Our partner charity, Mkurnali found Dima on Tik Tok. A video journalist had filmed him living on the streets in Tbilisi. Our colleagues somehow recongised him you’d hardly believe he is only 29, found him and brought him back to the Mkurnali shelter.Read more
This was not the first time Mkurnali had been there for Dima. In 2004 Mkurnali had found Dima living on the streets with his brother, Alex. They were 9 and 11 years old and had already been on the streets for two years since they were orphaned. Their relatives had appropriated their flat, and they had run away because of the beatings they were given at home by their uncle.Read more
After a long legal battle, Mkurnali managed to return the flat to them. Once grown up, the brothers moved back in and lost touch with Mkurnali.
Dima was working as a shepherd, living away from Tbilisi for weeks at a time. When Alex stopped answering Dima’s calls, Dima went back to the city to find out what had happened. When he got to the flat the door was locked and bolted. The police were called and broke down the door, to find Alex dead.
After his brother’s funeral, Dima sold the flat and bought cattle and a small house in the countryside. He took up farming. All was going well until the uncle’s son appeared. He forced Dima to sign a deed gifting the house to his cousin and then threw him out on the street. At first Dima was sheltered by a monastery. However, after an emergency stay in hospital, he started sleeping rough.
Dima is now living at Mkurnali and is readjusting to life. Looking forward, he will train in Mkurnali’s enamel workshop and they will return his house to him.
St Gregory’s Foundation works with a remarkable charity, called Mkurnali, in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Mkurnali provides sheleter, vocational training and employment, and a legal service to homeless young people in their city.
Nino, Mkurnali’s director, met Fedya and his brother Artur in 2002. They were sleeping near Dighomi market along with other “street children”. He was always cheerful and friendly despite all the difficulties. After the death of his father, Fedya, his mother and brother were thrown out of the house by their uncle and had no other place to go. They had to live on the street and sleep in cellars or wherever they could find a shelter.Continue reading Fedya’s became a homeless orphan aged 6
We are very sorry to announce that George Guest and his wife, Shirley, for many, many years a mainstay of St Gregory’s Foundation, have both died earlier this month. Before she died, his wife, Shirley, suggested that those who would like to remember George give a donation to the Foundation in his memory.
This year our Christmas appeal is on behalf of our partner charity, Mkurnali. Global events have led to significant rent rises in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Mkurnali are on the front line, providing accommodation to families and young people who would otherwise have nowhere to go.
Grigol’s* family are one of two new families at Mkurnali’s shelter. In 2020 we reported how he was taken in by Mkurnali after he lost his job and attempted suicide. He had since moved out, found work and married. Now a new baby and rent rises mean that he can no longer provide for his family.
The charity have created a loft extension so they can offer more housing. They have more renovations to complete and a bathroom to install before they are able to welcome two more families from their waiting list. We know that this is a difficult year for many, but if you can spare a little, together we can help them house more desperate families.
*Not his real name
Our winter newsletter is out today. Download it to read about:
- our Christmas appeal for homeless families in Tbilis, Georgia,
- how our Russian projects are coping in the current climate,
- a recent visit of Kondopoga children to St Petersburg
- how Sunflower is training professionals to improve care for orphanage-leavers across Russia,
- and more
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
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