The security situation in Kutaisi, which is the second largest town in Georgia some 200 km west of Tbilisi, has deteriorated to such an extent that in the early hours of this morning, all of the children and their SOS mothers had to leave the SOS Children's Village in Kutaisi and go to stay with relatives and friends in areas out of town. Male staff members are the only ones that have remained to prevent the SOS Children's Village from being looted. Some military sites, which could be targeted in attacks, are located right next to the SOS Children's Village.
Children and SOS mothers from Kutaisi had to be evacuated - Photo: S. Pleger
Swiad Berdsenischwili, director of SOS Children's Villages Georgia, says that the children and staff members of the SOS Children's Village on the outskirts of the capital Tbilisi are not in the danger zone. Bombing is being reported near the airport, which is on the other side of the capital. In the city itself, the shops are open and electricity and water supplies are still up and running. The office of SOS Children's Villages Georgia in Tbilisi has nevertheless been closed due to security reasons.
SOS Children's Villages began its activities in Georgia at the beginning of the 1990s. One of the reasons for this even back then was the poor living conditions of many children and families resulting from the conflicts over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. There are now two SOS Children's Villages in Georgia, as well as social programmes to help disadvantaged families.