In our last report we told you about Beso, one of our residents, who urgently needed an operation to repair his intestines. Thanks to the generosity of the Global Giving community he has had the operation, the stitches are out and Beso is no longer in pain. Beso is very grateful to everyone who helped him and is very happy that he can lead a normal life again.
Now I'd like to tell you about Temuri, one of our newest residents. Temuri is 16 years old from a financially unstable, large family. Unfortunately his father passed away and Temuri lives with 6 brothers and sisters and is looked after by his grandmother. They live in a 12m² basement. Temuri works as a bread baker and he is the sole breadwinner. He works from 8am to 9pm; despite the work hours he comes back home and learns school material which after a month he passes with distinction. He is learning in a village school near Tbilisi where they made an exception for him.
In May when he was coming back from work he met two acquaintances, who started to laugh at him because of his old phone. As he said: " I don't know what happened to me, I got very angry and punched both of them and took the phone from the guy who was showing of his new phone to teach him a lesson and went back home. After a short while the police came knocking on my door and told me that if I gave the phone back I wouldn't get into trouble and so I gave the phone back.' After this the police arrested him for theft category 3.
Temuri's friends contacted us, because we knew them; he lives near our old Mkurnali house. Here our legal program came into action. We started working on this case straight away and asked the court to not arrest him. But they told us straight away that they couldn't help because the crime was very serious and it meant 5 to 9 years in prison and also there was a new order from parliament saying underage crime should be dealt with stricter because too much leniency went to their heads. Afterwards we wrote a document signed by our founder, Father George, to the judge of the court. In the document we wrote about the social instability of the boy's family and his love for hard work.
The judge recognised the authority of Father George and the court set him free with a suspended sentence for 5 years. Thanks to your generosity helping us to buy food, this is not the end of Temuri's journey with us. He has moved into our shelter, where he can continue working and studying while we help him overcome his problems and build a more stable life.Thank you for your part in giving Temuri a second chance.
Thank you to everyone who responded so generously to our special appeal last month. The Global Giving community responded magnificently with a record amount to add to our local contributions. Welcome to all of you who are receiving our report for the first time.
We'd like to tell you the story of one of our residents. Each one has their own story of hardship and they need us to step up and provide the care they are missing.
Beso was 10 years old when his mother died of cancer in front of him, which was a big blow to this child’s psyche. It affected him very deeply. After this he ended up on the streets. Beso liked studying so much that even when he ended up on the streets he still went to school, but because the Georgian government did not have a strategy for homeless children and because he could not buy books and proper clothes, he had to leave school. Despite all of this he would read everything he could lay his hands on.
In 2005 when the "street children" rehabilitation center opened, Beso was transferred there but the dream he had of continuing to go to school was not fulfilled there. At the age of 16 he ended up on the streets again and he was working as a builder's labourer and yet with the money he earned he bought books, journals and magazines to read before going to sleep. He could also sing amazingly well but through living on the streets he lost the hearing that affects his musical ear and so he cannot sing anymore, which still upsets him a lot.
In 2010 he was brought to "Mkurnali" and since then he has been living with us. Beso still continued to work as a builder's labourer until 28/12/13 when he came back from work in pain and we called for an ambulance and he was diagnosed with an intestinal obstruction. He had an operation in which his gut was taken partially outside which will need to be put back by the end of April. Since the first operation was an emergency and could not be postponed, it was done free of charge thanks to medical staff, but we will need to pay for the second operation, which will cost $1570.
If you would like to help Beso, you can donate via this page: www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/help-beso-receive-a-vital-operation/.
We are also looking for people to help us prepare for the next Global Giving Bonus day on May 7th. If you have 20 minutes to spare and would like to get involved, please contact Sarah Gale on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to Mkurnali in the last year. Thanks to you, Mkurnali is able to house and feed seventeen young people including three small children who would otherwise be homeless. Through Global Giving we aim to cover as much as possible of our food bill so that we can feed our residents and other local homeless youngsters.
Today we will catch you up with some of our news and we'd also like to tell you about an opportunity to have 50% added to your donation. Global Giving UK is holding a bonus week starting tomorrow on 3rd March 2014 at 12:01 am GMT and will be adding a fantastic 50% to donations made via globalgiving.co.uk/10666 until 10th March 2014 or when funds run out. We recommend you make your donation as soon as possible if you would like to see it matched. There are also prizes for the projects that raise the most money in that week and those that attract the most individual donors, so even if your donation isn't matched it could help bring us a big bonus.
So back to our news . . .
Justice for two more boys
Recently Mkurnali secured the release of two lads who were refused release from prison despite the fact that the decision to lengthen their sentences had been overturned. They have both now been released, one is living with us and the other has gone to live in a village with his sister and her family.
Mkurnali teams up with another charity to offer literacy, maths and English classes. Nino Chubabria, director of Mkurnali, also reports that they have recently been able to extend the services they provide to their residents.
“Our beneficiaries must get basic education in order to find permanent jobs and not be dependent on casual, day by day work. Applicants now have to undergo tests and interviews for every kind of employment. Therefore, in cooperation with the non-commercial organization “MAK”, we are now educating our beneficiaries in writing, spelling, maths and English. In addition, with the support of “MAK” one of our beneficiaries was given funding to study hairdressing in the Beauty Academy.”
We are delighted with this new partnership, which will improve the life chances of young people who have missed out on so much education through homelessness and, in some cases, through time in prison, where they are given no education or training.
Thank you all once again. We couldn't help these young people at all if we didn't know that we could feed them. Don't forget the bonus week starting tomorrow. As ever we will be very grateful for any support you can offer.
In August, our charity was informed about a case which took place in a region to the south of Tbilisi. Five young fellows were caught by police; four of them were juveniles. They were accused of a robbery an a shop, but, in reality they even did not know location of the shop. Under psychological and physical violence they were forced to admit the crime in written form and the police wanted to convict them.
We met the chief prosecutor of the region, we had known him for a long time as previously he worked in Tbilisi and he helped us to solve many cases related to street children. During our meeting we told him the case and persuaded him that his subordinates got the confession of the crime by force. After re-investigation of the case, children were declared innocent. One of these fellows had passed the National examinations and without our assistance he would not be able to start university study 15th of September of this year. The court case was raised against violator policemen.
Very often the first contact we have with the teenagers we help is when they are in trouble with the police. We make sure that they are treated fairly in the justice system. Once released, we are able to help some young people to resolve difficulties with their family so that they can go back home, or at least to find other relatives ready to look after them. When a happy ending isn’t as straightforward we need to be able to provide a home, food and either training or employment. With winter on its way, we know that more teenagers will be coming to us from the streets hoping for a hot meal. We need your help to make sure that no-one is turned away hungry.
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