In our last report we told you how Lia, a local volunteer, had been teaching our women's craft group how to make Christmas decorations to sell at a local market. Today we have part two of this story. Today's chapter tells of how the Tata, a young widow with three children found her place in the craft group, learning new skills and supporting her family.
To tell Tata's story we have to go back to when she was five and 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 she became pregnant with their first child, he got scared and left her.
We 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 our 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 Jemal, who helps run our shelter, on the street and told him her story. Jemal offered Tata the opportunity to come and stay with her children at our shelter and join our women's craft group. This would solve the problem of food and heating and Tata could also earn an additional income through the crafts. Tata happily agreed and now lives with us. 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.
So Christmas may be over, but its effect lives on. Our residents will be warm and fed thanks to your generosity in the holiday season and their own efforts. We will not forget that it is thanks to you paying Jemal's salary that she is with us at all. Thank you.