For life…

Because of the grave social situation in the country, the problem of health care for the population has become most acute. The poor social conditions became even more aggravated by the reform of the entire health care system. Paid medical treatment was introduced, which made it rather painful for the population. Our organization, already being a fighter for freedom, had to start another battle – for “life” as well. The Association is not sparing efforts to take care of the physical, as well as mental health of the population of all ages. In cooperation with various medical research institutes and diagnostic centers, and with the help and assistance extended by them, the Association has managed to make the population feel at least some relief and enjoy support on an almost daily basis.

The Charity Medical Brigades…
In autumn, 1995, a multi-profile medical brigade, consisting of the best medical doctors and other health care specialists, left for the town of Tskhaltubo in Western Georgia. Later, an analysis of the situation in other regions revealed the urgent need for similar actions there as well. Therefore, providing this kind of large-scale medical charity became a frequent occurrence. “Outings” of the medical brigades in the regions have gradually become a tradition, and the most important outcome is that this charity movement proved to be “contagious” for the entire medical service staff of the country.

Pediatrician, Prfessor

Avtandil Kvezereli-Kopadze

  Pediatrician Nana Tskhakaia

The mobile medical groups equipped with medicines, various apparati and diagnostic facilities have traveled to numerous towns of Georgia, such as Khobi, Mtskheta, Lagodekhi, Senaki, Chkhorotskhu, Lanchkhuti, Rustavi, Shindisi, tabakhmela, Lemshveniera, Tkibuli, Akhaltsikhe, Poti, Kutaisi, Akhali samgori, Dmanisi, Sagarejo, the Tbilisi regions, and others. 
Since this began, 30,000 citizens have been offered prophylactic testing, and in cases where practical interference proved impossible on the spot, the doctors have invited patients to the central clinics to receive emergency help. 
Through the initiative of the Association, highly qualified pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and teachers designed a program that is targeted at specific studies of the state of health and the medico-psychiatric condition of the children and adults who were ousted from the Abkhazia region. The task included diagnoses of the illnesses and subsequent medical, psycho-pedagogical rehabilitation of the patients, by way of which 1000 families were tested and identified.

Tuberculosis has become a social threat!
In the years 1994-95, before the reform of the health care system had begun and the state program on combating tuberculosis was still non-existent, treatment of TB patients in medical institutions was in complete collapse. It is exactly from this time that our Association has been extending assistance to the research institutes for lung and pulmonary diseases and the Abastumani Hospital of Tuberculosis, where the greatest part of the patients are kept. We have continuously provided them with drugs of essential importance for their lives, as well as food products, clothes, shoes, quilts etc…

The head of children's departament of tuberculosis

and lungs diseases national center,  Tengiz Gvasalia with patients.

In the summer of 1995, members of the Association visited the Imereti region for the purpose of launching the regional branch of the Association there. The building, where the guests were accommodated, was “besieged” by the internally displaced population living in Imereti at that time. The President of the Association, Mrs. Nanuli Shevardnadze, spoke to them and promised to do her best to resolve their health problems. A brigade of medical doctors was immediately sent to Tskhaltubo, in Imereti. They found that 112 persons out of 12,000 were infected by tuberculosis; that very summer they were transported to Abastumani for specific treatment. 
During the years of the energy crisis it was necessary to install a single line cable to provide the Institute of Lung and Pulmonary Diseases, as well as other medical institutions nearby, with a 24 - hour energy supply. Resolution of this problem proved to be possible through the efforts of the Association.

The discussion on problems of tuberculoses with Georgian

and foreign specialist in the association office.

For the purpose of rehabilitating the building housing the children’s department of the Republican Hospital of Tuberculosis, which was on the verge of collapse, the Association involved a donor organization. The basic building “rose from the dead” – a new, solid building was added to it and a larger part of the whole complex was renovated. In addition to that, the department was provided with equipment for diagnostics, medicines and food products. We never forget the little patients; they are always on our mind in good times as well as in bad times.
Support and assistance is still going on…

“Zekari” managed to escape danger!

    Medical staff of "Zekari"

Now hundreds of sick people recovering

with the help of qualified doctors here...

It was through the efforts of the Association and its President that the sanatorium “Zekari” of the Abastumani resort complex was removed from the privatization list. All of the other sanatoriums have been sold, and all of them are inactive at the present time, but “Zekari”, being one of the most promising medical institutions, distinguished by its technical equipment and with its exceptional location in a beautiful landscape, was delivered to the Ministry of Health Care of Georgia. Subsequently, it was joined to the Abastumani Tuberculosis Hospital. Later on, it was renovated and many things were restored; the medical staff returned and continued working in a regular regime. The Association did its best to support the sanatorium to resolve its problems and advocated on the sanatorium’s behalf in almost all instances. About 200 patients are presently undergoing treatment there.

