“O Most Holy Lady Virgin Theotokos, save and preserve my Barbara under Your shelter. Cover her with the veil of Your motherhood, beg my Lord and Your Son... Don't let my girl die of hunger and cold. Help and save her."
Her day begins with prayer. Manana kneels before the icon of the Mother of God and asks to save her daughter from troubles. And they have countless troubles! She recalls her childhood when she kneels...
“My stepmother made me kneel in the yard in winter! She beat me until I lost consciousness,” - says the 40-year-old woman, and there is still the fear and horror of a little girl in her eyes.
Her mother died when she was 5 years old, and after that she became the most unhappy person in the world.
No sooner had she recovered from childhood traumas then the horrors of adulthood overtook her. She is not afraid of being beaten anymore, and she kneels not in fear of being beaten, but in the hope of being heard! They are completely alone... Without our support, they will simply die in this cruel world! They will die alone, and no one will even know about it... No one will grieve about them, No one will shed a tear...
- Manana, there is so much pain in your words, share it with us to feel better!
Manana: My heart hurts now not for myself, but for my baby! Look how we live! It is damp and cold here, and we almost have no food. There was a time, when I got up before dawn in order to reach the garbage cans before the garbage truck gets there in the hope that someone had left there a bag of stale bread... Thanks God, we are not used to throwing bread straight into the garbage... Our life is not any better now. I used to earn some money by cleaning apartments and entrances while Barbara was in kindergarten, but for a year now I have been without an income. Nobody will let you in while a pandemic is raging.
The allowance is barely enough to not starve to death, and I have not been able to pay the rent for several months... I pray to Lord that we won’t be kicked out of here. Our landlords are kind, they treat us with understanding, but every patience has its limits. I don’t know for how long we will manage to be like that… (the woman burst into tears.)
- Please don’t cry! We really want to help you! Please, tell us everything in order. How did you find yourself in such situation?
Manana: My mother died of cancer when I was five years old, and my father got married for a second time. He worked from dawn to dawn and could not leave us at home alone. Poor man, he thought that my stepmother would take care of us... But she hated us from the first day. It's scary to remember what she did to us! She locked us in a cold room, gave us just a stale bread, but that's not the worst thing... She mocked us! She beat us severely! She threw us on the floor, stepped on us and pulled our hair! Do you see the scar? Once she pulled me so hard that she tore off a piece of my skin! I was in the hospital, they pumped fluid out of my head with a syringe! To this day, I still have tics... A crippled nervous system makes itself felt...
- And what about you father? Did he not protect you?
Manana: What could he do? Our stepmother warned us that she would kill us if we complained. I remember when I was still a little girl, I blurt that out to him. My God, what happened then... She made me kneel with my bare knees on the pebbles in the yard in the frost... Our father didn't really believe us, he thought that my sister and I just miss our mother and are trying to hound out a other woman from our home. Yes, we missed our mom, we missed her a lot. I still miss her... I don't really remember her face, but I remember the warmth of her hands... I remember how my mother was lying unable to get out of bed, and I was sitting next to her on a stool, and she caressed me. She looked at me with such sadness, she knew, the poor one, that she would never see me again...
- When you grew up, you probably managed to break out of this hell?
Manana: I was 15 years old when my father died of a heart attack. He left for work, and when they brought him home, he was already dead. A year later, my stepmother secretly sold the house and left for America. She left me in the street. My sister was already married then, and a distant relative - very kind woman - sheltered me. I can say that my village raised me. Everyone felt sorry for me: someone gave me food, someone gave me clothes... Then I learned how to bake bread, and I began to earn my own food. My neighbor left for Tbilisi with her family, started working in a store and invited me to go with her. There was also a bakery, so I worked and lived with her. I met my husband, fell in love like a girl, even though I was already 28 then. I thought I finally found my happiness! But all turned bad again... (Manana burst into tears again.)
- Let’s stop this conversation if it is hard to you...
Manana: No, no... I will calm down now... Since I have already begun, I will tell you everything to the end. You see, I have lived in this world for 40 years and I cannot remember a single bright day. Just endless pain and suffering. I cherish the memories about my mother in my heart. Then there is a complete darkness and the only happy day when my Barbare was born! This is not the kind of life I wanted for her! I grew up in the cold, hunger... I had nothing good in my life! Why, tell me why, my daughter, my angel, should suffer before my eyes?!
- Where is Barbare’s father? How did you find yourself alone again?
Manana: He left me for another woman when our daughter was only two years old. But I bear no grudge. He ceased to love me, okay... May God grant him happiness. This is not his fault. He honestly confessed, packed his things, left, and we never saw him again. Oh, how hard it was then... I was looking for bread in the garbage cans with my daughter in my arms. There was no one to leave her with. Besides that, Barbare got sick, and we had no money either for food or medicine. I recall those days with horror... If not for our good neighbors, we would not have survived! When Barbara went to kindergarten, I managed to take breath. I made my living by cleaning and washing porches, but because of this damned virus, we were again left without a piece of bread...
- Your story is just horrible! You said that kind people supported you in a hard time...
