Have you ever seen the sad eyes of a child? Not, of course! Children's eyes always radiate an endless joy! Children never have problems, but not those who are we going to tell you about, friends!
In the eyes of these children, you will see desperate helplessness! As if their childhood has gone once and forever. As if their life made them get mature much earlier than they were supposed to. That's what I saw in the eyes of 11-year-old Khvicha, 7-year-old Natia, and 3-year-old Gabriel when I came to visit them. They looked like little kittens who are looking for care, affection, and love but are afraid of this cruel world. It hurt me to see that. They are still babies, but they don't know what a carefree childhood is!
"I am a man! In a little bit of time, I will become an adult man. I will earn a lot of money then. And we won’t live in poverty anymore!" - says Khvicha and shyly lowers his eyes.Six persons living in a one-room shack! The family with four little children lives in terrible conditions for the last five years. Their house looks more like a shack. The head of the family built this house by his own hands with the cheapest and most affordable materials. He used planks and sheets of tin... There is one tiny, 16 square meters sized room where six people huddle - it's a bedroom, and a kitchen, and a living room - all together. But housing is not the only problem of this large family. The parents have no means to buy food for their children.
With the newborn baby in her arms mother, Marika (28), says that she was so embarrassed to ask for help that she did not dare to write to the Fund. But the dire straits of her family made her address the good people for help. She realized that her family wouldn’t be able to cope alone.
- Marika, how did you find yourself in such a situation?
Marika: For years we kept moving from one rented apartment to another. First, we lived in Tbilisi, then we moved here. All this time we were saving money to once build our family home. So, we bought this land parcel and rented a site container nearby, where we moved temporarily. But when the container's owner asked us to move from there, we found ourselves in the street with the little children in our arms. We had no place to go. Then my husband built this dwelling from planks and tin sheets with his own hands, and we live here since then. We thought we would finish building our house soon and move there. But when the pandemic began, my husband lost his job, our income decreased, and we had to stop construction. My husband started having problems with his spine as well, but he still takes any job to somehow keep our children. But there is no work ...
- What is the current income of your family?
Marika: We get a social allowance - 440 GEL and coupons for baby food - 120 GEL. This is our whole income ...
- What the allowance is enough for?
Marika: To be honest, it's enough for nothing! Not only are there three children, but also a baby in our arms. Tamari is only three months old. Unfortunately, I cannot breastfeed her because of health reasons; I have to buy formula. The only thing that constantly concerns my spouse and me is how to get food and survive! Can you imagine sometimes we have to choose what to buy: food or clothes? It's scary! It hurts to admit that, but I often put my children to bed hungry, I promise to give them food tomorrow... And where do I get food tomorrow?
- What is your everyday diet? What do your children eat?
Marika: I make liquid food: more water, fewer foodstuffs. I buy pasta and various cereals... However, we do not always have money, so I have debts in the grocery store. Sometimes children ask for sweets - but every penny counts, we cannot afford to spend too much.
- Does anybody help you?
Marika: No, unfortunately. My parents have a low income and they rent a flat too. I have brothers, but they cannot help us - they have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus and eke out a living now. My husband's relatives live in need too. We should have helped our parents. But alas, we cannot.
- Did you address the local authorities for help?
Marika: I did but with no results! Just wasting time. We get the social allowance only.
- Marika, how do you live in such conditions?
Marika: One can hardly call it life. We just survive. Oh, how can I tell you everything? (Sighs.) This shack does not even look like a house. The roof barely covers the building, a strong wind can simply blow it off, the ceiling leaks ... There is only one room in these walls.
The whole family sleeps in one bed, I put the baby in a cradle. But when it is very cold at night, she also sleeps with us. We have a wood-burning stove here, we heat it here somehow, but it does not really help - the wind blows between the boards. We don't have a kitchen as such. The table is in the room, and the broken refrigerator is in the yard by the house. Tap is also outside, and they give us water only for five hours a day. We try to do everything on time: wash, bathe... By the way, we bathe here as well - in a plastic washbasin in turn. It is very difficult, you know. And we go to the toilet to the neighbors' place, they have a small farm and a toilet outside. They let us use their restroom. At night, children are afraid to go there alone, so I or my husband go with them.
