“The thieving magpie cooked the porridge, fed it to the little children. She gave to this one with a spoon, she gave to this one with saucer, she gave to this one with plate, but she gave nothing to Nutsa and Achi,” - this is the nursery rhyme we will repeat today... Nutsa and Achi are not birds, but when they eat bread, they put their little palms so as not to let out crumbs. They need normal food. At least once a week!
Sometimes it seems that it is much easier for wild animals to feed their cubs than for single Georgian mothers to keep their babies!
For many years now we have been trying to answer one simple arithmetic question: is 3 GEL per day enough to provide your child with food, take him to a doctor, give him education? It was someone who decided that it’s a proper amount for a human to survive. They probably know how to do that, but they won't tell us!
And meanwhile, children hold their tummies to suppress hunger. "If you press heavily," - the children say, "you will not feel that you are hungry..."
In this interview, we tell you how this family survives, where they live, and what will happen to them if we do not stand next to them.
- Manana, how do you live here with your children?
Manana: We literally starve and try to survive! We do not have enough food, and we have no money to buy foodstuffs either. Sometimes I don’t eat at all, I go hungry all day so that the children will get more. That's how we live! There is the same problem, the same question day after day - what will my children eat? Where to get food? I can’t stand that anymore! I can’t! (Cries)
- Manana, we are really sorry for you! It is terrible that you and your children have to live in such conditions!
Manana: It is extremely hard! There seems to be no end to these problems. And space... Look, is this a house where children are supposed to grow up? It is dangerous to live here. This dilapidated house can collapse on us at any time, the planks are all rotten... By the way, we are not the only family who lives here - there are two more families in the neighborhood. We share a kitchen and toilet.
My children and I huddle in a small room. We bathe here too, in a plastic washing basin - there is no bathroom here. It’s freezing here all the time - my children often catch colds. I don't even have money to buy medications if they suddenly need them. Fortunately, kind people help us. We also go to the social canteen. But my children cannot eat anything there, so I only take bread. But they don’t give it to all of us: little Nutsa goes to kindergarten, she is not eligible to go to the social canteen. So, I bring home only one and a half loaves of bread: half per person. Is this enough to feed three children?
- Have you ever thought that you would live in such conditions?
Manana: I could not imagine that even in a nightmare. I had a wonderful childhood! Mom never refused me anything. If something new appeared, she bought it for me right away... We lived fine together, we had enough of everything, we never went hungry! It hurts me that I cannot give my children a normal life and they grow up in such terrible conditions. And when we have no food at home and the children are almost crying of hunger, I want to die!
- Do you bring up your children alone?
Manana: (Sighs.) It happened so. My husband is now in prison. He was jailed for domestic violence. He got drunk and raised his hand against me and the children. I tolerated it for a long time! But everything comes to an end. The situation became unbearable, I was scared! I had to address law enforcement officers... My husband will be released in one year, I don’t know what I will do. It’s pretty hard for me now... And what will happen next?
- How did you meet your husband?
Manana: I lived with my mother in this room. And my future husband rented an apartment nearby. At first, we just talked to each other, we were friends. I felt very comfortable with him and it was interesting to talk to him. And at one point, our feelings moved to a new stage. We realized that we love each other and want to start a family. It all started so romantically! Nobody knew it would end this way.
- You don't work, do you?
Manana: Unfortunately, I don't work. I used to work as a cleaner - there was at least some income. I have little children in my arms, I have no one to leave them with, there is no way for me to get a job... And you know that it is not so easy to find a job.
- What do you live on? Do you have any income?
Manana: We get a social allowance - 300 GEL, food coupons for children - 90 GEL, plus 150 GEL - a large family allowance That’s all!
- What this money is enough for?
Manana: It’s enough for nothing! We live below the poverty line. I have debts everywhere - I can’t buy foodstuffs, so they owe it to me, when my children urgently need something I borrow money from my neighbors. I also have debts for utilities. Our whole life is full of debts. I don’t know how to cope with that.
- Does anybody help you? Maybe your relatives?
