We have a great need for your generosity as the year draws to a close. Despite the many difficulties facing Georgia at this time, American Friends of Georgia’s programs continue to bring needed relief to hundreds of Georgians, and now, also to Ukrainian refugees in Georgia. Our staff in Tbilisi is working hard alongside Ukrainian refugee groups while keeping on top of our other long-running projects in Georgia. We are asking our loyal supporters to consider giving more this year to ensure AFG-supported programs like those described below, don’t just survive, but thrive.
Mercy Center nurse caring for a recent home care patient. Photo by AFG intern Mariam Lomtadze.
Mercy Center Hospice and Home Care Program
The Mercy Center Hospice and Home Care Program is one of American Friends of Georgia’s most important and longest-running projects. Its programs are primarily free with only about 25% of patients able to pay a small co-pay. 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.
The Mercy Center serves an average of 100 patients a month, with nurses and caregivers making 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.
Ukrainian children during a visit to Nikozi in April 2022 speaking with Metropolitan Isaia.
Nikozi Art Education and Rehabilitation Center
AFG is committed to helping the Nikozi Art Education and Rehabilitation Center bring the healing power of the arts to the border town of Nikozi, which was bombed by the Russians in 2008. Metropolitan Isaia Chanturia, one of 25 metropolitan bishops in the Georgian Orthodox Church, founded the Nikozi Art Education and Rehabilitation Center to provide rehabilitation to war-affected children and adolescents through art and vocational education.
The Center offers after-school classes in animation, web design, dance, music, drawing, ceramics, and other crafts to local children. With funding coming from donors like you, the Art Education and Rehabilitation Center has added new economic life to Nikozi. From this creative incubator came the idea for the now annual International Animation Film Festival attracting well-known animation filmmakers from around the world to show their films and lead animation workshops for children.
Audience members at Nikozi International Animation Film Festival, September 2022.
As if war and extreme poverty were not enough, inflation in Georgia brought on by world events is now at 13.9% making it even harder to afford the most basic necessities of food, shelter, and transportation. Today we ask that you consider an increase in your customary donation. Our partners have been struggling to help the ever-increasing number of needy beneficiaries. They turn to us, to AFG, to you, for life-giving support.
Learn the various ways you may give to AFG, including stock and legacy gifts, at afgeorgia.org.