Meet Zhuzhuna Akhaladze (36 years old): "At night, when my children are sleeping, I get up several times and listen to each child: how are they breathing, aren't they sick? And I can't stop kissing them! I have nothing else to give them but my love."
Zhuzhuna, a loving mother with many children, is dragging out a miserable existence!
The house where she lives is about to fall apart, it can collapse at any moment and bury the whole family alive!
The walls are shabby, and it’s freezing here.
Zhuzhuna's heart bleeds whenever her children go to bed hungry!
She suddenly asks me, although she has long known the answer: "Can people starve to death? Did anybody in our country starve to death?" Zhuzhuna fears for her children...
There are six children in the family: the eldest son Amiran (18-year-old), Anna (14-year-old), Anri (11-year-old), 7-year-old Alex, 6-year-old Mziko, and 4-year-old baby Barbara - all family members call her by affectionate nickname Babi.
"Children realize in what a poverty we live. They know what real hunger and cold are. Every day is a test: what to eat, how to hold out till the next day... We survive. I can't call our existence elsewise," - the poor woman cries.
The family lives in dire poverty. Day after day, Zhuzhuna and her husband Giorgi (40 years old) worry about how to live and how to keep their children.
We only hope that kind and empathetic people will help us.
“My children's eyes started to shine when the Fund contacted us, they are expecting a miracle now," - Zhuzhuna says.
- Zhuzhuna, how did you find yourselves in these slums?
Zhuzhuna: We used to live in the village of Tkibuli. My husband originates from Western Georgia. My husband , I and my brother-in-law's family huddled in one tiny house. It was very uncomfortable. And then my husband and I decided to move to Tbilisi. We had nothing of our own. We just started building our life. Our friend, who owns a land parcel nearby told us that there is an abandoned house which, in fact, does not belong to anyone. Since then, we have been living here. Actually, conditions here are far from being ideal to raise children. The only good thing here is the small yard where the children can play. And the rest - you can see for yourself in what state it is...
- How many rooms are there in the house?
Zhuzhuna: There are only two - a bedroom and a living room. There are eight of us in the family. We are trying to settle down somehow. There is also a bathroom and a kitchen. When we moved here, there was only one room - and there was neither toilet nor kitchen. But my husband built an extension - it was impossible to live here otherwise.
- Is the house officially registered for someone? Who does it belong to?
Zhuzhuna: Formally - it's nobody's house. But since it is located on land which belongs to the state - it means that the house belongs to the state too. The authorities know that we live here. They don't mind. They say: "Live here as long as you want." Now we are trying to register the house officially in our name, because it still does not belong to anyone, and we have been living here for many years. The authorities refused at first but then promised to help us. I've been trying to sort out the documents for a year now. But nothing working out yet. You know, I'm just afraid we might end up in the street. If the house belongs to nobody, it means that they can kick us out of here at any time. Where should we go?
– Zhuzhuna does anybody help you? Friends or relatives?
Zhuzhuna: If not for my friends, I don't know where we would be. It is only thanks to them that we keep afloat. They bring us food, clothes ... That's how we live!
- Do your relatives help you?
Zhuzhuna: What are you talking about? How can they help me? My mother died – I only have a father - he lives in Western Georgia. He’s very old - surviving on his pension. I should help him, but how? I also had a sister, but she died. It hurts to remember this! And my husband has no parents. We are each other's support.
- What is the income of your family? What means do you live on?
Zhuzhuna: We get a social allowance (540 GEL) and food coupons for children (150 GEL). We also go to the social canteen. I get up in the morning, leave my children with my elder daughter Anna, and tell her: "I'll be back soon". And the children are waiting at home for their mother to bring food. I have six children, and they need so much! They wear rags, they are often malnourished... We have to divide the food equally among the children. My spouse and I sometimes stay hungry, just to somehow feed the children. But, you know, it often happened that the children did not have anything all day long - there was not even a piece of bread at home. At night, when they are sleeping, I approach them and listen if they are breathing. It's scary! It is terrible to realize that your children are starving, and you can do nothing about that. (Cries)
- Zhuzhuna, we understand your grief. That is why we came here to help your family.
