Mkurnali, the Christmas market and the single mum

Woman from Mkurnali selling Christmas decorations they have made

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.

Tata was 5 years old when her parents divorced. After some time Tata’s father re-married and stopped helping Tata and her mother. Tata has not seen him since then. Her mother worked very hard to raise both Tata and her younger brother but it was very difficult. As the mother didn’t have anyone to help she often had to leave the children alone at home with Tata taking care of her 2 year old brother. The family struggled to make ends meet, and Tata’s mother could barely afford to feed the children.

When Tata turned 8, her mother re-married and it turned out that her husband didn’t like children. He would often beat them while her mother did nothing to protect the children. Tata could not bear it and ran away, befriended other children sleeping rough and lived on the street for a few years. Tata was 15 when she met and fell in love with one of the boys who lived in the area where Tata and other young people had been sleeping rough. He was the same age as Tata and later when Tata became pregnant with their first child, he got scared and left her.

Mkurnali found out about Tata’s situation some time ago and at first helped her to get enrolled in a programme run by the Every Child organisation. Tata stayed in the shelter provided by Every Child for some time and later on she moved to Mkurnali’s shelter. After some time she got married and had two more children and they all moved into their own home. Sadly two years ago Tata’s husband died in a car accident and she was left alone with three children and her mother-in-law who was ill. The family only income was Tata’s work as a cleaner.

About 3 months ago Tata accidentally met Nino’s assistant Jemal on the street and told him her story. Jemal offered Tata the opportunity to come and stay with her children at Mkurnali and join Mkurnali’s girls craft group. This would solve the problem of food and heating and Tata could also make some additional earnings. Tata happily agreed and now lives at Mkurnali’s shelter. She has been learning new skills and made a wonderful contribution to the Christmas crafts the group sold at Christmas and New Year markets in Tbilisi.

Other craft groups run by Mkurnali make beautiful silver jewelery, which you can buy in the UK through our online shop. Every purchase helps vulnerable young people get their lives back on track.