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Charity event for Georgia's elderly a success

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Thursday, February 28
On February 26, juveniles in conflict with the law from Rustavi visited Catharsis and offered their service to the elderly. For one day, juvenile probationers were part of the personnel of the center and hosted elderly citizens from vulnerable families. This charity action was attended by the deputy Minister of Penitentiary and Legal Assistance of Georgia Giga Giorgadze and the Head of the National Probation Agency, Giorgi Arsoshvili.

“We are involved in this charity action and serve our favorite group of people – the elderly. By similar actions, we are trying to introduce and get closer to our probationers, in order that they know that despite their mistakes, they are members of society and we will do our best to create a better future for them,” Giga Giorgadze stated.

According to Project Manager Nino Demetrashvili, similar activities encourage the juvenile probationers to realize their social skills development. This is important for better integration into society.

“The Catharsis event is distinguished by two aspects: firstly, they have an opportunity to learn how to take care of the people from vulnerable families; secondly, they had the opportunity to listen to different stories told by other people. This will be useful for them to think about life's challenges and difficulties. Our aim is to raise awareness among the Rustavi juveniles in conflict with the law by public benefit activities. We believe that it will help them to integrate through supporting their personal development, and by transferring new knowledge and skills,” Demetrashvili said.

"I was not expecting those elderly people to meet us so warmly,” one of the probationers told The Messenger. “We are hosting them today and I feel very pleased that I had an opportunity to join this action with my friends. The deputy minister also joined our activity and I will take part in similar activities with pleasure in the future as well.”

“What was most interesting for me was to listen to those people. Each has a very interesting story about their lives. One friend of mine and I are even thinking to make a short film about them. I feel sorry they do not have enough financial income to live in a comfortable condition,” another probationer said.

Charity House Catharsis was founded in 1990 by Zaur Aladashvili. Since then, the charity has been financed by various companies and donors. Each day Catharsis hosts 310 older people. To host them costs 385 GEL each day. Aladashvili welcomed CiDA’s initiative to invite young probationers to the charity house and expressed his hope that this will not be a one-time occasion.

The Public Benefit Activities project is financed by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. The event has also been held as part of the “Support for Juvenile Justice Reform in National Minority Communities of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe- Javakheti” project, funded by the European Union. The project assists in the reintegration of juvenile probationers of all ethnicities in Kvemo Kartli and Samstskhe-Javakheti into their communities through new knowledge in professional and general education.