Zhuzhuna: You are my last hope! I know that many good people are living in Georgia. I am embarrassed to talk about my problems - everyone lives hard. But I've got no other way left - I only can ask for help. You see, I no longer have the strength to fight, to live on. But I am a mother, and I need to think about my children, to overcome all adversity for their sake! It is very hard for me! So hard! If not for my husband - he supports me so much! (Cries)
- Zhuzhuna, please, calm down! When we will publish your interview, you’ll get many new friends. Good people will not leave you! What about your spouse - does he work now?
Zhuzhuna: My husband does not have a permanent job, he grabs any part-time jobs he can! Maybe we could keep enduring this situation - we always used to live hard. But now it has become unbearable... That's why we addressed your Fund. All hope is on you and on good people!
– What is the main problem of your family right now?
Zhuzhuna: We live in this dilapidated house. My elder son Amiran is in the army now - they called him up in Autumn. We have no gas here, our living conditions are unbearable. I am not even talking about amenities and home appliances. We really need a washing machine and fridge. And now the kitchen tap also broke down, so we are left without any water at all. I store the foodstuffs in the closet, or on the table. In winter, the food does not go bad. But I don’t know what I’ll do in the summer. I take laundry to my neighbor to wash. Thanks to her, she helps me a lot! She has five children of her own, and I am so embarrassed to bother her with my washing! But what can I do? I can't wash with my hands, it's hard, especially in cold water in winter. My heart hurts when I think about the conditions where my children live! Although who cares about conditions when your stomach is empty?
- How did you meet your husband?
Zhuzhuna: I was visiting my sister in Tkibuli, she lived there with her husband. And my future husband was my brother-in-law’s friend. That’s where we met. It turned out that he liked me right away. And at first, I didn't even pay attention to him. He started romancing me... Well, and he won my heart. I was not mistaken about him! He is a wonderful husband and father. He does everything for his family!
- Have you ever thought that such misfortune would happen to you?
Zhuzhuna: Oh, no! My husband and I had ambitious plans. We wanted to create a strong family, to bring up our children in love and prosperity. Neither I nor my spouse dreamed of wealth. We just wanted to live, work, have an income that would be enough for our family. So that our children do not starve. But life decreed in its own way. We have fallen into a social hole, and we cannot get out of there on our own. You are our only hope!
- Did you address the local authorities for help?
Zhuzhuna: Yes, many times! The fact that they allow us to live in this house means a lot. But for how long can we stay here, I don't know. We get the social allowance, and food coupons for children - we go to a free canteen, as I already said. Conscience does not allow me to ask for more. Although the authorities know in what conditions we live.
– What do you believe in? In what do you see the salvation?
Zhuzhuna: As a true Christian, I believe in God! I know that He will not leave us! Every day I pray and ask Lord not to let me see my children starving. I ask the Almighty for the well-being of my family.
– Do you believe in the kindness of strangers?
Zhuzhuna: I hope only on their kindness! I believe that the Lord will send us kind, empathetic people. It is a good sign that your Fund came to visit us, paid attention to us - it means that God has not left us.
– What is your biggest dream?
Zhuzhuna: So that my children never starve and never live in need! I always ask the Almighty for that! I dream that my children will get a good education and manage to find their way in this life. I don’t think about myself. I dream about the well-being of my family.
- What would you like to tell our readers?
Zhuzhuna: Many thanks to everyone who will read this interview and empathize with our family! I wish health and prosperity to everyone!
- Zhuzhuna, please introduce us to your wonderful children. Tell us a little bit about them.
Zhuzhuna: My older son Amiran is in the army. He is a professional rugby player. He says that when he will be back from the army, he wants to become a professional athlete. We only hope for him - that he will manage to pull us out of this pit. I am proud of my children! Anna is the second mistress in our house. She does everything: she looks after little Barbara and helps me to cook. And my boys - Anri and Alex - I don't know what I would have done without them. My children are wonderful, they always help with everything. We have a small kitchen garden in the yard. Do you think my kids allow me to do anything? No! They rush to help me, saying: “Mom, we will do everything. You already have enough things to do." How can I not be proud of them?!