Let’s help the children with leukemia!

By the time the Onco-hematological Center was created in 1994, they were the first to start treatment of children with leukemia and limphoma through the BFM-chemiotherapy program, highly acknowledged world-wide. The Georgians were unable to implement this costly program independently. Therefore, in 1995, with financing from the German government, the German Organization of Technical Cooperation (GTZ) became involved in the project. Every year since then it has allocated 200, 000 German marks for treatment of the TB Patients. Without the active personal efforts of Mrs. Nanuli Shevardnadze, continuation of this most significant cooperation would have been impossible. In 1999 the program ended… and one day, the disappointed and desperate parents burst into the office of the Association. Mrs. Shevardnadze immediately applied to the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, Heidemar Vichoreck-Zoel, and in a few days the expensive medication arrived in Tbilisi; thus, it became possible to continue the program for two more years.
In 2001, Mrs. Vichoreck-Zoel presented the Onco-Hematological Center with biochemical analytic equipment and the apparatus for determining the electrolytic balance. At the time of her visit it became clear that the program was going to end soon. Mrs. Shevardnadze again asked her for her help. A few days after the departure of the German Minister, a positive telephone call from Germany was received; 5,400,000 German marks were allocated for treatment of the patients (one million to the people suffering from leucosis and the rest for the TB patients).
As for clothes and shoes, as well as various gifts, there is hardly a holiday that the children don’t have those in abundance; the Association takes care of that…

During recent years, Mr.Volfditric Fogel, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany in Georgia, delivered 1,000 German Marks to the Association. This money was addressed to the Center under sponsorship of the Association, and it was distributed to the patients undergoing treatment in the Center at that time. Mrs. Shevardnadze also brought to the Center from Italy antibiotics and chemical medications, donated by the Georgian Embassy in Italy. 
The children who were suffering from leukemia were scheduled to leave for a rehabilitation center in Baretstown,? Ireland. Immediately, the Association advocated on behalf of the children with the authorities at British Airlines. They took close to heart the condition of the little patients and gave a discount in the price of the tickets. Then the Association applied to various donor organizations, and they covered the rest of the expenses.
The Association was one of the organizers of a charity movement called “Let’s help the children with leukemia!” which was launched in 2002. Considerable funds were raised; a substantial donation of 5,000 Lari was bestowed by the Georgian International Oil Corporation, of which Gia Chanturia is president. Mr. Chanturia was also the initiator of a large-scale renovation project in the Center.

The free ambulance service is online!
In October of 1995, under the initiative of Luiza Shalamberidze, Head-Doctor of Policlinic N28 of the Vake region of Tbilisi, the first free ambulance service for the vulnerable section of the population was founded.
On May 1 of the following year, with the resource of the 3rd Policlinic of the Didube region, through the efforts of the Head-Doctor Nana Asatiani and Mery Japoshvili, the Chairman of the branch of the Association in that region, a free ambulance service was opened. Without any hesitation, all medical personnel were voluntarily involved in this very useful project. 
In the Samgori region, in cooperation with the medical complex (hospital and policlinic) of the Tbilisi State Aviation Corporation, medical brigades were formed which provided help without any charge whatsoever to single elderly people, mothers with many children, the handicapped, and refugees. With the help of Policlinic N14, lists of the most vulnerable part of the population were compiled. The number of beneficiaries reached between 600-700. Klara Svanidze, Chairman of the Samgori branch of the Association, helped the medical personnel with the enthusiasm and devotion that is characteristic of her.

Insulin as a gift…

The humanitarian insulin, donated by Novo- Nordisk, the Danish Pharmacological Firm, was distributed among socially vulnerable people with diabetes in the capital, as well as in the regions (Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Qvemo Qartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kakheti, Guria, and others.). These actions took place twice, and in the years 1996-97, a total of 5,000 persons received 40,000 capsules of insulin as a gift. Later, 1,500 of the most needy patients were given a three-month supply of insulin. 
In 1996, when there were no medicines in Georgia containing human insulin, under the leadership of Nanuli Shevardnadze pregnant women with diabetes were provided with insulin. Twenty women who were registered at the Georgian Center of Diabetes were given 6 month supplies of insulin, free of charge, of course. 
In March of 2002, The Georgian Embassy in Austria presented the Association with high quality human insulin (produced by the German firm Aventis pharmas). The drug, under the supervision of the endocrinologists, was distributed to more than 140 patients living in Tbilisi and the outskirts who were suffering from impaired vision because of their illness. The Association gave out insulin drugs with a value of about half a million dollars.

