01:52, Tuesday, 20.04.2021
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Single Mother: “I will do impossible things for their sake.”

Gulo Kokhodze, Adigeni

They live in the village veterinary clinic and they are afraid that they might be ousted from there at any minute. The only income of the family is a meagre pension. The family lives under the most intolerable of conditions.

“Were can I find justice? Whom can I address?” asks Maia Kipshidze, a single mother of five children and 3 of them are physically disabled. Maia Kipshidze is the inhabitant of village Bulajuri, Adigeni district. 

The Kipshidzes live in a one-story house. We saw a girl looking at us over the fence as we approached the house. We crossed a small yard, climbed up 3 wooden stairs and entered the house.

The house is located at the end of the village. It is roofed with asbestos sheeting. The house has several small rooms and only one small window. There used to be a veterinary ambulance station here once.

“I have been living is Bulajuri for 22 years. I found shelter in this station 7 years ago. The house where we had lived before was very old. It was falling down and we had to leave that house and find a better place to live. It was only a matter of time when our old home would have come down on our heads,” states Maia Kipshidze.

Legally, this new house does not belong to the Kipshidzes. In 2004 Adigeni District Court filed a verdict to evict the family from the vet station.

“The court wanted and Special Forces consisting of 5 men came from Tbilisi to move us from the house. I was working in the field at that time. The neighbours told me that the squad members were shocked when they went into our house. They said they could not oust us as we were so miserable in their eyes. The police came as well but when they saw the children they went away,” recollects the head of the household.

No one evicts them from the ambulatory station but Maia Kipshidze still thinks that her rights still are unprotected. It is difficult to continue living by simply counting on kindness of Special Forces representatives and policemen willing to turn a blind eye. “They gave us extra time but there is always a big chance that someone will really follow-up on the eviction notice,” told the mother of 5 and said that she is really afraid that she will become homeless.

Maia Kipshidze is discontent with the local government: “The district government does not want to express its condolence to me even by giving the certificate testifying that this house is mine. If I have this certificate then I will not be afraid of being evicted under such dire circumstances in our lives.”

Maia Kipshidze is 41. His husband left the family for 7 years ago.
“I had had disagreement with my husband. He was drinking all the time,” she told.

It was clear that after the wedding that he was a heavy drinker. Maia had to bring up 5 children on her own. The eldest daughter Marina 22 is now married. She lives in the neighbouring village. 21-year-old Nino is divorced and her 5- year-old daughter is also living in Maia’s house.  Nana is 19 and is blind. She can not walk and lies in bed all the time Nona, 17 is mentally disabled, “Nona had cramps. She needs medicine all the time,” says her mother. Lela, 14 suffers from a nervous disorder. “She constantly needs tranquilizers. She is nervous, tears her clothes and hair,” says Maia with tears in her eyes and turns her head away. Lela looks at her mother with sad eyes.

The head of the family says that her ex-husband does not help her at all. “I have no money for getting a divorce certificate so that my children can receive aliment from him.”

The total income of the family of 6 is of pension and social assistance.

“We have a pension- 165 GEL and 90 GEL of social aid but it is still not enough. I spend so much money on drugs, as there are no other option.” says Maia.

The family needs 90 GEL to just buy flour to make bread.

“I need at least two sacks of flour per month.  I must feed at least bread to children,” says Maia twisting her fingers with embarrassment.

The single mother can not say anything about the reasons for her children’s diseases. “I don’t know why they are in such a situation. Nona stopped convulsing at the end of the year. They gave her some medicine and she became paralyzed. She lost her eye sight at the age of 10. She was slapping herself with her hands. She can not get out of bed from the age of 9. She lies on one side. I take her out of bed only when it is time to eat.”

Maia Kipshidze is unable to cultivate land for taking a small amount of harvest. “I have no time to even grown a garden.  I spend all the time with my children.”

Somebody is crying in the bedroom. This is how Nona, 17 reacts when a  stranger comes to the house.

“She is always loudly crying when she sees strangers,” says her mother.

We come out of the house and sit in the yard. Lela is still messing around us and is trying to mumble something. Mother understands the reason for her daughter’s exaltation. “Marina (the eldest daughter) will come soon and she is excited. The bitter life makes a person strong. I will do impossible for their sake,” explains Maia.

The grass is dark green in the Kipshidzes’ yard. You can tell from the house and everything around the house that a hard working person lives here. Plates and dishes on the balcony are shining and clean. The linens are white and clean as well. Maia does not know how she manages to do so many things all together. When we ask her about it she simply shrugs her shoulders and smiles back.

Lela did not say goodbye when we were finishing our visit. She was standing at the fence when we stepped over their door’s threshold. The head of the family said goodbye with a sad smile. Maia’s granddaughter was shaking her hand to us until our car was away from their eyesight.


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