– What do your children eat? What is their everyday diet?
Zhuzhuna: Unfortunately, due to the financial problems we cannot afford to provide them with adequate nutrition. Meat, fish, fruits, sweets - children have not eaten that for a long time. We often have buckwheat for lunch or some food from the social canteen. We get by with cheap foodstuffs - cereals, pasta, and in the summer, we also have some vegetables from our kitchen garden.
- Could we please talk to them? Anna, you are the oldest child now, let’s start with you. Your mother says that you help her a lot. Do you have free time to spend it with your friends?
Anna (14-year old): Not too much. And it does not actually matter - the family is the most important thing. Mom gets very tired. There are many of us, but she is one. I feel sorry for my parents. They do everything for us so that we feel good. So, I want to support them. Moreover, my older brother is now in the army. He used to help us a lot. I am proud of him! I know he will become a famous athlete; he will travel the world. And he will take us with him.
- What are you interested in?
Anna: I really like natural history. This is my favorite subject at school. I love everything related to nature.
- So you want to become a naturalist?
Anna:(laughs.) No. I want to be a dentist. I like this profession, and I want to help people, treat their teeth. This is one of the most important and necessary professions!
- Good choice! Can I visit you when I have problems?
Anna: Sure! I will become a good dentist. I will also treat children’s teeth. Children are always afraid to visit a dentist, but I know how to deal with them because I have so many brothers and a little sister! So, the children will not be afraid of me.
- Anna, once you will have your family. How many children do you want to have? What kind of husband do you imagine next to you?
Anna: You know, I haven’t thought about that before. (Gets shy.) But if you ask... I want to have a lot of children, so that fun always reigns at home and you hear the children's laughter. And want my husband to be caring and loving - like my dad is so that he does not offend anyone and protects the family.
“I will defend you too. I'm a man! " - 11-year-old Anri interferes into our conversation.
Alex (7-year-old): I will also be always with you!
- What defenders do you have, Anna! - Boys, do you do sport?
Anri: I will become an athlete - a rugby player like my brother or a football player. It’s my dream!
- Anri, do you train somewhere?
Anri: Sometimes I work out at home or in the yard. My parents have no money to take me to special classes. But once I will become an athlete, I will get rich and will help my parents and my sisters and brothers.
Mziko (6-year-old): I want to become a doctor. I will treat people with all diseases so that no one else gets sick with anything.
Alex: And I want to have a bike to ride and travel, to go far and see interesting places. When I have a bike, I will bike with my brothers and sisters. Do you know what else do I like? I like to eat! But we do not always have food.
- Alex, what is your favorite food?
Alex: I like everything! Sausages, khinkali, chocolates but I have already forgotten how they taste.
Mziko: I once had a dream, as I was sitting at the table, and there was a lot of chocolate and various sweets. What a pity that it was just a dream!
Friends! The large Sakhelashvili family lives in dire need. We cannot remain indifferent and not help them! They need foodstuffs, home appliances, clothes. Let’s help them, let’s show them our mercy, let’s give their children a chance to live normally. Let each of us imagine that these could be our children who are malnourished and remain hungry sometimes.
Let’s support them, show them our mercy, let’s help the poor family! You can Zhuzhuna in person and provide her help. Believe me, she will be happy! Call the Sakhelashvili family, ask them what do they need, cheer them up and support them, let them feel that they are not alone and that we will not leave them in trouble. It’s extremely important!
Their address: Tbilisi, 45 Ratevani Str,
Friends, the Chernovetskyi Charity Fund starts charity campaign to help the Sakhelashvili family. As you know, the Fund never stops on ad-hoc help. Country and a people have no future without children! Take care of the young generation! Help them to survive! Count them as your relatives. And we are sure that God will bless you!
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. 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 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: email@example.com.
Our Fund’s accounts are:
(purpose: The Sakhelashvili family).
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).
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