| Oct 31, 2023
Your donations are bearing fruit
It was a great joy to be able to bring Nino Chubabria, director of our organisation to the UK to meet a number of our loyal supporters. We very much appreciate the global ties that our shelter has been able to build up, and the generous support you have given us. Be assured of our gratitude, even if we weren't able to meet you in person.
We have used a portion of your donations to establish a kitchen garden next to our shelter. This year, we had a particularly good tomato harvest. Some of our younger volunteers have been helping us make sauce which we can bottle and preserve to use through the winter. A neighbour has also given us several chickens of a particularly good variety. Jemal, our key project worker, has been building a new chicken coop with help from residents. We look forward to having a larger supply of eggs.
Our other news is rather less positive. Once again, we have been affected by unreliable workmen as we work to complete our extension. We had to fire the latest because he had a drink problem. Khvicha, one of our residents, is now doing the work. However, he has to fit the work in around his main job on construction sites in the city. When complete, the extension will give us three new rooms, two for permanent residents, and one to use as a living room cum emergency accommodation.
We are also now trying to tackle the serious problem of online gambling, which is taking hold across Georgia. Our residents are not imune, and several of them are gambling in a way which causes us concern. There is one local organisation which helps problem gamblers, but it is a commercial enterprise, not a charity. We are actively talking to a UK-based charity and trying to work out the best way to get the appropriate type of help to our residents.
As you can see, it is not always an easy business helping our residents back on their feet. However, we leave you with another snippet of more positive news. A local church has agreed to put our enamel jewellery on display, and this has helped us find new customers. Our sales had been falling, so we are delighted to find new places to sell the jewellery, since this means we can provide more work to residents and other young people in need. If you live in the UK, you can buy jewellery made in our workshop from the St Gregory's online shop (link below). These beautifully made earrings, pendants and rings make unique gifts and help us provide skilled and interesting work.