August 18 2008

Georgia: Refugees are being supported by SOS Children's Villages

18/08/2008 - For a few days now, SOS Children's Villages has been caring for refugee families in the capital Tbilisi. SOS Children's Villages is also looking after families from the crisis area Abkhazia in Kutaisi.

Photo: SOS Archives
Displaced families in Kutaisi are provided with essentials - Photo: SOS Archives

The conflict between Russia and Georgia over the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is hitting civilians hard. People are fleeing conflict areas both within Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as elsewhere in Georgia. Refugees within Georgia have been assured that they will be able to find shelter in kindergartens and schools, which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Refugees and Displacement. Russian troops are still present in Georgian towns, such as Gori, Poti, Zugdidi and Maltakva.

For a few days now, around 60 refugees from South Ossetia - mainly families with children - have been staying at the SOS Kindergarten and in a state secondary school that is supported by SOS Children's Villages and is attended by many of the children from the SOS Children's Village. SOS Children's Villages is providing them with the essentials (food, clothing, etc.).

Photo: SOS Archives
Photo: SOS Archives

Representatives of the Ministry have informed SOS Children's Villages that more refugees are expected. The director of the school says that the school can take in up to 350 people. Families with lots of children will be the main ones targeted in SOS Children's Villages' emergency relief measures.

People who have fled the conflict are also stranded in Kutaisi, around 200 km west of Tbilisi. The director of the SOS Children's Village there is currently organising material aid for refugees staying at "Deaf Children's Home" near to the SOS Children's Village. Fifty people, 20 of whom are children, are currently living there. The authorities in Kutaisi are also expecting more refugees from Abkhazia in particular.