Going to school barefoot!
Six-year-old Oto looks at his holey shoes with annoyance. “Do you want to go to school, dear?" - I try to insinuatingly find out what upsets him so much. "Sure! Everyone goes to school, and I want too! What do you think will my feet get wet?" Dressed literally in rags, the little boy met us by a strange building, which only remotely looked like a house.
As it turned out, Oto lives in this shack, propped up with bricks and insulated with old blankets, plywood, and plastic bags. He lives there with his four brothers, mom and dad.
“They have to stay at home, because they have no clothes or shoes, everything is worn out, torn to holes,” – mother, Inga sobs. – “But what can I say when we only eat potatoes. Thanks God, we have at least a roof above our head, but it can collapse any time. God help us!"
- Inga, what made you address us for help?
Inga: My sons are starving, they are naked, barefoot... We have to live in this ruins, because we have no other place to go. Just look: we had to insulate the walls with plywood and blankets. But this did not bring much result. It seems that one wall has already sagged, and we have only left to pray that the house does not collapse on our heads. Allowance is not enough at all, we have so many debts. I have no idea how to live on... (The poor woman covers her face with her hands.)
- How did you find yourself here?
Inga: We have never had housing of our own. I am originally from Western Georgia, I was raised in a large family, and my husband was raised in an orphanage. I want to say that we have never aspired to live in wealth. Do you have a roof over your head? Do your children eat their fill? Are they dressed? Thank God for that! My husband is a hard worker, he worked at a factory for a long time, and even, when he was laid off, he always managed to earn some money. Even after recovering from tuberculosis few years ago, he worked as a taxi driver. Now because of his age, deteriorated health, and these restrictions, he can't even drive a taxi. We are almost starving...
- Could you please tell us how did you meet?
Inga: I came to Tbilisi intending to enter a zootechnical college. I wanted to learn and to work in agriculture. I stayed at my relatives’ place. And once Dzhemali came there for a visit. Perhaps it was love at first sight. He wrote me letters, gave them to a neighbor, and she gave them to me. (Inga recalls it with a smile.) Three months later, he asked me to marry him, and I agreed without hesitation. Since then, we have been living in perfect harmony... There were good times when my husband earned money and we didn’t live in need, and difficult times. The problem is that we never got our own housing... We kept moving from one rented flat to another. Now we are unable to pay rent. May God grant the health to our good friend. She offered us to live in this house, and I milk her cows for that. I am so happy that she does not charge us for rent! But this building... It is in such a state that everything is literally falling apart! There is no water, you have to bring it from your neighbors. But I do not complain - at least we have a roof over our heads!
- You have no one to ask for help?
Inga: No one at all. As I already said, my husband was raised in an orphanage, he has brothers and a sister, but they do not communicate, they grew up separately, and nothing connects them. My parents died a long time ago, and my brothers and sisters are in such a situation that they need help themselves... What to do, now it's hard for everyone, everyone is fighting for survival, trying to somehow keep his family.
- What about state? Did you address the local authorities for help?
Inga: I asked so many times to at least pay the rent. They paid for two years, and then, apparently, they decided that we could do it without their help. Now during the pandemic, my boys did not study at all. We not only have no computer, but even a simple phone so that they can attend online lessons, and we have no money to pay for the Internet. I'm terrified - they missed a complete year! Can you imagine that? But even now, when the schools were opened, they have nothing to put on - no clothes, no shoes, they wear each other's hand-me-downs. Can you imagine the condition of the clothes worn by the five boys? This month I planned to allocate some money from our allowance so that I could buy them some clothes at second-hand shop. But I can’t - our debts in the grocery shop exceed the amount that we get. Calculate for yourself how much it costs to buy at least two pairs of socks for each of them.
- It means that, at the moment the allowance is your only source of livelihood?
Inga: Yes. And this is not enough even to buy food. My husband managed to buy some good food before - at least once a month he pampered the boys with chicken legs or semi-finished products. Now, we only eat potatoes and buckwheat.
What vitamins can one find in cheap frozen dumplings? But at least they smell like meat ...
- What prevents you from falling into despair in such a difficult situation?
Inga: I believe that the Lord will not leave us! We go to church, confess, receive communion. God sends us help through kind people!
- Complete strangers?
Inga: Yes! Do you know how we found ourselves here? When they kicked us out for non-payment, the Lord brought us to the owner of this building. She sheltered us. The kindest woman... Sometimes she brings us some milk, sometimes a piece of cheese. Sometimes she comes to me and asks me quietly: "Did the boys eat today?" and brings us lunch. God sees everything, her kindness will be rewarded to her a hundredfold! There are seven of us in the family, five children. Do you know how much it costs to just cook them a lean soup for two days? Everything has risen in price: vegetables, sunflower oil, even pasta! The entire amount of the allowance goes to pay debts and utility bills. And there is no end to these debts!
- Inga, how can we alleviate your hard situation?
Inga: God knows, I addressed you being in despair, simply because I can’t see other way out. If not for the children, I would never have bothered anyone! First of all, they need clothes and shoes. In spring, when it rains, you can’t walk in holey shoes. They are dressed like ragamuffins, they are always hungry... We need food. At least some normal food.
- Would you like to ask for anything for yourself?
David (10-year-old): I know, I'll tell you! Mom needs a washing machine! Look, her fingers got cracked and are bleeding! She washes every day in cold water!
- What a good boy - you care about your mom! May I talk to you and your brothers? Would you please tell us about yourself?
David: Mom is the best, we love her very, very much! We feel sorry for her, she cries all the time. She wants us to go to school and study.
- Do you want to go to school?
David: It’s fun, many children are there.
– What is your favorite subject?
David: Sports! I love playing football!
- What about you, Oto? Do you like school?
Oto (6-year-old): I don’t know... I have been there just several times. And then the school was closed. Mom teaches me how to read and write at home.
Saba (15-year-old): We have neither computer nor telephone. No Internet either. This is our biggest dream.
- Saba, have you already decided where you will go after graduating from school?
Saba: I really want to become a programmer. They always have a job, and their salary is good. I want my family to never live in the need.
- And you, Luka, who will you become when you grow up?
Luka (12-year-old): Vehicle mechanic! I will fix big cars and tractors...
- Oto, what are you dreaming about, dear?
Oto: I want toys. Everything we have is broken and old.
I really want a gun and a car.
- Inga, I think you have something to add to the wishes of your wonderful sons?
Inga: I really don't know what to tell you... It's very embarrassing to ask for something. But we really need any help. We have no refrigerator, no washing machine, no gas stove, no TV - we have nothing at all. Boys need a computer to study. But how can I bother you with such requests? All I am dreaming about is for my boys to be dressed, fed, and have an opportunity to study - that's it, and God forbid this shack collapsing upon our heads. I am so grateful to you that you paid attention to us, came to visit us and listened to us. Nobody pays attention to my requests. I know that your Fund has many kind and empathetic friends, and I believe, that having learned about our misfortune, they will support my sons as well.
The Nakopia family lives in a dilapidated house in dire conditions. Inga and Dzhemal are raising five sons - future defenders of our Homeland! Today, boys are deprived of absolutely anything: normal food, clothing, shoes, the opportunity to learn and develop. And the youngest, six-year-old Oto, can only dream of toys.
The Nakopia family really needs our support. They need food, children’s clothes, and shoes. They do not have even the most basic amenities, such ordinary things as a TV, refrigerator, washing machine, gas stove. The boys really need a computer to study.
You can visit and provide all possible help to the Nakopia family.Their address is: Gardabani municipality, village of Krtsanisi, summer houses of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Please repost our story. 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: the Nakopia 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 the Nakopia family 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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