The Day Care Center, which is also a kindergarten program, serves children with histories of abuse, neglect and extreme poverty. The Day Care needs funds for this coming year 2013/2014 or it will not be able to stay open after January. Started by Abbess Mariam of the Transfiguration Convent, the center currently serves 18 children who otherwise would have no path into the Georgian school system.Your donation provides food, care and education now and has the potential to turn a young life towards a better future!
5-year-old Sophie* came to the Day Care Center because her parents are alcoholic and neglectful and she was seen begging at the Metro Station. Sophie desperately needs your help. In just a short period of time, she has become an inquisitive student who recites poetry, sings, paints and dances. But what will happen to Sophie if the Day Care Center closes? Please help Sophie and others like her. Your gift provides food, care and education now and has the potential to turn a young life towards a better future. Imagine with your help, Sophie can grow up healthy and educated and with the potential to become a leader who will pass along the opportunities given because of AFG to the next generation.
This project was named The Isani Kindergarten and is now titled as a Day Care to comply with Georgian Governmental Designations.
The kindergarten opened in May 2009 and has become the social and cultural hub of the IDP center. It is a full day program with the children staying until 5 pm (education, entertainment, rest, three meals a day). In September 2009, AFG was able to expand the program to include a nursery school for younger children.
To address children’s post traumatic stress symptoms of anxiety and depression, AFG’s Georgian office helped establish a kindergarten at the Isani temporary housing center from 2009 – 2011. It provided nutritious meals and a nurturing educational environment for 46 children, ages 2-6, and employs several IDPs as well.
This project was cosponsored by an anonymous corporate foundation from Great Britain. A German foundation, the Elizabeth Gast Foundation, provided art therapy classes in the afternoon for one year, which AFG continued to provide. AFG initially provided funds ($7,905) for classroom and kitchen renovation. AFG also used the facility to feed elderly IDPs in the evenings.
The Isani kindergarten assisted Georgian children who escaped from their homes under threat of violence in August 2008 during Georgia’s conflict with Russia. These children were placed in substandard temporary housing at the Isani IDP settlement with little hope of returning to the familiar surroundings in which they were born.
Initially, anxiety and depression were widespread amongst these children. Some had nightmares and others were no longer eating properly. While many were listless, some were hyperactive. The kindergarten offered consistent emotional support as well as peer socialization in a nurturing and age appropriate educational environment. As a result, post traumatic stress symptoms in the classroom decreased dramatically.
“My second visit to Isani in August 2009 was very exciting because the kindergarten is now a real oasis in the midst of the Isani temporary housing center, which elsewhere is still a ruin,” Marusya Chavchavadze, AFG’s executive director/US Office, said.
“When I met with Nino Agapishvili, the kindergarten’s director, she explained that during vacations, the kindergarten also takes older IDP children from the 1st and 2nd forms (ages 6-7) who would otherwise be unsupervised. “
46 children have attended the program, receiving support, food and education. Parents are encouraged to take part in the kindergarten, and many take turns preparing favorite dishes to feed the children during classes. The kindergarten head, Ms. Nino Agapishvili arranged different kinds of theatrical performances, entertainments, and cognitive programs for children. The children had a special treat when Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, Kent Logsdon and representatives from the U.S. Marines brought toys and karaoke to the children.
“It is very important to support IDP children. They had a lot of pain and stress in their life and now to see them so happy is very beautiful”, said Nino Agapishvili, the director of the kindergarten.