Giorgi with our new donated moped
You have been helping us feed our residents, all twenty of them, helping us give them a future off the streets and out of prison. You might not realise it, but you've also been helping us reach out to teenagers who are still homeless in Tbilisi. We'd like to tell you how two former street children are playing a vital role in reaching out to teenagers still living on the streets. Jemal and Giorgi both benefitted from our help when they lived on the streets, now they work for our charity helping others.
Jemal remembers how Mkurnali first made contact with him:
“The first time I ended up in the streets I got to know some children who lived there and they offered me to spend the night with them. I was hungry and it was quite cold. The children were sitting at a tube that was coming out of a Metro where there was warm coming out and they were waiting for some Nino and Eka. ‘They will come soon and they will bring food and hot cups of tea with them’, said “Vampira”, the boy I became friends with first. They actually arrived soon but instead of Nino and Eka they were Nino and Manana Mgaloblishvili (my daughter’s godmother) –’Manana asked her Armenian friend to make you stuffed vine leaves and brought you sleeping bags. Make sure you look after them.’ This was the first interaction I had with Mkurnali.”
Now Jemal works for Mkurnali. He shops and cooks for residents at Mkrunali’s house, makes sure there are no conflicts between the residents and keep the place clean. With Giorgi he continues Mkurnali’s outreach work. Giorgi explains:
“4-5 times a week, Jemal and I go to places we know with a moped trunk full of sandwiches for children, we talk to them asking if they have encountered any problems. We invite them to Mkurnali and we show them the living space. We suggest they stay if they are planning to sleep in the street that night and to come here in the afternoon to eat and take part in the educational programs. I think the children have a good time with us. “
The generosity of the Global Giving community makes this outreach possible. You are helping buy the food and pay a modest salary to one of our helpers, who not only seeks out street children needing assistance, but also helps look after our residents.
Both Jemal and Giorgi are very proud of working for our charity, Mkurnali. Jemal says, “I know a few handicrafts and I’m not afraid of tomorrow. For this I have to thank you and Mkurnali for letting me work here. I am trying to justify your confidence in me and I hope I justify the confidence that the children Giorgi and I meet in the streets have in us. They are as happy to see us, and are waiting for us, as we were waiting for Nino and Eka or Manana, or someone else from Mkurnali. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to be Mkurnali’s official colleague.”
If you want to see this work continue, and would like to see your donation go further than usual, you can donate today, Wednesday 18th March, when Global Giving will be adding 30% to donations (NB this is not available to UK donors donating via globalgiving.co.uk). Bonus day starts at 9am EDT and continues while funds last.