Making a real difference IOCC programs promote the well-being of children around the world, like these children from southern Georgia who recently received IOCC school-supply kits. They are among more than 15,000 underprivileged Georgian children who received the kits through a program supported by Church World Service and Orthodox Christians in the United States. Photos: IOCC-Georgia
in the lives of children
Education program gives Georgian children a future
In 2001, IOCC launched a school lunch and education program in the Republic of Georgia. Over the past two years, more than 14,000 underprivileged Georgian children have received nutritious meals, school supplies and lessons in good health and hygiene, improving their chances of doing well in school and in life. In September and October, more than 15,000 Georgian children received IOCC school kits donated through Church World Service and assembled with the help of Orthodox Christians. Many of these children were displaced from their homes early in life because of civil war in the breakaway Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Here are two of their stories.
Borjomi, Georgia (IOCC) “My name is Nino. I am in the fifth grade, and I live in Borjomi, Georgia not the state of Georgia in the United States, but the Republic of Georgia, a beautiful, mountainous country that sits between Russia and Turkey.
When I was too young to remember, my parents, my brother and I had to flee from our hometown in the South Ossetia region of Georgia because of a civil war [1990-1996].
“A big tank came to our house when we were not at home and destroyed it with one shot. Only the stairway remained. We moved to a refugee shelter in the town of Borjomi in southern Georgia, where I grew up and still go to school. Thanks to IOCC, I and my classmates at Likani Abkhazian Ministry School have received daily lunches and lessons in good health for the past two years.
“IOCC built walls in our school building so that we could have more classrooms and provided us with school supplies that we didn’t have before. I will never forget all the good things you have done for us over for the past two years.”
Tbilisi, Georgia “My father was killed in the Abkhazian war. I know him only from pictures,” said Temur, 11, a fifth-grader from the Abkhazia region of Georgia. “My brother is two years older, and he doesn’t remember our father either.
“My grandmother lives with us in our home. My father was executed in front of her. After that, she became very sick. My mother is working
very much. She leaves early in the morning and comes back when we are sleeping.
“It was very good that last year the Orthodox organization [IOCC] was giving food to us. We were very
happy when the teacher brought in the classroom warm food after lessons. I am very shy to say this, but will it be somehow possible to continue this charity? I know that my classmates would be very happy as well.
“Recently we received some nice things: crayons, pencils and pencil sharpeners. Thank you for everything you are doing for us.”