Manana: If not for the kindness of complete strangers, I would not have spoken to you today. First, a relative who sheltered me, then good neighbors who supported me in the village and here in Tbilisi. They felt sorry for the poor orphan... And on this New Year a miracle happened to us! One sweet girl learned from friends about our plight, she came to visit us together with her baby and gave my Barbara toys and sweets! My daughter was so happy! The happiness of my girl knew no bounds!
May the Lord bless her, her kindness will be rewarded a hundredfold!
- Is there anyone left from your relatives?
Manana: Two years ago, my only sister died tragically. She also worked in a bakery, and she spent the night there. There was a gas leak at night, and both she and her colleague suffocated! Woe is me, woe! I lost my only loved one! She had a disabled husband and three children in the village. Her eldest son lost his mind with grief, he found himself in a psychiatric hospital, now he is constantly taking medications... The poor one could not get through the death of his mother.
- What a terrible tragedy... How do you carry so much pain in yourself? What helps you not to despair, what gives you the strength to live on?
Manana: I have always been very religious. The God is merciful, He will not leave His child... Barbara and I go to church on Sundays, and we pray at home all the time. I teach my daughter never to fall into despair. She approaches the icon of St. Barbara, babbles something in a childish way and asks for something... Probably she asks for food and toys... My heart hurts when I look at her - I recall my hungry and cold childhood... I want her life to be different from mine! I will do anything for that, if only there was at least some job, I am ready for anything!
- Do the local authorities support you in any manner?
Manana: Not at all! I am a single mother, I have applied many times, asking them at least to pay for our housing, but nothing came of it. Nobody pays attention to us. It is supposed that 140 GEL allowance should be enough for renting room, buying foodstuffs and medications... But how? It is less than 5 GEL per day. What food can you buy for such money? I am not talking about heating, electricity. I have really no idea how to live now, otherwise I would not have bothered you.
- How do you live here with your baby? It is almost a basement...
Manana: Where can we go? I have no money even to pay for such a room, and I can’t even dream about anything better. I'm afraid of one thing - the ceiling is sagging here, and it may collapse on our heads. I brought this heater from the garbage... And this rug too, to somehow cover the cracks in the floor. Mice and cockroaches crawl from there, besides that it is very damp here - it is almost impossible to keep warm.
- Could I please talk to your daughter? Barbare, we really want to get acquainted with you. Do you like going to kindergarten?
Barbare (5-year-old): Yes! They have pencils there, I don’t have them a t home. I love drawing so much!
- What do you usually draw?
Barbare: Anything I want! I want my mommy and I to have the house of our own. Big and beautiful!
Barbare: About dolls. This is my favorite doll - a girl gave it to me. I call it Nitsuna! It is beautiful, isn’t it?
- Very beautiful! Do you know that you are a very beautiful girl too? All your dreams will certainly come true! And what about you, Manana? What is your biggest dream?
Manana: I am very scared for my daughter. If, God forbid, anything happens to me, Barbare will stay in the street or in an orphanage. I dream of putting her on her feet, I will give my life for her bright future. I always pray to God asking to protect her from suffering…
- How can we make your life easier right now?
Manana: We are sorely lacking money for food - the allowance is not enough. I can eat just stale bread - I got used to it. But I have a child... She's growing, and because we eat only potatoes and pasta, we live in this damp and cold room, she constantly gets sick. Where to get money to treat her?
You can see for yourself in what conditions we live... The bed is broken, it will soon completely fall apart. We'll probably sleep on the floor with mice and cockroaches... We really need a refrigerator, at least a tiny one. Sometimes neighbors bring us dinner, we try to stretch it out for a couple of days, but without fridge everything gets spoiled! These are all just dreams... I am sorry, we would only like to have food, I don’t ask for anything else…
- Manana, don’t hesitate, please, tell us in detail about your dreams and wishes. All of Georgia will read about you. We are powerful together, and I am sure we can make your life easier! What else are you dreaming about?
Manana: Barbara really wants us to have a TV. She used to watch cartoons at neighbors’ place, but now because of the virus you can't visit anyone... And my biggest dream is a washing machine, it is so hard to wash in cold water in winter. Fortunately, we have clothes, good people give us things they don’t need. Neither me nor my daughter have ever had new clothes. I grew up in rags, and so did she. But we are very grateful that we have clothes to wear! We are grateful for every crumb of bread, for every kind word... And for your empathy, God bless you!
Friends, the life of Manana Nanobashvili is like an endless nightmare. Hard childhood, orphan life, hunger, cold, beatings did not break this beautiful woman. She is trying with all her might to survive and fights to ensure that her little Barbara could eat her fill. Mother and daughter live in appalling conditions in a cold, damp basement, fearing that the ceiling is about to collapse and bury them under the rubble. And soon they may end up in the street since they have no money even for buying food, let alone paying rent!
Manana and 5-year-old Barbara need any help! They really need food and the most basic things - a bed, a refrigerator. These poor people can only dream of a TV set and a washing machine!
You can visit them and provide all possible help to Manana and Barbare. Their address is: Tbilisi, 3 Ingorokva Str.
Please repost our publication. Let your friends know about the grief of this family! It’s extremely important!
God gives us chances to take care of 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: email@example.com.
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We have already helped many disadvantaged people! Let’s support Manana Nanobashvili and her little daughter, as no one is immune to bad luck! And who knows, maybe someday we ourselves will need help of strangers!
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