kids
from shavshvebi
kids from shavshvebi

Keti and Mari live in a settlement for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Shavshvebi, Georgia. As a result of the 5-day war that took place between Georgia and Russia in August 2008,  all of the Georgian villages in the Tskhinvali region were destroyed. Keti and Mari’s village is just one of many that were razed to the ground.  

Following the armed conflict, the girls' family moved from their home in the Liakhvi Gorge to the government built settlement in Shavshvebi.

 

26,000 people were forced to leave their homes and became internally displaced persons.
IDPs from the Small and Big Liakhvi gorges were resettled in the nearby village - Shavshvebi.
The government constructed 177 cottages for them here.
At present 608 people live in the settlement, out of which 48 are children of preschool age.
The majority of these children do not go to kindergarten. The nearest school is 4 kilometers from the settlement and it is difficult to walk there, especially during the wintertime.
In order to transport their children to kindergarten, some of the parents rent a minibus. However, only 16 families out of the 48 with young children can afford to pay the 7 lari a month that it costs to rent the minibus.
The rest stay at home and play outside in the dusty streets without the possibility to get a proper preschool education.
Keti and Mari’s parents cannot afford to transport both of their children to kindergarten.
For this reason, only the eldest daughter, Keti, goes to kindergarten. Mari stays home and plays alone until her sister gets back.
Early childhood is a crucial stage of life for a child's physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. The development of mental abilities progresses at an astounding rate during early childhood, and a very high proportion of learning takes place from birth to age six.
During these formative years, children need high quality care and structured learning in order to develop properly and be successful later in life.

What could be a solution?

While a lack of resources is currently stopping these children from receiving an education, the community has an unused bath house that, if the resources were available, could provide a solution to this problem. The community of Shavshvebi would like to convert the unused bath house into a kindergarten that will be close to the children’s home and will provide them with a good education from an early age.

 

Unused bath house

In 2009, the Rescue Committee used financial aid from USAID to build 2 bath houses in the settlement. However, due to a chronic shortage of water, the bath houses were never used. They have now remained unused for 5 years and have now begun to deteriorate. Windows are broken and the building’s facade is falling apart. Only occasionally do the residents use the building for storage.

 

The bath houses were built 5 years ago.
They have never been used.
Buildings have water damage.
Windows are broken.
Locals want to use the buildings for the public good.

What is needed?

Maintenance teams established in the settlement along with tenants' associations have assessed that it is quite realistic to convert the bath houses into a kindergarten. However, reconstruction work will require costs for building materials such as cement, drywall, etc. The maintenance team is ready to perform works free of charge and the community itself will make a financial contribution of 1,000 GEL; however, they will need an additional 9,000 GEL in order to realize these works.

The Charity Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti has decided to launch a campaign to convert the unused bath house into a kindergarten that will be close to the children’s home and provide them with a good education from an early age.

The locals hope that once the reconstruction works are done, the expenses for the functioning of the kindergarten will be covered by the local municipality. Similar cases have been successful in Akhalsopeli, Teliani, and other IDP settlements throughout Georgia.   

Shavshvebi IDPs say that the kindergarten will be even more needed in the future, as there are up to 30 toddlers in the settlement who will have to go to kindergarten soon.

If you want to make a change and if you care for the future of the vulnerable children, get involved in the campaign!