“House without borders”
“House Without Borders”

Shelter of the elderly in Khurvaleti

“House without borders” – this is how the shelter for elderly people is called. It was created in village Khurvaleti, municipality of Gori in the April of 2016.

The shelter was built for population from occupation zone villages – Khurvaleti, Tsiteliubani, Nadarbazevi, and for IDP settlements of Khurvaleti and Shavshvebi. Head of the shelter is IDP from Abkhazia Luda Salia. “House without borders” was created with financial help of German organization Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), Charity Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti (CHCA) and Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of United States.

The social enterprise offers elderly people a day-to-day service, as well as home and 24-hour community services.

Today, shelter has eight permanent beneficiaries and 38 beneficiary who use household service. Between beneficiaries there are abandoned elderly persons, as well as those ones, who has family, which visits them from time to time.  The age of beneficiaries varies from 68 to 89 years and they are from different villages.

As the founder of the shelter, Luda Salia explains, there is no other asylum for elderly people in the municipality of Gori.

"This house was closed after 2008, and we wrote a project that German organization liked and then financed. Building has been renovated, purchasing of inventor and furniture also has been financed. Shelter helps mostly homeless, socially vulnerable people and those affected by the conflict. However, there are people who are abandoned by their children, who decided to left their parents here.  Some beneficiaries have been with us since the opening, while others have just come. For example, one woman who lived in the hospital for five years, where she had the possibility to live and then she contacted us and asked us to take her. Of course we took her and today she is one of our beneficiaries,” - said Luda Salia. 

Daily life in shelter

Source: GIPA's students
Source: GIPA's students
Source: GIPA's students
Source: GIPA's students
Source: GIPA's students
Source: GIPA's students
Source: GIPA's students
Source: GIPA's students

Location of the shelter 

It should be noted that the shelter is located in the conflict zone, in about 40 meters from the occupation line. The wire fences could be seen are from each side of the shelter.

"Because “House without borders” is located in the occupied territory, I think that the population should be more informed about existence," says Salia.

Shelter is located 74 kilometers from Tbilisi and is bordered by villages occupied by Russia

Problems about shelter

shelter is under the risk of closure

The situation also complicates the fact that since September 2017, the grant that has been given to the shelter, ended. If they wouldn’t find any donors, the shelter will get under the risk of closing.

"We exist due to income of two beneficiaries. One beneficiar’s family pay us every month and the other one gets help from the state. We have no other income than donations. That's why we are under the risk of closure and if we will not find an investor from January, the shelter will be closed and the beneficiaries will rest in the open air”.

“We are now working on a new project, we have also addressed the municipality and they promised that they will help us from January. We are waiting for their help. After the closing, most beneficiaries will remain in the open air because they have no place to return. Those who has place, are from poor families and returning there this winter equals death for them" - says Luda Salia.

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