Mom Larisa (56-year-old) is a widow who is trying with all her might to save her child from hunger, so she cleans graves on the outskirts of Tbilisi every day. They live right here, they have nowhere else to live. They have no relatives, no one at all... “What all mothers fear has happened to me. The darkest day of my life has lasted for years of pain and suffering ... We live next to death, but we are still alive ... My Mariam is the only living soul and joy for me, but she suffers so much. It’s only for her sake I beg for help, addressing all good friends of the Fund: please, help!
- Please tell us about yourself.
Larisa: I was born and raised in the village of Tskhemliskhidi... Immediately after graduating from school, I began to work, to help my parents. Do you know what kind of work is there in the village? On tea plantations or in the field ... Then I got married, and we moved here, to the capital. Here, too, we constantly had to search how to earn our daily bread ...We didn't have children for a long time, my daughter was born when I was 40. And my husband soon died. While he was alive, we somehow made ends meet, we rented a room, he worked as a yardman. He had a sick heart, and when he died, I was left with the baby in my arms, I had nothing to pay for the room, and I did not know where to go ...
Kind people sheltered me for a while in a carpentry workshop, my daughter and I collect bottles, scrap metal, sometimes I work as a cleaner. All the neighbors here know us and treat us very well, sometimes they bring us food or give us clothes ...
- How did you find yourself here?
Larisa: We are completely alone in this world ... Fortunately, there are a lot of nice people in the world, so they gave us shelter here, at the cemetery ...
The cemetery itself is large, and this fenced-in area belongs to a private organization that makes gravestones. Its director took pity on us and gave us this room. My daughter and I are very grateful to him for this.
They say there were some workshops here in communist times. The room is tiny, only a stove and an ottoman fit here, but it's better than nothing. There was an iron bed here before, but then my daughter grew up. There is no way to fit two beds here, so I had to bring an ottoman. Actually, it’s about to collapse, but I propped it up with bricks. I have to store my clothes outside in bags so that they don't get wet in bad weather.
- Larisa, what do you live on?
Larisa: Oh (she waved her hand), we survive as best we can. I used to sweep the streets, collect bottles and scrap metal ... Sometimes the neighbors call me to clean their apartments. We clean the graves too. A few months ago, I was lucky to get a job as a cleaner at school, where I had about 200 GEL salary. Now there is no school, no private cleaning, there is only social allowance - 120 GEL and a food coupon for Mariam - 30 GEL. In the spring she will turn 16, and this coupon will also be taken away. I have no idea what we should do... I wish this pandemic would end as soon as possible ...
- What do you eat?
Larisa: When I get the aid, I buy pasta and potatoes, sunflower oil, sugar, tea. That's all! It’s not enough for anything else. When I received the school salary, I used to cook soups, but now ...
- Tell me about your husband, please. How did you meet?
Larisa: I used to go to the city, for shopping. There we met just by chance. It turned out that he was from a neighbor village. We got married very soon and moved to Tbilisi. If he were alive, it would be easier - Mariam would have a father ... (tears appeared in Larisa's eyes).
- Have you ever thought that such misfortune would happen to you?
Larisa: Nobody ever thinks about things like that. My husband and I wanted to work and live like all normal people do. We wanted to have our own home ... But, as you can see, fate decreed otherwise ...
– Does anybody help you? Parents or relatives?
Larisa: I have no brothers or sisters, my parents died about 20 years ago. My father had perforation of the stomach ulcer, he was operated on four times, but he did not survive. And my mother also died soon of a cardiac rupture. I lost all the contacts with our relatives. When I left the village, I never went back. I haven’t seen anyone since.
– We are so sorry! And did you address anybody for help? The local authorities, for instance?
Larisa: I’ve been to the Townhall so many times, I wrote so many letters and statements! All to no avail. They promised to put me on a waiting list for housing, but no one has contacted me yet.
- Do you believe in God? In what do you see the salvation?
Larisa: If it were not for my faith, I would have probably been dead for a long time ... The Lord is always close to us, protecting us. And if he sends us tests, it means that we must endure them firmly. According to your faith be it done to you! I used to go to church quite often, but it is far away, so it is impossible to reach there walking, but transport does not work... I pray at home in my own words.
– Do you believe in the kindness of strangers?