- Marika, we are so sorry! We understand how hard is it for you. What do you need first of all?
Marika: It is so hard to ask, I am awkward. But we urgently need food, baby formula, diapers, school stationery, clothes, and footwear for children. We need beds. But where can I put them? We have no space at all in this room. I will be very happy if you could help us with linen, we are short of it. I'd like to have a new washing machine. The old one is good for nothing - the dirty water leaks from it and floods everything around, and it is very hard to wash with hands when there are three children and one baby in the family. The laundry never ends here. It's great to have a fridge. In winter, the foodstuffs do not spoil, but I suppose it will be a real nightmare in summer.
– Marika what do you believe in? In what do you see the salvation?
Marika: I am very religious. But I do not always manage to attend a service. I pray at home in front of icons, asking God not to leave us! God forbid me from seeing my children sick. But I am afraid that in such conditions anything can happen. That's why I pray and always ask Lord to give us health and force for going through this hard time.
– Do you believe in the kindness of strangers?
Marika: - Yes, of course! I've heard a lot about how your Fund helps those in need. It's a real miracle! You do a lot of good deeds. I know that the most generous people live in Georgia. But now I am even more convinced of this. That's why I believe that kind and empathetic people will help - if not me, then at least my children!
- Marika, could I please talk to your children?
Marika: Sure! They will be happy. Khvicha and Natia are very smart! Gabriel is a little bit shy. He is not used to new people.
- All right, Marika, I will talk only to the oldest children. Guys, do you help your mother? She's having a hard time.
Khvicha (11-year-old): I always help her, because I am the eldest son in the family. This means that I have more responsibility. If necessary, I will wash the dishes and look after my little sister.
Natia (7-year-old): And I am the eldest daughter, I also have a lot of responsibility. I feel very sorry for my mother, and I also always try to help her! Dad always cheers her up saying that everything will be all right. But mommy’s eyes are always sad.
- Natia and Khvicha, you are so nice! Do you have hobbies?
Khvicha: My sister and I go to Adjarian dances together. Now, however, we cannot because of the coronavirus - we have been dismissed. Hopefully, we’ll start dancing again soon.
- Do you dance together?
Natia: No, my brother is in the older group, and I have a dance partner from my group. But we always go to the lessons together. You know, we even have the same interests. Our favorite subject at school is math. These are our common talents: dancing and math.
- Will you also have a common profession in the future? What are you going to be?
Khvicha: I will be a fireman. They save the whole of Georgia from fire. I want to protect my Mother country.
Natia: I will save people too, but I will be a doctor. I will be the best doctor. It’s good to cure people. (Laughs.) But maybe... I’ll become a dentist. It is very important to cure teeth.
-It is so noble. Georgia will be proud of such great professionals! What else are you dreaming about?
Khvicha: I want to have my own room. Friends of mine have it. And I never had it. I think it’s cool! But I don’t know yet. When I grow up and earn a lot of money, I will build a comfortable house for my parents. And I will have my own room then. And my parents won’t be in need!
Natia: I want to have my room too! I think it will be very beautiful. I dream about sweets - I want a lot of sweets and a cake. Mommy cannot buy a cake for us - she says we have no money...
Khvicha: Don't worry, I will buy everything for you! I will become an adult very soon...
Dear friends, let’s not remain indifferent! Let’s give these children a happy childhood. They are the same children as we used to be. They should know how it feels when you are happy, joyful when someone needs you.
They need foodstuffs, home appliances, clothes. Let’s help them, let’s show them our mercy, let’s give the children a chance to live normally.
Visit the Otarashvili family, ask them about their needs, 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 is: Gardabani Municipality, village Giganti, Zooveti settlement.
Friends, Chernovetskyi Charity Fund starts a charity campaign to help the Otarashvili family. 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 story. 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.
Our Fund’s accounts are:
(purpose: The Otarashvili family).
You can also transfer money from our website.
It is also possible to transfer money from 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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