human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

Caritas Georgia emergency support

assistance to people in need

The coronavirus pandemic has not only changed the everyday life of each citizen but it has also shown us how crucial it is to respond to emergency situations quickly and correctly. To prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), Caritas Georgia developed an action plan, which aims to maximise the safety of employees and beneficiaries.

The action plan covers all ongoing project of Caritas Georgia. The premises have been cleaned and disinfected. Where possible, some of the projects and its employees have switched to online working mode. According to the new regulations of the government, projects where in-person contact was inevitable have been closed temporarily. However, some projects are still operating under specific conditions.

According to the experts, older people appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the new coronavirus. Thus, Caritas Georgia decided to bring all the necessary products to their houses. Food products and basic hygiene items are distributed periodically to the lonely elderly of the Day Care Centre and the beneficiaries of the Humanitarian Soup-Kitchen.

There are some changes in the Health Care Programme as well. Despite the state of emergency, the Home Care team continues to serve the most deprived patients, especially the lonely elderly who are in a need of assistance. Besides this service, basic hygienic items and dry food rations are distributed to keep people at home to avoid infection. The medical team has been trained and acquainted with all the necessary instructions. They strictly follow all safety precautions to ensure their own as well as our beneficiaries’ wellbeing.

Small family-type homes and 24-hour shelters for street-connected children continue to operate. According to the recommendations of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health, systematic cleaning and disinfection of the indoor and outdoor areas of the premises are carried out. Each 24-hour service has a specially designed educational programme for the children. Leaving the service is strictly controlled and visits of outsiders are limited. Employees pay special attention to the proper organisation of the children’s free time in quarantine conditions.

The Children’s Day Care Centre in Tbilisi started an online education programme for the beneficiaries. Food and hygiene packages were distributed for the families of 185 socially unprotected children of the Day Care Centre and Art Therapy Studio.

There is a quarantine condition in St. Barbare’s Mother and Child Day Care Centre as well. An action plan for measures to prevent the spread of new coronavirus (COVIS-19) is outlined. The beneficiaries are provided with meals and hygienic items. They are involved in various entertainment and educational activities facilitated by the Centre.

The team of the project ‘Promotion of Inclusive and Equitable Education for All’ elaborated an action plan to support distance learning in eight target schools and to give recommendations to teachers, children and their parents. Moreover, according to the specifics of the individual educational plan, individual educational packages will be distributed to children with special educational needs. The packages include learning supplies (papers, colouring pencils, scissors, etc.), materials that special teachers use at school and that the children from vulnerable families don’t have an opportunity to buy themselves.

Changes have also been made in the projects implemented by the regional centres of Caritas Georgia. In Kutaisi, dry food products are provided to elderly people and the beneficiaries of the humanitarian soup-kitchen at their houses every week. Giorgi Chighvaria, the Mayor of the city, and Nino Tvaltvadze, the Vice-Mayor, joined our initiative. To reduce the risk of infection with the virus, the Shelter for Homeless in Batumi operates 24/7. Moreover, in south Georgia, food products and hygiene items have already been distributed to lonely elderly who are the beneficiaries of the home care project in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region.

Caritas Georgia is actively working to reduce the risk of spreading the new coronavirus and to protect the country’s vulnerable groups from the pandemic.

Article first published by Caritas Georgia