The FINANCIAL — The Georgian state budget annually allocates GEL 705,600 to the tenants of Tbilisi’s Elderly Boarding House. In 2008, programme financing per one elderly person was GEL 14. In 2009 the sum of financing has risen to GEL 25.
“It was clear for us and our shelter for the elderly, that we needed much more financing resources. Communal expenses that we have to pay annually reach GEL 120,000. For needed medicines we spend GEL 18,000 a year. Against this background our government has raised the financing sum,” Tamta Demurishvili, Director of Tbilisi’s Elderly Boarding House, says.
“Our boarding house has been functioning since the year 1979. At the moment 77 beneficiaries are living in our shelter,” Demurishvili says.
“In order to develop living conditions we have held negotiations with the Federation of Business. The international charity fund Kartu covers our expenses of electric energy; in winter from GEL 10,000 to 12,000 and in summer from GEL 4,000 to 6,000,” Tamta Demurishvili declares.
Unlike the few financed shelters for the elderly, there are several organizations which receive no help from the state budget.
“Johann Beruhard shelter house started functioning in Georgia in the year 2000. We are fully financed by our German sponsors and sometimes receive additional help from the United Kingdom. We have never received any help from the Georgian Government,” Christiane Huwwel, Director of the Johann Beruhard shelter house, Evangel-Lutheran Diaconal Society in Georgia, declares.
“We have to pay GEL 2,000 monthly for our communal expenses. Our shelter house allocates about GEL 30 to 40 daily for each elderly person and we get this needed money from Germany,” Christiane Huwwel told The FINANCIAL.
“People here are living in very good conditions; they have everything they need free of any charges. We have 9 elderly people living here. In order to live in our shelter house elderly people must have no relatives, they should be the members of our Lutheran church, and have been previously living under very tough conditions,” Huwwel says.
“We have a special sub kitchen for elderly people on Tabidze Ave, where 70 people receive their meals,” Christiane Huwwel declares.
Another Georgian private elderly shelter house Beqeli’s officials declare that their monthly expenses start from GEL 12,000 to GEL 12,500.
“Beqeli shelter house has been functioning since 2005. 25 elderly persons live here at the moment. We are receiving material help from a Swiss humanitarian organization,” Valeri Buiglishvili, Manager of the elderly shelter house Beqeli, declares.
“Our staff force consists of 25 personnel. The salary of our staff is GEL 180. Our monthly income from the elderly shelter house is GEL 350,” Valeri Buiglishvili says.
During the economic crisis, the situations of these shelters for the elderly will supposedly get worse.
“If Germany starts to run out of money during this crisis period, we will have some serious problems. If Germany stops financing us in case of any financial problems, this will be very bad for us,” Christiane Huwwel declares.
“Unfortunately the Swiss financial support for our organization is being reduced year by year. We are having to search for additional resources,” Valeri Buiglishvili notes.
“90% of the elderly people living in our shelter house have no relatives and except for their pension they have practically no income. This year our Swiss partners decided to provide only 50% of the financing for our shelter house’s budget,” Buiglishvili declares.
The Director of Tbilisi’s Elderly Shelter House declares that some Georgian companies have been constantly helping the shelter.
“Medical company Aversi Pharma has provided GEL 1,500-2,000 worth of medicines for our shelter monthly for the past two years,” Tata Demurishvili says.
“By the initiative of Georgian General Headquarters and financially supported by the U.S. Embassy we have replaced the water pipes and drains system,” Demurishvili notes.
“We have meals four times a day. A special diet and diabetic tables are available for the elderly residents,” Tata Demurishvili declares.
“With an underlying wish to make old people’s lives easier, my work has become pleasurable for me,” Valeri Buiglishvili declares.
“The most important thing for us is to contribute to elderly people living in good conditions. Because of our combined efforts, the sheler’s residents have the ability to spend the last years of their lives honourably,” Christiane Huwwel told The FINANCIAL.
Written By Tako Khelaia