Manana: My mom raised me alone - my father did not live with us. My mother is no longer alive, and I have no brothers or sisters. The relatives from my husband's side are very poor. I have no one to ask for help! Fortunately, my neighbors sometimes help me. And it even happened a couple of times when complete strangers lent a helping hand to me, brought us food, gave us clothes...
- Did you address the local authorities for help?
Manana: I’ve been there many times, I wrote applications, but we only managed to get a social allowance. For instance, our roof leaks heavily in the corridor - even when it rains a little bit it immediately drips on us. I went to the administration, asked to help us at least with roof repair - but they don’t pay attention to me. They keep refusing.
- Manana, what help do you need first of all?
Manana: The main thing is food! We don’t need much to be happy - just to have enough food. How can one think about furniture and appliances when he has no food?
- But still
Manana: We have one bed, we sleep all together - my little children are by my side, and my eldest son lies at my feet. He is already fifteen years old, and he should have his own bed... He used to have it, but it broke. I have no money to buy new furniture. There is a table in the room, but no chairs. When we eat, we sit down in turn. We also need a laptop. We used to have one, but it went out of order. If there will be online lessons at school again, I don’t know how the children will manage to attend them.
We have no place to store food, we have no refrigerator. Our neighbors lent us their TV and refrigerator recently - they allowed us to use them while they are away. But they will be back again. And summer is coming - I don't know where to store my food then. Before my neighbors lent us their fridge, our food often went bad. And how can we throw away anything when we are short of food?
We also need a gas stove. Now I use my neighbor's appliances. When we have foodstuffs I at least somehow cook for my children. But when we don’t, we just endure it...
- Manana, can I talk to your children, please? What yummies does your mother cook?
Achi (7-year-old): I like everything! But a chocolate cake was the most delicious. Mom baked it once a long time ago when I was very little. But I still remember how delicious it was!
Nutsa (4-year-old): I have never eaten cake. I tasted chocolate once and I liked it. But Achi says that cake is much more delicious.
- You are so sweet! And what games do you like to play? Do you have the favorite toys?
Nutsa: We always play hide-and-seek with my brother. But I have neither toys nor dolls.
Achi: I have one toy. They gave it to me. It’s Batman. But the toy got broken and mommy fixed it with adhesive tape. I lend it to my sister too so that she can also play. We play in turns.
- Have you already thought about what you want to become when you grow up?
Nika (15-year-old): I want to become a football player. I dream about that! I decided to enroll in a club to become a professional sportsman, but my mother has no money for that - so football still remains just a dream for me. I hope that one day I can become a good footballer and would keep my family!
We will never starve again!
Achi: And I will become a policeman. I will protect my mother and sister! Nobody dares to offend my family.
Nutsa: I like doctors. I want to become a doctor, treat people, help everyone.
- And what is the most cherished thing that you dream of before going to bed?
Nutsa: About food. I imagine that tomorrow when we wake up, there will be a lot of delicious food on our table.
Achi: And a lot of sweets. There will even be a chocolate cake!
- Manana, what are you dreaming about?
Manana: About a peaceful future for my children! I do not need anything for myself, if only my children would feel good. I dream that someday we will manage to live as other people do - eat normally, not be afraid of tomorrow, not count every penny ...
- Do you believe in God?
Manana: I believe in God and pray every day! I feel that God is with us, He will not leave us. Your Fund has come to visit us - and I already feel that soon our life will change for the better. At least I hope so!
- What would you like to tell our readers?
Manana: First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who hears my story and responds to it! Your support and empathy mean a lot to me! And I would also like to tell you: if you have food and you are not starving, know that you are a happy person! Remember this and appreciate your life!
Friends, a large family lives in extreme poverty. Lots of worries befell Manana. The poor woman cannot cope alone with all the hardships that have befallen her. We cannot remain indifferent and not help them!
The family needs foodstuffs, home appliances, clothes. Let’s help them, let’s show them our mercy, let’s give the children a chance to live normally!
You can visit Manana’s family in person and provide them help. They will be happy!
Their address is : Tbilisi 60/11 Ninoshvili Str.
Friends! Friends, Chernovetskyi Charity Fund starts charity campaign to help the Amiryan family.
Please repost our publication. Let your friends know about the grief of this family! It’s extremely important!
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 Amiryan family).
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