The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi has a population of 1.2 million. Though one of the most economically advanced cities in Georgia, Tbilisi still has acute poverty and social issues brought about by the country's recent civil war and emergence from Communism.
SOS Children actively works with the government to improve the lives of the city's children.
Economic and social change impacts on the most vulnerable
Tourists flock to Tbilisi for its rich cultural heritage as well. Though government investment has been greater into Tbilisi than most other parts of the country, the major economic and social change that has affected the country has resulted in high unemployment and rates of poverty.
Over 32,000 families in Tbilisi live on the edge of poverty, with nearly one in six children growing up in poverty. There are many factors for this situation. To begin with, an estimated 96,700 residents of the city are classed as 'internally displaced' due to the recent civil war in the province of Abkhazia and other conflicts.
Many of these families have arrived with just the shirts on their backs and are unemployed. Other children live in poverty due to their or their parents' disability, and those from dysfunctional families with for example, substance misuse problems.
SOS Children works with the Georgian government
Though the government is working hard to provide welfare and relief for all those in need, assistance does not always reach everyone. While the rest of the world has generally seen an improvement in living conditions for most, the reverse has been happening in Georgia due to conflict and social change.Many children end up in state institutions as a result.
SOS Children is working hard to strengthen families and ensure that children get the best possible start in life given their personal circumstances. The SOS Children's Village Tbilisi is on the Nuzubidse high plateau, around 8km from the city centre. From this base of operations we work to support children and families in the surrounding areas.
Working with local authorities and other service providers we use a family strengthening programme to try to help families become more economically self sufficient, and provide the best possible care to their children. We offer them vocational training, career counselling, and help their children access education and healthcare services.
SOS families for orphaned and abandoned children
For children who can no longer live with their parents, they can find a loving home in an SOS family. Under the care of SOS Mothers, children play a role in the community, attending local schools and making friendships with their peers.
As children reach an age where they need greater independence, they are offered places through the SOS youth programme. They live in shared, supported accommodation while attending further education or vocational training and are advised in shouldering the responsibilities of adulthood and taking the next steps in life by qualified youth counsellors.
We support children with no-one else, from nursery to adulthood. Each step of the way, children in an SOS family grow up with love, security and respect. Sponsor a child in Tbilisi today.