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Help For Those in Hospice

Nodia Sisters With Nurse Rusudan

Currently, the Mercy Center Hospice and Home Care Program, founded by Mother Mariam and directed by Mariam Palavandishvili, has over 100 beneficiaries and 15 nurses and caregivers, as well as 10 volunteers. The hospice program is one of American Friends of Georgia's most important and longest-running projects.

When it was founded in 2003, it was the first and only palliative care hospice program in Georgia and has become a model for others since. The program includes a six-bed hospice for live-in patients next to the Transfiguration Convent in Tbilisi and a home care program for critically and terminally ill elderly patients living below the poverty line.

Mariam Palavandishvili and Tsira Nodia

The Nursing School Program, founded by Mother Mariam to augment the hospice staff, is free, giving young women from poor families job skills. Graduates from the program are able to work in the hospice or the home care program.

"These are our lovely patients, two sisters, Tsira and Tinatin Nodia. They have no relatives or family members. They live alone and take care of each other.

A priest who tries to take care of them contacted us about three years ago, as Tsira had broken her leg and had surgery. She was in our hospice for some weeks and during this time she was receiving very sweet letters and some gifts from her lovely sister. After Tsira could walk again she went home. Since then, our nurse Rusudan has been visiting them three times a week. She cooks for them, brings food and water, and helps in the household. The sisters love Rusudan very much. Both sisters have dementia now, but still they love to have guests. They were so happy to meet the AFG intern, Mariam, and me. They asked Rusudan to give us a glass of wine. They love to speak about the beautiful times of their childhood, their parents, and the interesting people they have met during their lives. They used to write poems and play piano.

Sometimes Tinatin still plays for Rusudan, but she was too shy to do it with us this time."

~ Mariam Palavandishvili, director, Mercy Center Hospice and Home Care Program

Nodia Sisters and Nurse Rusudan

The Mercy Center Hospice and Home Care Program provides services to an average of 100 patients, including over 600 home-care visits each month. Apart from AFG, the program receives contributions from Georgian individuals, patient co-pay, and the Patriarch of Georgia. AFG’s contribution accounts for nearly half of the program's funding.

Please help us keep this important program and its beneficiaries cared for and well-funded with a tax-deductible gift to American Friends of Georgia. Just $150 will pay for the care of one patient at the Mercy Center for one month. Your generosity goes a long way!

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