Larisa: Sure! Neighbors help me so much! I know for sure they would never let us starve to death. Although they themselves do not live richly, they always help us at least with food or clothing. It was the kind people who advised me to contact your Fund. They say that your Fund has many good friends and you help everyone. You see, the Lord heard my prayers, and He has brought you here!
- Tell me about Mariam, please. Does she go to school?
Larisa: Mariam is my gift from the Lord ... She is quiet, calm and smart. She helps me in everything and never complains ... I am so sorry for her ... Imagine how it feels when you wake up surrounded by graves, and you go to sleep, seeing only graves. I'm used to it, but she's just a child. Of course, she dreams of a better life, but what can I give her? My heart bleeds ...
– Can I talk to your daughter, please? Mariam, tell me about yourself. Do you study well? What is your favorite subject?
Mariam (15-year-old): I used to be an excellent student, but now I can’t study. I completely missed the last semester, and now I can’t attend classes either. We don't even have a normal mobile phone, and I don't want to disturb my classmates too often, I feel awkward... I try to learn my homework and study myself at home. But it doesn't work out very well ... Most of all I love mathematics and art history, I love drawing!
- Have you already chosen you future profession?
Mariam: I want to become an actress. It’s my dream.
– What is your favorite movie? Who is your favorite actor?
Mariam: My favorite movie is - "Three Steps Above Heaven". My favorite actor is Johnny Depp, I especially like him at Pirates of the Caribbean ...
- What is your favorite book?
Mariam: The Three Musketeers. I have no books ... If there were any, there is no room anyway to store them. Mom and I can hardly fit here. But I borrow books from my friends, I used to borrow them from the school library as well.
- Do you help your mother?
Mariam: Sure! I sweep, cook pasta, I can fry potatoes ... And we clean the graves together ...
- Tell me honestly, isn't it scary?
Mariam: It's not scary ... I just feel somewhat uncomfortable ... When I was little, I was afraid, but my mother always said that there was no need to be afraid of the dead, they would not do anything bad to me ... In the evening, I still do not go outside our yard. Although I understand that no one will harm me, but still ... From our window you can only see the graves and the TV tower on the mountain when the weather is good...
- What are you dreaming about, Mariam?
Mariam: Most of all I want my mother and me to have our own home. At least a small one, but our own ... Far away from here. I don't want to live here. And I would also like to have a mobile phone for study ...
- Phone? Maybe a computer?
Mariam: No, phone. We have no room for a computer, but you can take your phone with you wherever you go. This is more convenient.
- What are you dreaming about, Larisa?
Larisa: So that my daughter had a roof over her head. So that if suddenly something happens to me she would not stay in the street ... I don't need anything else. I only pray to God that Miriam would be fine and that she would live like a human being.
- What do you think you need first of all? What kind of help do you need?
Larisa: It's hard for me to answer your question ...We have nothing at all. These 10 square meters are our home, which does not belong to us. We badly need food, a refrigerator to have a place to store food when the pandemic finally ends and I get back to work. My daughter cannot study, we have neither a computer nor Internet, which are absolutely necessary today! It would be just wonderful to have a TV - we go to our neighbors’ place to watch it...
We will be grateful for any help! Thank you for coming and listening, thank you for your empathy!
Larisa and Mariam Sikharulidze live in terrible conditions. These people are deprived of absolutely everything! Their shelter is a 10- square meter- shack surrounded by graves... Mother and daughter did not have a life for many years, they just survived, taking every opportunity to earn a piece of bread.
15-year-old Mariam has no decent clothes, no food, no computer, not even her own bed! And from an early age, the girl, together with her mother, has been cleaning graves ... But she is so beautiful and smart, she deserves to learn, develop and live a normal life!
TheSikharulidze family urgently needs evry kind of help: food, home appliances, a normal bed and firewood.
You can visit this family in person and provide them help. Their address is: Tbilisi, village Gldani, Gaz settlement (shed at the cemetery).
Or you can call Larisa and cheer her up! Phone: 555 73 83 25.
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. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Fund’s accounts are:
(Purpose: Sikharulidze family).
You can also transfer money from our website.
It is also possible to transfer money from Nova Technology, 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 ).
We have already helped many disadvantaged people! Let’s support Larisa Sikharulidze too, as no one is immune to bad luck! And who knows, maybe someday we ourselves will need help of strangers!
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