Suicidal young man finds haven at Mkurnali

New resident with Jamal, who helps run the shelter.St Gregory’s has a long-standing partnership with Mkurnali, a charity that helps homeless young people in Tbilisi, Georgia.   Nino Chubabria, Mkurnali’s director tells a story of an extraordinary coincidence which allowed the charity to save a young man.

“Not long ago, one of our residents saw a news report about a lad who tried to commit suicide.  He had lost his job, and with no income, he had also been evicted.  Vano recognised the young man because they grew up together in an orphanage, and he asked me to help him.  When I watched the story, I also recognised the young man.  He had been arrested about ten years ago for stealing toy binoculars.  He was then a child living on the streets of Batumi and Tbilisi, and he survived by begging and stealing.

We got involved and saved him from prison on condition that we took responsibility for him.  He came and lived in our shelter for two years.  After that he started working and living independently, until he lost his job because of Corona virus.  After seeing the story, Jemal found him and brought him back.  He now lives at our shelter again, and will stay here until he can start work again.”

Our summer newsletter is here!

Front cover of SGF summer newsletterDownload our summer newsletter to find out more about the summer camps we will be funding this year.  This includes the unique perspective of one of the volunteers helping on the Sunflower summer camp for parents who grew up in orphanages and their children.  We also have a full report on the training visit our colleagues from St Petersburg and Moscow made to Krakow to get new ideas on helping children with complex disabilities to communicate.  From Georgia, our colleagues at Mkurnali report on the vulnerable young people that they have saved from prison recently.

Nothing is lost in Kondopoga parish

Since 1991 St Gregory’s Foundation has worked with the exceptionally active parish in Kondopoga to serve their poor community.  During that time Russia and Kondopoga have changed greatly, but the parish continues to meet the challenges in its path.  Tamara Dragadze, one of our directors, reflects on what supporting Kondopoga has meant to her personally.

Kondopoga parish's carpentry workshopMany years ago, St Gregory’s Foundation provided funding for the parish in Kondopoga to have on its land a small sawmill and a woodwork workshop (which made furniture and used the saw wood profitably too) and all that went with it. Unfortunately in time these stopped being commercially viable and they closed. We at St Gregory’s accepted that things like that happened…

However, many years later a devoted member of their parish appeared from nowhere and decided to revive it as a centre for teaching woodwork to Continue reading Nothing is lost in Kondopoga parish

Two brothers find a new family thanks to Kondopoga parish

Children being fed at Kondopoga parishEvery summer we help Kondopoga parish to feed 30 of the town’s most deprived children during the summer holidays.  Every day they came to parish house for a hot lunch followed by games.  Some of the children come because their family is simply too poor to feed them, like the family with four boys under six whose father is too ill to work.  Continue reading Two brothers find a new family thanks to Kondopoga parish

Irina’s story of more than 20 years’ service

Irina LialinaAt St Gregory’s we are very proud of our local partners, who add huge value to our grants through their care and commitment.  Irina Lialina has been involved since before St Gregory’s was formally registered.  First she helped distribute aid sent in containers from the UK.  Now, she helps the very poorest families with food parcels.  This is her story. Continue reading Irina’s story of more than 20 years’ service