Together with Hippocrates. 
In the year 2000, the Association got in touch with the Greek Medical Foundation “Hippocrates”, and through the efforts of the regional organizations they selected in our country some of the most needy people as well as families with many children, the handicapped, single old people etc. (1,000 persons in all). They were admitted to the policlinic, where they were offered free tests of various types. They also received consultations and necessary treatment there. The Foundation has extended a helping hand to the Association many times by sending medicines.

“The level of civilization in an advanced society is determined by the attitude to the psychiatry”.
In 1996 the Association began actively supporting the Federal Psychiatric Program in Georgia. It should be noted that in those hard years it literally saved the patients form hunger and cold. The Association regularly supplied them with food products, helped them by providing medicines, clothes, bedclothes, woolen quilts etc. Several times, the Science Research Institute of Psychiatry, the Tbilisi Psychiatric Hospital, the Bediani, Quitiri and Surami institutions were the recipients of large amounts of clothes, shoes, detergents and other hygienic facilities.

Humanitarian action in psychiatric republic hospital

Cattle-breading farm of

psychiatric republic hospital

With the help of an American charity organization, the Association constructed a mechanized cattle farm on the territory of Gldani Hospital and a pig farm at Bediani hospital. As a result, meat and diary products have been added to the nutrition ratio of the patients, and the income generated from the sales of abundant products provides extra funds to supplement the hospital budget. Not least important is the fact that the patients gradually got used to cultivating the land; through their work on the farms they have had the opportunity of associating with nature. Thus, the method of work-therapy is in the process of revival.
Equally important as the material help is an address of the Georgian Psychiatrists directed to the representatives of mass media and which was published in our newspaper “Peace to All” under the title - “The psyche of the nation needs care!”


In previous times epileptic patients received their expensive medication from the Neurology Research Institute free of charge, but the humanitarian channels of importing these drugs were cancelled three years ago. Therefore, starting in 2001 the Association “has taken this mission over”. With the help of the sponsors, it is continuously providing the expensive drugs to the epileptic patients. First this medicine was purchased by the Association through funding provided by American partners and later the Israeli Women’s Association brought it to Georgia as a present. The last supply of the medication was financed by the Americans again. The Association purchased the drug for $4,480.00 and distribution continued until September 2001-2002; then we imported Carbamazepin from Israel. In January of 2004, it was again with the assistance of the Americans that purchasing of Carbamazepin for $4,000.00 became possible. During the whole period of the campaign the needs of more than 300 patients were satisfied; every one of them received three months of supplies 5 or 6 times.


In October 1999, an American charity organization, friendly to the Association, purchased the drugs at a price of $15,000.00 and distributed them to 2,000 socially vulnerable families. From December 2002 to January 2004, different kinds of instruments, medical “accessories” and medicines sent by the foreign partners of the Association were distributed to almost all large medical institutions of the capital city, as well as in regions throughout the country. These humanitarian medical appliances proved to be extremely useful to the charity medical brigades while working in the regions.

How little Dato started a new life…
A few years ago an elderly lady came to the Association on a reception day; she was crying and imploring for help, assuring us that her grandchild was in bad need of an operation, for the doctors had promised to recover his ability to hear. The grandma had tramped the whole city and she finally succeeded in collecting, penny by penny, donations amounting to five thousand dollars, which made only half of the price of the implant.


Professor Shota Japaridze

and little patient Dato Rurua

Through the motion of the President of the Association, Nanuli Shevardnadze, the other half of the price of the implant (its total price amounting to $10,000.00) was financed by the State Medical Insurance Company.
Dato Rurua, 5 years in age, born deaf and dumb was operated on absolutely free of charge by a remarkable person and excellent surgeon, Professor Shota Japaridze. The unique operation of Cochlear implantation took place at the Throat and Nasal Clinic of the Medical University of Georgia. 
The main effect of the event described above proved symbolic in facilitating a very important decision – the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection “inserted” into the state program a number of operations of this type on terms of partial financing (half of the price of the implant to be paid by the family in question and the other half will to be covered by the state).
The medical charity events are always marked by a high level of organization. The “inspiration” for such events always comes from the Head of the Medical Sphere and Vice-President of the Association, Maya Kvezereli-Kopadze. She is very effective in setting up large-scale events, but at the same time, she never spares the efforts needed for resolution of the problems of each needy citizen who comes to the Association to seek help and support.

