Winter lights

Publish date 13-03-2023

by Mauro Palombo

Though a country of only four million people, Georgia, wedged in the Caucasus and sandwiched between powerful neighbors, once again found itself at the crossroads of history this year. The long wave of the invasion of Ukraine crashed into the lives of people all over the world, and Georgia found itself almost on the front line. Immediately to manage important flows of desperate Ukrainian refugees; then, more impressive flows of Russians who want to escape the call to arms, the logic of killing, and the risk of dying.

Big impacts on a small nation, with still many problems to face, big inequalities. The gloomy scenario that has descended on the Black Sea region cannot fail to weigh on the economy. Above all, the flows of fleeing Russians have fueled strong speculation on prices, and the saturation of the labor market, especially "informal". Even greater is the impact on the deeply divided political system, which is currently unable to meet the requirements for a candidacy for entry into the EU. And then that of the growing tensions with neighboring Russia, which has always fueled the separatism of some regions. Throughout 2022 we were therefore particularly close to the reality that we support there, with Father Witold Szulczynski and his initiatives for the poorest: lonely and sick elderly people, families, street boys and girls, the disabled…

Thanks to the impressive and moving generosity of so many people, in 2022 it was possible to significantly increase the flow of shipments via container, which has so far reached 55 tons of materials, of which 32 of food with related transport costs. All this has contributed to making basic necessities available, which are increasingly less accessible due to the speculative rise in prices. Addressed as always with maximum attention to the situations assisted directly and by both Catholic and Orthodox religious – ecumenism as simple as it is a sign of true communion. Diapers and personal hygiene products are a small balm for patients assisted at home by the structure of doctors, nurses and operators organized for some years by Father Witold. The shipments of clothes and shoes are then addressed to support them: first of all for their direct needs and then transformed into resources to cover an important part of the expenses of the programme, for medicines, medical supplies, services and transport.

But it's not just about quantity. "Ordinary" people, who can only dream of buying the things they need, were moved by benefactors who offered what they would have bought for themselves. They have had proof that someone with heart thinks of them. «They told me: Father Witold, write to our friends, that we could never imagine that now when we are so old and poor we would have such good and beautiful things in our hands». Certainly no one has given up on supporting significant income generation projects by equipping a sewing and shoemaking workshop where disabled people work, or by supplying photovoltaic material and isothermal containers to start up a dairy in the mountain area.

A long winter. Winter is always a great challenge here, where the meager existence of the poorest is put to the test. The whole year has been a “winter” brought about by war, but we can pray and act for it to end as soon as possible. True to the old saying: "Don't curse the dark, rather turn on a light!"

Mauro Palombo

NP Dicembre 2022



Associazione Sermig Re.Te. per lo Sviluppo

IBAN: IT29 P030 6909 6061 0000 0001 481

This website uses cookies. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Click here for more info