Nino has a terrible illness - she is mentally retarded. It cannot be noticed by an eye, but it brings a lot of pain and suffering not only to her but also to her poor mother. Over the years, her condition is getting worse. She became irritable; she constantly screams and yells at the kids. Doctors can do nothing, they just say: “It cannot be cured,” - these words break the mother's broken heart into a million pieces, again and again.
- Shorena, your eldest daughter has health problems, tell us more about her illness, please.
Shorena: My poor girl ... She is already 15 years old, but her mental development is of a 5-year-old child. Special educators teach her at school, and she just completed the 2nd-grade curriculum. She has become uncontrollable for the last 2 or 3 years; everything annoys her, she constantly screams and scolds her younger brother and sister. She's not all right with her nerves; she's at a transitional age now. I have no idea what to do, how to help her... (Sobs.)
- When did you find out that your daughter is not like the others?
Shorena: Nino was born completely healthy, at least the doctors at the hospital told me so. We did not notice any problems in her preschool age, but when she started to go to school, we gradually noticed that our girl was unable to perceive what the teachers were explaining in class. We went to the doctor, and that’s what he told us... To say that I was horrified is to say nothing. I didn't know where to run, what to do, how to help my child. The worst thing is that nothing can be done about that. The doctors could only offer her special education and sedatives. But every mother only dreams of her child being happy, living a normal life... I still do not lose hope; I believe that the Lord is merciful, that a miracle will happen, and my Nino will get well!
- Shorena, what would you advise to the mothers in the same dire situation as yours?
Shorena: Be patient and trust in the mercy of Lord! Pray tirelessly for recovery. In my situation, this is the only thing I can do for my girl...
- How it happened so that you found yourself completely alone in a rented room with three children in your arms?
Shorena: I got married at 17 for great love. We were too young to take life hardships, unemployment, and lack of money seriously. We met at my friend's birthday party and immediately fell in love. We thought we would live happily... But then my husband lost his job and did not manage to find a new one. He became irritable, rude - I will not go into details. In short, we divorced, and I moved to my parents’ place... After almost 10 years I met a wonderful person, I thought I had finally found my happiness. My husband worked at a construction site. At first, everything was fine, but then it turned out that he had problems with alcohol... When he was drunk, he used to become a completely different person, I could not recognize him. After another quarrel, he slammed the door and left forever. I was pregnant with my youngest daughter then.
- It’s so sad, Shorena... And what about your parents? Why didn’t you return to your parent’s house?
Shorena: My dad has been dead for six years already - he had lung cancer. Let him rest in peace! As for my mother, she used to work at a scrap metal collection point, but she lost her job, and her apartment was sold for debts several years ago. Now she lives in Kakheti with my sister, who is also a single mother with two children in her arms. And I keep living in a rented apartment.
- So, you were left without your roof above you head and...
Shorena: And I live in this kennel - I can’t call it an apartment. There is only one tiny room, it's extremely cramped here, we have nothing to heat the space, we are cold, the children keep getting sick in winter. Besides that, because of Nino's problems, children do not get along with each other. I know that she needs to calm down, so I take the younger ones to the kitchen and stay there with them. But can you imagine how it feels? There is no space here at all, and the kids are very active. I can’t leave them alone with my eldest daughter.
- Did you ever work before?
Shorena: Yes, for about four years I used to work at the fund-raising organization for patients who needed surgery. I used to walk with a piggy bank in the subway and other public places... Then Mamuka was born, then Anastasia. Now working is out of the question, and the organization where I used to work no more exists.
- Is there nobody to help you?
Shorena: Only my sister-in-low, my brother’s wife, God bless her! Mother of two children, she works as a cleaner... My brother cannot find a permanent job. They can hardly make ends meet, but they feel sorry for me, and they do their best to help me at least with food...
- Did you address the local authorities for help?
Shorena: So many times! I asked them at least to pay for rent ... But no one pays attention to us. We get social allowance and Nino's disability pension. Apparently, they believe that this is quite enough.