Launching war against child adoptions abroad

The International Organization “Georgian Women for Peace and Life” was the first in Georgia to declare war against the uncontrolled adoption of children and the highly profitable trade with newborn babies. The First Lady of the country was identified by both the Georgian and the foreign “contrabandists” as the main factor preventing their activity…
That was true to fact indeed… And who knows how many children were saved from “export” thanks to this principal resistance… How many childless families in Georgia got the opportunity of adopting a long desired baby…
A short background of why and how the Association was resisting the business of the “childmongers”.
In 1996, the Association first learned from reliable sources that babies from Georgia were being offered for adoption abroad. We were alarmed and extremely upset and showed much interest. The following picture was presented to us: 7 children were exposed for adoption abroad in 1992; 10 in 1993; 17 in 1994 and the number of adopted children reached 175 in 1995-1996 (and that was in legal ways!). Even from these simple statistics it’s clear that this filthy business was flourishing without interruption. 
The severe economic crisis and ineffective controlling mechanisms created fertile ground for giving out orphans for adoption abroad. The law (the old Soviet Family Code) had been designed when the practice of foreign adoptions was completely non-existent. In addition, the Georgian nation is considered as being potentially one of the healthiest in the world; hence the interest of foreigners in our country.
A special meeting dedicated to this problem took place in June, 1996 and was held through the initiative of the Association. The representatives of all agencies and organizations whose prerogative is to regulate adoption issues in Georgia, as well as abroad, were gathered there.

“We are a small nation and have no right to give healthy children for adoption abroad”, stated Nanuli Shevardnadze at the meeting. 
From the beginning, public opinion was sharply against the position of the Association. The supporters of adoption justified their “business” by their care for the children; their main argument was the poor conditions in the orphanages. A non-governmental organization has no right to ban anything; nor has it any authority to interfere in the work of the government, but it can always express its principal position to create public opinion. The meeting was directed at hitting this very target. Quite a number of meetings and discussions were held afterwards, and articles were regularly published in the press. A series of publications were dedicated to the orphanages, children’s homes and the boarding-schools on the pages of the newspaper “Peace to All”. 
The discussions yielded fruit and under the Decree of December 25, 1996 (N 841) of the President of the country, giving children from Georgia for adoption to foreign citizens was suspended until the relevant new law would be passed. At that period, more than 20,000 childless families in Georgia were waiting with their hands stretched out for the long desired children. 
During the adoption process about 16 procedures had to be carried out, but there were gross violations of all of them, and finding a wrong-doer was impossible. The organizations in charge of adoption were creating artificial bureaucratic barriers to investigation and at times they were directly providing the foreign agencies with information. A perfect mechanism of searching for a family willing to adopt a child was non-existent…
The Association, acting within the framework of the authorization given to NGOs, became interested in the relevance of the diagnosis of children identified for adoption, and we discovered a number of fraudulently exaggerated assessments. For example, in the summer of 1996 19 newborns with rather “dangerous diagnosis” were ready to be given out for adoption. The conclusions of the Commission appointed by the Ministry of Healthcare revealed that the diagnoses were false. Some of the children turned to be completely healthy and some of them had “faults” that could be cured very easily in our country as well. When the members of the Association left on their holidays (being absolutely sure that the healthy children would stay in Georgia), the babies started “disappearing” one by one… No comments, as they say!
Suspension of the adoption process as a result of the alarm that the Association had inflicted caused an international uproar. Because of the firm position the Association held in this matter the number of letters addressed to the President of Georgia which were written by the couples interested in adoption and their protectors (the senators, congressmen and other honorable people), increased dramatically. 
“I know that this is an issue which you and your wife are personally committed to and I understand, that there have been instances where healthy babies were falsely labeled as suffering from an illness, so that they could be sold to foreigners. I fully support your commitment to assure that such fraudulent adoptions are not permitted. 
I understand that your review of this matter is to be completed in the very near future and it is my hope that legitimate adoptions of sick children, if it fits your guidelines, can be completed quickly”, – wrote Senator Edward Kennedy to the President of the Association.

The uproar caused by the adoption issue was ended by passing the law on “Adoption Regulations” at the Parliament of Georgia in November, 1997; of course, the Association, being an NGO, took an active part in designing the draft of the law. 
The Law says the following: the issue of giving a child for adoption from Georgia will be regarded as an alternative form of taking care of the child and it will be allowed only in case the relevant adoptive parents prove impossible to be found in Georgia, or if the state is not in a position of insuring proper care of the child in any possible form. Exactly the same idea can be found in the UN Convention. 
As a result, in 1997-1996 the children who were to be sent abroad for adoption (except several sick children), were accommodated in Georgian adoptive families. 
In 1999, under the efforts of the President of Georgia, Edward Shevardnadze, a draft law was designed on accommodation of the orphans and deprived children in families. 
In June of the same year, The Parliament of Georgia adopted the law “On Adoption of the Orphans and the Deprived Children”. Thus, it became a law that the state will take care of the orphans. It also became legally required that such families will receive social and material aid till the child comes of age. 
Adoption remains one of the most painful problems for the country, requiring a deeply reasoned and principled approach. The laws and instructions on adoption currently functioning in Georgia have serious faults. Because of this, children are still being given up for foreign adoption directly by the mothers.