Lena Gergauli, 75, Rustavi Retirement Home

“I worked in the lab of Factory 550 in Rustavi, working on the analyses. The job was interesting. The staff was welcoming and nice to work with. When I left, I was very sorry but I got married, had a kid and could not work any more. When my kid was a little older, I wanted to go back to work but they said I shouldn’t have left for maternity leave for so long and turned me down.

I lost my apartment in Rustavi. So my son and I rented a place. Then he committed a felony and was caught. He is educated, a graduate of a technological institute in Russia. He was sentenced to three years and served a year and a half. I wrote so many appeal letters that he was released but only conditionally so there is nothing much he can do. There are no opportunities for him, as if he were still behind the bars, he does not have a job, he doesn’t have anything. I don’t know what will become of him.

My heart is torn apart. I am here and I have all I need but how about my son? Some people have put him up. Now he is renting a place but I am worried about how is he going to pay the rent.

In March, I will have been here for 4 years, but my heart is breaking because of my son. Why can’t the government help him and offer him some reliefs? He acquired hepatitis C in prison and his analyses cost 350 GEL. Where will he get this amount?! He turned 46 and he is fine and all, but what can he do? He cannot even marry until he finds a decent job. He doesn’t want to be supported by his wife. But When? How?”