- What is your income? What is it enough for?
Shorena: I get 300 GEL of social allowance, 150 GEL children allowance and 250 GEL Nino’s pension. We pay 250 GEL for rent. With the remaining money we try to survive. We buy the cheapest foodstuffs... But still no money remains to buy diapers for Anastasia. Good people give us clothes, which became small for their children. Besides that, I take Nino for a medical consultation every 6 months.
- What is you your children’s everyday diet?
Shorena: Pasta, bread, tea, porridge, and water-based soups. I feel sorry for them, so sorry... Because they need meat, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables - and we cannot afford all this. And doing shopping together with them is a real torment! The little ones do not understand that we have no money, and want everything, they ask for sweets...
- Does Mamuka go to the kindergarten?
Shorena: Yes of course. Now, when the kindergartens are closed, they give us foodstuff home, and this helps us a lot. But he is so bored, he loves his teachers and children too. It is sad for him to be locked up, especially since we have no normal toys at home.
- Do you miss the kindergarten, Mamuka?
Mamuka (5-year-old): I do!
- What do you like?
- What do you want most of all?
Mamuka: Car with a remote control...
- What are you dreaming about, Nino?
Nino (15-year-old): I need a computer.
(Nino turns away and does not answer my further questions.)
- Shorena, what keeps you strong? What doesn't let you lose heart?
Shorena: I believe that the Lord will not leave us. Because He never gives anyone a burden that one cannot bear. Since I was given that burden, then I will manage to handle it ... Lord, help! (Shorena crosses herself.)
– Do you believe in the kindness of strangers?
Shorena: I believe because I used to raise funds for the sick people, for those who needed urgent surgery. I witnessed how much attention people showed to our beneficiaries, asking me how they can visit them and provide help... Georgians are very warm and sincere people, ready to share their single piece of bread with those in need... So, when I came across your page in social networks, I immediately wrote you. I got the hope that someone would decide to help my children too.
- Shorena, we ask this question to all our beneficiaries: what is your biggest dream?
Shorena: I wish with all my heart that my children find their way, get on their feet, and live happily. So that they have their own roof over their heads. And of course, in my dreams, Nino is healthy.
– What do you think, you need most in your home?
Shorena: My God, how embarrassing it is to ask ... We need the most basic things - food and warmth. My children are always malnourished, and it’s terribly cold in this apartment. Sometimes I light two burners, but it won't take long to get poisoned... We really do need a heater; our TV almost went out of order as well as the washing machine... Nino is deprived of the opportunity to study with teachers - we have neither a computer nor Internet. You can see for yourself in what conditions we live... We will be very grateful for any help. Thank you for coming, listening, and empathizing.
Friends, the Akhalkatsishvili family is in trouble. A child's illness is a terrible misfortune itself, especially when there is no basic livelihood. Anastasia (1 year and 10 months), Mamuka (5 years) and the mentally retarded Nino (15 years) live from hand to mouth in an unheated one-room shabby apartment. Children have neither normal shoes, nor clothes, nor toys. They are deprived of absolutely everything.
Shorena Akhalkatsishvili and her children are in a great need of food, diapers, basic appliances, a gas heater, and a washing machine. And Nino is deprived of the opportunity to study with special educators, since she has neither a computer nor the Internet.
You can visit and provide all possible assistance to the Akhalkatsishvili family.Their address is: Tbilisi, Africa settlement 19 Chichinadze Str. Apartment 38.
Or you can call Shorena and cheer her up with your kind words! Phone number: 577 92 40 45
Please repost our publication. Let your friends know about the grief of this family! It’s extremely important!
God gives us chances to care about people who are unable to take care of themselves. Do not pass by someone else's trouble! Those poor people are sent to us by heaven so that we could prove not by words, but in deeds that we trust in God!
Friends, there is one more request : if you know about the misfortune of a neighbor or friend do a godly deed, drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Purpose: the Akhalkatsishvili family).
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