“I can’t go to school. Mom is afraid that I will feel bad, collapse and no one will be able to help me. Therefore, I study from home. But I really want to play with the children in the yard, to run,” - 8-year-old Barbara tells us with great sadness in her eyes. - Look at me, look well... Do I look like a sick girl? I’m like everyone else, but I am not allowed to.”
Barbara looks around, then puts her hands to my ear and whispers: “Don’t tell my mom, I know that I’m sick, but I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It hurts here... (She puts his hands to the heart.) And here... (Points to the kidneys.) Sometimes I get very tired... But hush! Don’t tell my mother. It will be our secret”.
Little fragile Barbara has terrible diseases: heart defect, asthma, and low blood sugar. These insidious ailments do not let her be an ordinary child, do not allow her to fulfill her cherished dream.
“You know, I have a cherished dream. I want to be a ballet dancer! When I close my eyes, I imagine myself dancing on a stage”.
Friends! Let’s all together take our magic wands and work a miracle for Barbare. What do you think? We will manage, won’t we? She just needs to be treated, take all the medications, eat normally, and that’s it!
- Sofio, could you please tell me about Barbare? What’s wrong with her?
Sofio: Doctors diagnosed my daughter with a heart defect, asthma, and low blood sugar. She often feels bad: she suffers from pain in the chest, abdomen, and kidneys, suffers from severe shortness of breath. And in the spring, during the flowering period, my daughter has spasms as well. It’s scary! She can't move a lot, worry, run. But she is a child who wants to live a full life! I am in constant fear for my daughter that she might get worse. It is unbearable! Children are also very worried about their little sister. And I cannot help my baby!
- Is she sick from birth?
Sofio: During pregnancy, I collapsed, and I started giving birth prematurely. As a result, Barbare was born six months premature. She was placed in an incubator. And later the doctors told us that the girl had several diseases that need to be carefully treated to keep the child alive.
- What do the doctors say? Is there any chance for her to recover completely?
Sofio: I am very religious! In addition, I am a mother, and I should always think only about the good for my child. I believe that my Babi will get well! Doctors also say that proper treatment and following all instructions will give her a chance for recovery. But she needs expensive medications and medical manipulations for that. All this requires a lot of money, and we have very limited funds...
- Sofio, what is the main problem of your family right now?
Sofio: The most important thing is my Barbare’s health. I don’t need anything else. I will endure any hardships only for my daughter to be safe and sound. She permanently needs medications, examinations, doctors’ consultations, she needs special nutrition. And that requires quite significant funds. But we live in dire poverty. I have five more children: they all need food, clothing, school supplies. We have no money even for the most basic things.
- How else can we help you?
Sofio: You see in what conditions we live. There are four rooms in the house, but only two are suitable for living. I am not saying about amenities and home appliances. We need a washing machine and refrigerator. I store foodstuffs at my neighbor’s place now, but I am embarrassed to bother them all the time.
I wash laundry by hand in cold water. My fingers have become so coarse that I nearly do not feel the cold anymore... We also need beds and a TV. Sometimes my children want to watch cartoons or some TV shows, but we don't have a TV set. That’s why they constantly come up with some new games.
We have no beds, so I can say that we sleep almost on the floor. The boys sleep on a folding bed. The girls and I sleep on an inflatable bed. But it has already worn out and even torn somewhere. When we wake up in the morning, we find that the mattress has deflated, and we are lying on the floor... You know, we need a lot of things for our house. But my children and I will be grateful for any help.
- What is your monthly income? What do you live on?
Sofio: We get a social allowance - 540 GEL plus food coupons for kids - 160 GEL. This money is absolutely not enough for anything. Barbare needs medications and treatment. I count every penny. Because I have five more kids. They all need something. By the way, I am sick too - I suffer from epilepsy. I have attacks, but I have no right to get sick! I can’t spend money buying medications for myself when there is a sick child in a family and five more children. Yet the biggest part of our social allowance goes for paying off our debt.
