For the last two years Keti has been fighting to return to her job after she was fired in very dubious circumstances. Keti is a former beneficiary of Mkurnali, a Tbilisi charity that helps vulnerable young people. Once again, she turned to them and their legal programme, which is funded by St Gregory’s Foundation.Continue reading Two-year wrongful dismissal case resolved
Tata has had a tough life. Now she lives at Mkurnali and works with the women’s craft group, which made these Christmas decorations. The group was invited to the US Embassy in Tbilisi to take part in their Christmas Market. Mkurnali also participated in the festive market organised by the City Hall. They sold many of their decorations. The children were also very happy to be a part of the New Year market because there were so many fun attractions and sights.Continue reading Mkurnali, the Christmas market and the single mum
One of Mkurnali’s residents, Dato, has also developed serious health problems. He was diagnosed with a severe stage of polyarthritis and his walking and sight have greatly diminished. Sadly the treatment he received has not yet been effective. He now needs a medicine that costs 5,000 GEL (£1,228) per dose. It turns out that Dato will need 4 doses a year. In spite of Dato’s current second degree disability, such medicines are not provided by state funding.
Mkurnali’s director, Nino, and her helpers have tried to earn this amount but this has proved difficult in the current climate. Nino told us: “I turned to my friend, Dr Marina Ramazashvili, who has her own eye clinic and who has helped with free treatment for some Mkurnali’s beneficiaries in the past. Marina ran a free check and confirmed that arthritis caused Dato’s sight deterioration. Thankfully she connected us with another clinic in Tbilisi where the required medicine and treatment will become available in two month’s time with support from Germany. Amazingly this local clinic led by Ms Darejan Shelia will match Marina’s free offer for Mkurnali and serve our beneficiaries free of charge if there are cases of cardiac problems”.
Our newsletter is out now with stories from Moscow, St Petersburg, Kondopoga and Tbilisi. To celebrate our 30th anniversary we look back and appreciate how far we’ve come. We take stock of the extraordinary present day and look ahead to future plans. Dive in, and join our efforts to create a brighter future for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our regions.
The pandemic noticeably worsened the working conditions in Georgia, as it did in the whole world. The majority of companies started working from home and now they don’t use many printers – we lost a lot of orders for fixing or changing cartridges. Our other small business – a car repair shop – continues to work, but only with a limited capacity: the prices of fuel have drastically increased and there-fore people are driving less. Many young people lost their jobs. Regular work remained only for those who worked at grocery stores and supermarkets and perhaps as street cleaners.Continue reading Life at Mkurnali’s homeless shelter – Tbilisi
In 2020 Mkurnali defended 37 cases. Twelve of these young people, who faced probable conviction were found completely innocent thanks to our lawyer’s intervention. Twelve received a suspended sentence, and the others were all given much-reduced sentences. We have the story of one of these cases for you today.
Mamuka has served a sentence for theft before, but since his release he has changed dramatically. He has married, had a child, trained as a heating installer and worked very hard. One day, when he was shopping at his usual grocery store he was arrested again for theft. Had Mkurnli not been able to confirm his alibi, he would now be facing four years in prison for something he did not do.Continue reading Acquitted for New Year
It all started when Demetre’s pregnant wife got toothache one evening during the Covid curfew (from 9pm to 6am at the time). They rang the doctor and discovered that she needed a painkiller that they didn’t have at home. Demetre popped out to the pharmacy.
On his way home, Demetre saw police. He hid between two parked cars. The owner was on a nearby balcony, thought Demetre was trying to rob his car and started shouting. Demetre panicked and ran away. The police caught him and tried to arrest him.Continue reading Pandemic leads to arrest of innocent man
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.”
In normal times, one of our major programmes provides justice for homeless and vulnerable young people in Tbilisi, Georgia. During the Corona virus crisis, our lawyer is working from home and the court system is seriously disrupted. Here is a reminder of one of our successful cases.
When we got involved, Vladimir had been arrested and charged with Deliberate Bodily Harm and was facing up to eight years in prison. The case file showed that Vaska had been visiting Vladimir, they quarrelled and Vladimir inflicted severe bodily harm on him.
In fact, the situation was different Continue reading Justice for one Tbilisi family
We love a win win solution and that is what SGF partner organization, Mkurnali was able to create recently in their own neighbourhood. Rather than choosing between a troubled teenager and the community he was disrupting, Mkurnali has been able to improve life for everyone.
Parkhat is a neighbour of Mkurnali’s. He came from an Azerbaidzhani family who settled in Tbilisi. He is 15 and a half years old and has been growing up without his mother. She left him and his father and went off with another man after finding that her husband had cancer. Parkhat’s father is a good, hardworking and honest man and it is terribly sad that he is ill and does not have anyone to help him. He is unable to look after Parkhat whose behaviour became much worse after his mother left them. Continue reading Improving lives and neighbourhoods