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시설보호 어린이들이 가정의 품에 안기게 된 사연

2007.04.25
* Asset Name : Institutionalized children in Georgia return home thanks to UNICEF-supported child welfare reform. * Shoot Date: 20 Apr 2007 It’s time for school in the village of Tianeti, Georgia, and 14-year-old Meliton is glad to be here and catching up with the other children. He has been in an institution for 2 years due to family difficulties. The authorities here have returned the institution’s 140 children to their birth families or located them with foster families. Meliton now lives with his Aunt Tamar who brings him up at home. Institutionalisation of children was common here during the Soviet period. UNICEF is supporting the Government to promote family-based childcare practices. Transformation of the Tianeti children’s institution into a day care centre is an example. Children are in families now and they go to regular school. The children come to the centre in the afternoon where they can have a meal, do their homework and get involved in the centres’ activities. The centre takes the pressure off families who could not afford to keep their children. Soundbite (Georgian) Lila Kiteshashvili, Children’s Centres Coordinator: “Clearly, psychologically, children have changed. When I started working in the centre, there was a large number of children who were socially withdrawn. They wouldn’t speak to each other, and needless to say they couldn’t engage with the school.” 16-year-old Mariam Mamadashvili returned to her mother Gulo 14 months ago. She was institutionalised for 5 years because her mother had to look for work and could not afford to feed her. Soundbite (Georgian) Gulo Mamadashvili, Mother: “It really hurts when a mother misses her child, and a child misses her mother.” She recently found work for 100 lari per month. That’s less than 2 dollars per day. The Ministry of Education and UNICEF give a further 60 lari per month supplement to Gulo to support Mariam and to meet their basic needs. Soundbite (Georgian) Gulo Mamadashvili, Mother: “Before I couldn’t even afford a simple pen for my daughter. Now these things are possible. I have a salary and people standing by me.” Mariam’s study has improved. She has more friends and feels that she’s back in a family. Soundbite (Georgian) Mariam Mamadashvili: “What is most important is that I am home, with my mom.” The support given helps them become that family again. Where nobody feels alone.
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