- Could you please tell me more about that debt?
Sofio: Monthly 400 GEL from the social allowance goes to pay off the bank debt. You know, when Barbara got sick, we needed a lot of money for treatment. My husband and I mortgaged our house, which we eventually lost... Then for a long time, we kept moving from one rented apartment to another, for some time we lived at our friends’ place... But you need your own house when you have six children! So, we took a bank loan and bought this house, where we live now. As you can see, it is not refurbished, there are bare walls, it is cold and damp. But still, we at least have a roof over our heads.
- Does your husband not live with you?
Sofio: We divorced, unfortunately. It so happened. I was left alone with my children. He used to help me as much as he could. But he got sick now and is unable to help us.
- How did you meet your husband?
Sofio: We have been good friends since school. And then our friendship grew into love. Those were wonderful moments in my life! I always recall them with warmth... But, alas, life does not always turn out the way you imagine it at 18...
- Do your parent or relatives help you?
Sofio: Oh, no. My parents can barely make ends meet, and my brother and sisters have their families and their problems. It’s very hard for everyone.
- And what about local authorities? Did you address them for help?
Sofio: Yes, many times. But the local administration says that they can’t help us since they have no funds. Although the local authorities do know in what conditions we live.
- What do your children eat?
Sofio: They usually eat pasta, soups, and buckwheat. I literally weight each portion. Don't get me wrong, but we are short on money and I try to stretch the foodstuffs. Barbara needs special nutrition: her diet must necessarily contain meat and dairy products, vegetables, and fruits... The doctors said that both medications and nutrition are very important. So, I try to buy everything my daughter needs... The rest of the kids want to eat yummies too, but they know it's for Barbara. My heart hurts because of this! I try not to think about that...
- Could you please tell me about your children?
Sofio: They are wonderful! I am proud that I have raised decent citizens of Georgia! Each of them is talented in their own way. Vakhtang plays football, Lizi attends drawing classes. They help me a lot! They are my joy!
- Sofio, could I please talk to your children? Barbara, do you go to school?
Barbara: I can’t go to school because of my illness. Mom is afraid that I will feel bad, collapse and no one will be able to help me. That’s why I study from home. But I really want to play with the children in the yard, to run... I have a cherished dream. Do you want me to tell you about it?
- You can tell me if you wish. What are you dreaming about, sweetheart?
Barbara: I want to become a ballet dancer! When I close my eyes, I imagine myself dancing, performing on stage in front of an audience... I think it would be wonderful! I hope that one day my dream will come true!
- With whom of your siblings you spend more time?
Barbare: With all of them! They play with me, they try to help me with my homework... And Lizi also carries me on her back - she knows that I can't run a lot ...
- Lizi, do you have friends?
Lizi (13-year-old): Sure! But my family is my first priority! I always help mom, because she is alone and we are many. Barbare needs special attention, that’s why I never leave my little sister alone.
Nino (10-year-old): I want so much for Babi to get well soon so that she could go to school together with us, play and run... I love my family very much and I want everything to be fine with us.
- Vakhtang, your mom said that you play football...
Vakhtang (14-year-old): It is true. I have been training professionally for a year and a half. I will become a good football player, I dream of traveling all over the world, helping my family, and, most importantly, finding a doctor who can cure my little sister!
- And what about you, Giga? Have you already decided what you want to become?
Giga (6-year-old): I want to become a military man and defend Georgia and my family!
- Sofio, your children are wonderful! What do you believe in? In what do you see the salvation?
Sofio: Only in God! I often pray and ask God to give health to my Barbare, and well-being to all of my children!
Friends, little Barbare needs our help! Her mother is unable to pay for her treatment, medications, and special nutrition. Friends, we can help this little girl! All together! Besides that, the Kimadze family really needs beds, a washing machine, a fridge, TV set.
You can visit the Kimadze family in person and provide them possible help.
Their address is: Gardabani Municipality, village Gamarjveba.
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!
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