Poverty and war in the post-socialist country of Georgia hits orphans and children from poor families the hardest. Our local partner LifeChance and we opened the first children’s and youth center in Tbilisi in 2017. It gives orphans a new home and a place to feel safe. The house has been provided by the orthodox church for 20 years, and we have already renovated part of it. It will give orphans a temporary home because they have to leave the public institutions on their 18th birthday, which leaves many of them on the streets, without funds or a sufficient level of education. Most of the children and teenagers are traumatized by their harsh childhood. For the very first time in their lives, they feel a sense of community, built on the personal relationships with our very ambitious team.
Currently, about 40 children and teenagers come to the center to try out a wide range of activities. For example, they prepare meals with their caretakers in the newly renovated kitchen, learning about dinner rituals and how to cook at the same time. They are also trained in practical matters like handling money and structuring their day. To give the teenagers new perspectives on life, they can participate in various creative activities, such as painting, pottery, woodworking, and sewing. We want to use the size of the property to hold the classes in different locations in the future, for example, ceramics, woodworking, sewing or florist workshops, to prepare them for an apprenticeship. To ensure that all children can get a school leaving certificate, many of them are tutored in math and foreign languages. Our aim is for every teenager to find a job and their own apartment so they can start their own life in Georgia.
Georgia is a Eurasian state with an area of 69,700 km2 and a population of 3.7 mio. The country is bordered by Russia in the North, Armenia in the South, Turkey in the West, and Azerbaijan in the East.
Average net wage: 350€
1 liter of fuel: 1 €
1 kg meat: 4-5 €
1 kg coffee: 7-9 €
1 kg tomatoes: 1 €
Did you know that in the 18th century, German colonists emigrated from Wurttemberg to Georgia, where they set up settlements like Alexanderdorf, Marienfeld, Elisabethental, and Katharinenfeld? Around 1900, approximately 12,000 Germans lived in Georgia, ample reason for some streets in Tbilisi to still have German names. In the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, which lasted 5 days and in which Georgia tried to reconquer the territories occupied by Russia, many people lost their lives or were injured. This is why so many orphans live in the country.