and that their mothers would be healthy!
- You are a wonderful boy, Luka! And you, Niko? What do you want to tell me?
Nikoloz (9-year-old): I also study well, and I also like math! As well as English and Georgian!
- What will you become when you grow up?
Nikoloz (9-year-old): Superman!
Is he your favorite character?
Nikoloz (9-year-old): No, superman is a profession. And my favorite character is Iron Man. He is so strong! I will be like him.
- Do you have a favorite toy?
Nikoloz (9-year-old): Yes, this plush tiger cub. But I want to have a panda. A real, live panda at home, it's so cool!
- Who do you love most, and why?
Nikoloz (9-year-old): Mommy, of course, she is the best mom in the world! The kindest and the sweetest!
Keti (7-year-old): Yes, yes! Our mommy is the best mommy in the world! I wish so much she would be healthy, and her leg would no longer hurt. I also dream that we would have our own house. A beautiful house, where I could invite my friends!
- Don’t your friends want to come here?
Keti (7-year-old): (the girl’s eye become wet with tears) I used to bring them home to play, but they laugh at me, they said that our house is ugly ...
- Don't cry dear, everything will be fine, trust me ... Tell me, please, if you study well. Which subject do you like most?
Keti (7-year-old): Yes! Mommy calls me “my clever little girl” - so she says. Because I have only “tens”. I love music most of all, I really love to sing! I also love art lessons and math! I‘d also like to attend singing lessons, but mommy has no money for it now...
- Who is your favorite princess?
Keti (7-year-old): Elza! She is the most beautiful and kindest princess!
- Do you think you look like her?
Keti (7-year-old): I think yes, I am pretty too. But Elza has white hair, and mine is black, but you see how long my hair is! Mom loves to braid my hair so much!
- What are you dreaming about?
Keti (7-year-old): I want a panda! But not a live one , as Nikoloz wants, but a toy! Soft and fluffy. That silly boy, how can one keep a living panda at home! (starts laughing)
- And you, little Elene? What are you dreaming about?
Elene (5-year-old): I am dreaming of going to school! And of my mommy getting well. When I grow up, I will become a doctor and I will cure her, you will see! I also want a doll. I saw a neighbor's doll with a pacifier, it also cries ... Soooo cool!
- Guys, you probably all love to draw. Can I ask you to draw anything you wish, so that I could pass on your masterpieces to the friends of our Fund, who, for sure, will become your friends too! Believe me, they will be happy!
Luka (10-year-old): Yes, of course, Mam! We will give you our drawings! As a matter of fact, there are not enough pencils, but we will try to make it beautiful!
- Thank you, guys, you are so nice! I want to ask your mom some more questions. Thea, what’s the income of your family? What is it enough for?
Thea: Income? We receive 560 GEL social allowance plus 100 GEL disability allowance. Look, what could it be enough for, when there are four children in the family? They walk barefoot, it hurts to look. We have to buy the cheapest shoes, but they wear out very quickly. The amount that we receive is barely enough for us to buy food. When my husband worked, it was a little bit easier, but now he is retrenched. It is difficult to find a job in the village. So he takes any side job he finds - pinning firewood for someone or cleaning the well.
I tried to work as a waitress during the summer holidays, but it is absolutely impossible to leave children unattended, you need to look after them all the time! It hurts to see your children living in poverty when you can do nothing to help it.
- And what is your biggest dream?
Thea: My only dream is that my children, at least in the distant future, would have a roof over their heads. This house is about to collapse, or we may be kicked out of here. People from the local government did come and make some measurements. We are ready to put up with the lack of conditions and water if only we are not kicked out! What can I do with four children in my arms if I find myself in the street?
- Why did you decide to address us?
Thea: My sister advised me. She always follows your Fund’s activities on Facebook, and she told me that you really help a lot those in need. So I decided to try my luck. I am ready to do anything, to beg for help everyone for the sake of my children. They are naked, barefoot and hungry! And they can become homeless. I hope you and other good people will help us!
- Thea, what do you need first of all at your home?
Thea: God, it’s so awkward to ask for... (Thea looks down in embarrassment). We need everything, absolutely everything! From spoons and forks to beds! Children sleep on tattered mattresses and we don't even have glasses!
I would very much like to ask for a washing machine, if possible ... With my aching leg, it is just unbearable to wash things by hand for four children. And there is no one to help me at home.
Also, we need a wardrobe. We have no place to store clothes, so we just fold things - one on top of the other. No matter how careful we try to be, it doesn't work at all. As for the children, some kind people gave the children things to wear, because after the fire there was absolutely no clothes left, and I am immensely grateful to them for this! There are more problems with shoes. Children wear them out quickly.
We have no cupboard, nodishes. We will be grateful for any help (it is very difficult for me to speak - I feel awkward, sorry)
- Do you want to meet friends of the Fund? To find new friends?
Thea: Sure! That’s why I addressed you! I hope that Lord will send us kind people who will share my pain and lend us a helping hand ... Believe me, it is impossible to live like this, to see that your children are deprived of everything in life!
Friends, as you can see, a large family is in trouble. They need food, medications, clothes and footwear for the children, kitchenware, furniture, home appliances. Let’s support them, show mercy, let’s give the children a chance to develop and have a happy childhood.
You can visit the family in person and provide them help. The children will be happy, for sure! Call Thea and ask her what her family needs, cheer her up and support her, let her feel that she is not alone and that we will not leave her in trouble. It’s extremely important!
Their address is: Khashuri district, village Surami, 41 Sarajishvili Str. Phone: 555 22 17 10
Friends, Chernovetskyi Charity Fund is starting a charity campaign: “Help Thea Gulikashvili and her family”. As you know, the Fund never stops on ad-hoc help. The country and people have no future without children! Take care of the young generation! Let them survive! Count them as your relatives. We are sure God will bless you!
Please repost our publication. Let your friends know about the hard life of Thea Gulikashvili’s family! It’s extremely important!
God gives us chances to care about people who are unable to take care of themselves. Not all people are the same. Not all of them are as kind as we are. Do not pass by someone else's trouble! Those poor people are sent to us by heaven so that we could prove that we trust in God not by words, but in deeds!
Friends, there is one more request - if you know about the misfortune of a neighbour or friend do a godly deed, drop us an email at: email@example.com
Our Fund’s accounts are
GE64BG0000000470458000 (purpose: Thea Gulikashvili)
You can also transfer money from our website.
It is also possible to transfer money from ОРРА, TBCpay and ExpressPay terminals. Find our Fund under "Charity" section. (You can read more about rights and responsibilities of the Fund following the link https://goo.gl/GY2Gus )
We have already helped many disadvantaged people! Let’s support Thea and her children, as no one is immune to bad luck! And who knows, maybe someday we ourselves will need the help of strangers!
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