I found Caritas Georgia in some internet NGO database, and they replied me very politely to my initial email. They operate a house in Tbilisi, where children without any proper homes can go after school, get food, help with their homeworks or just shelter. A perfect place for the castle, so we agreed I would come by the next friday.
When I arrived with a friend at the Caritas house, noone had heard about us or the castle (English is not very common here, which doesn’t make it easier). We tried to explain by jumping up and down and pointing to some kids, but we just got blank stares. I mentioned my email contact, though I could only remember the first name “Nino”, which did not help very much as maybe 90% of the population is called like that (just now as I am writing this, I realize the name was actually “Nana”. so maybe that played a role about the confusion as well ;) ).
After some time though, the directors showed up and we set up the castle in the courtyard. The ladies from Caritas had it perfectly organized, the children showed up in small groups and respected the rules. In the meantime, the director shared some anecdotes with me, which again showed me why I’m doing all this:
- it is possible to go on commercial bouncy castles in Georgia, but it costs 2 Lari for 10 minutes (~0,80€). None of the children can afford this.
- some of the kids’ families don’t have a flat, but live in a regular car garage, 12 people without any water or toilets
- one kid told the director, it tries to eat Fridays as much as he can at the Caritas house, because he won’t get anything until next Monday
Very sad stories, but at least the castle reached definitely the right children. Plus the perfect organization from Caritas made this day like it should always be. Tomorrow, I am off towards Iran and have already the first contacts there. Stay tuned!