Newsletter December 2013

December 6, 2013
Dear Friends,
American Friends of Georgia (AFG) is looking forward to it’s
20th anniversary next year thanks to your continued support! AFG helps Georgian organizations set up programs caring for the most vulnerable people in Georgia. We currently have 11 humanitarian and development projects which provide education, improved health care and rehabilitation to Georgians who are displaced, abandoned or suffering from illness.
Testimonial about AFG
One of our supporters, Dina Harris Walker, recently wrote to us, “AFG is an extraordinary non-profit and your commitment is so wonderful and filled with hope in this seemingly new and harsher world.”
Mercy Center Hospice and Home Care Program
This is the first Hospice in Georgia and the only Hospice Nursing School and Home Care Program. The hospice cares for 7 live-in patients and 20 nursing 130 patients a year in their homes on a daily basis providing nursing assistance, medicine,nutritious food, chemotherapy and even cleaning. Mercy Center was started by Abbess Mariam and is directed by a physician, Mother Nino. The genius of this program is that in creating a nursing school, they are providing essential care for the elderly plus a chance for an education and fulfilling career for young women from poor families with limited opportunities. I have spent time visiting patients with Mother Nino and her nursing school graduates and have seen first hand what they do to improve very desperate situations. This program is the only option for many elderly living under the poverty line suffering from incurable diseases. It also cares for many women 60 with breast cancer as well as terminally ill children with cancer because there is nowhere else for them to go. AFG funds are used for the salaries of the nurses, transportation expenses, medicines, and food for the patients totaling $6,000 a month.
Testimonial about Mercy Center
Anna Cheltsova Meltzer, a co-chair of the International
Women’s Association in Georgia, wrote, “But I would like to
say to you that you are doing a most wonderful and important
job for Georgian people with the American Friends of Georgia
initiative. There are many important projects going on now, but
I think yours is helping the most needed and most desperate
people in Georgia at the most critical time.”
Parents House Activity and Education Room
Building on the success of the Café/Kitchen opening this year, the next step for the
Parents House for children with leukemia is to allocate a room for play, study, organized
educational events and art rehabilitation. This room would improve the quality of life for
the 7 families living in the Parents House while their children undergo lengthy treatment.
$15,000 is needed to build and furnish the room.
Nikozi Art Education and Rehabilitation Center
The bravery and persistence of Metropolitan Isaiah who chose to stay during the 2008
massive bombing of Nikozi (a Georgian village 1 kilometer from Tskhinvali, the capital
of the Tskhinvali Region or so called South Ossetia) has inspired international support for
this war affected region and this AFG project. Thanks to your support and the support of
the Embassy of Japan, European Commission, Embassy of Poland and the US Embassy, this Center opened in September.
Metropolitan Isaiah’s Story
Metropolitan Isaiah was living in Nikozi in 2008 when the Russians invaded Georgia. He and an old woman were the only two people in the village who did not flee for their lives. Bombs destroyed his monastic residence. After the war, he lived in an unheated trailer and rebuilt his residence by moonlight to escape notice. His example then led to Nikozi families overcoming their fear to return to the village. Trained early in life as an artist,
Metropolitan Isaiah knew the healing power of the arts. He started an after-school art and education program teaching animation filmmaking, web design, drawing, ceramics and other crafts but soon ran out of space when over 100 war-affected children came from Nikozi and surrounding villages. In 2011, he asked AFG to help him reconstruct a
ruined kindergarten building donated by the Governor of Gori. And now this Center will have plenty of space for the children and adults to grow and develop their community. Funds are needed to continue art and vocational classes and bring educators to this remote area.


Marusya Chavchavadze
Executive Director, American Friends of Georgia

P.S. Remember, without your help, AFG will not be able to reach the most vulnerable citizens of Georgia and provide the services they need. Please consider AFG in your year-end giving plans! You can make a tax deductible donation securely online through our website or by sending a check to American Friends of Georgia, P.O. Box 1200, Truro, MA 02666.

Thank you so much for your generous support of these projects that are
giving hope to traumatized people facing great difficulty!