Improving lives and neighbourhoods

ParkhWe 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. 

Before Mkurnali got involved, there were a lot of complaints from the other neighbours:  

– My car was scratched this morning. It must’ve been Parkhat.  

-My car was broken into and they stole cash and cigarettes from it. It must’ve been Parkhat.  

– Parkhat made my kid smoke cigarettes.  

– He’s a disgusting kid. I forbade him to be friends with my kid. I told him a million times, but he still comes around and calls my son quietly.  

Nino’ our director’s car has also been scratched a few times but she and the other neighbours didn’t want to go to the police, knowing Parkhat’s circumstances and the family he grew up in. 

Parkhat was obviously known to the local police, so as soon he reached the legal age of 14 he got arrested for damaging someone else’s property. Mkurnali found out about it when the other neighbours came to them to ask us to help the boy and save him from imprisonment. They were all terribly sorry for Parkhat’s father – he was unable to handle this situation on his own as he badly needed help himself.  

Mkurnali stepped in and talked to the police and Parkhat was finally released without a court hearing. They talked to Parkhat and made it clear that if he wants to put his life back together, they are here to help him. The boy was scared and lost and he promised that he would join Mkurnali’s training course and change his behaviour. Since then Parkhat has found a second home at the Mkurnali shelter where he spends a lot of time learning his new skill of making jewellery.  He has become great at making beautiful enamel and silver pieces. Now he never misses his school and helps his father as much as he can.  He loves music and jokes and he is just happy and adorable.  

We are very grateful to our donors who helped Mkurnali extend their hospitality to young people like Parkhat.  He may not be homeless, but we are thankful that we were able to turn his life around before it went seriously off track.  In doing so, we’ve made our neighbourhood a better place for everyone.