A Statement from AFG:
American Friends of Georgia fully condemns the violence inflicted on the Ukrainian people by Vladimir Putin and the Russian government. AFG stands in solidarity with the suffering Ukrainian people.
The Georgian people know only too well the fear and pain the Ukrainians are experiencing during such military aggression. Georgians have been opening their homes and businesses to shelter civilians unable to return to their homes in Ukraine, donating supplies, and gathering in the thousands to demonstrate in the streets of Tbilisi.
American Friends of Georgia’s primary mission is humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations, and we have experienced firsthand the long-term damage that affects the population for years after an invasion of this nature. After the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, many Georgians became internally displaced persons after they were forced from their homes, never to return. It is only after years of international support and strong communal bonds that Georgia began to heal, but scars from the invasion will always remain.
While we may see videos on social media and news articles describing violence between soldiers, it is important to always remember and consider the impact this invasion is having and will continue to have on Ukrainian civilians, and especially the children. AFG hopes that the international community will give whatever support they can to the suffering Ukrainian people, and remember that the world is a small place and we must do what we can for each other.
AFG is currently raising funds to provide the following items to Ukrainians stranded in Georgia:
Children: baby food (dry), clothes, diapers, hygienic items
Medical items: bandages, syringes, antiseptics, medicine, first-aid kits
Hygiene: toothpaste, brushes, soap, pads, diapers, combs, new underwear and socks of different sizes, microfiber towels, reusable dishes
Bedding and clothes: mattresses, folding beds, heat-saving blankets, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, bed linen, towels, warm clothes (thermal underwear, sweaters, jackets, scarves, hats, gloves) and raincoats
Electronics: power banks, chargers for phones (micro usb, type c), Batteries, candles, flashlights
Please also read a message from Ruta Casabianca, AFG Legacy Society member and founder of Together for Real Changes:
I was born Ukrainian - my parents came from Lviv, my father was Ukrainian Catholic and my mother Polish Jewish. During WWII, my father and his Ukrainian friends saved my mother and members of her family from the Nazis. My mother always said all the Ukrainians she knew, helped. I am heartbroken by what is happening to good people, Russians and Ukrainians alike.
I worked in Borjomi for the Peace Corps from 2010 to 2013 with the Samtskhe-Javakheti Media Center and Borjomi-TV. I remained in Georgia and co-founded Together for Real Changes (TRC) to bring services to people with disabilities in rural Georgia.
We have centers in Borjomi, Mestia, Ambrolauri, and Nukriani. TRC is working in both Borjomi and Mestia, opening centers and coordinating with guest houses to house Ukrainians. Housing is free, but funds are needed for petrol, food, and supplies for the families. Donations can be made to TRC for hosting Ukrainians through American Friends of Georgia. Please choose the designation as "Together for Real Changes" on the donation page via the link below.
For more information, please contact
Nana Lomadze at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Ruta Lototzky Casabianca at email@example.com.