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Stories present and past from the life of McCabe

Living Stones in Georgia

In October a group of us had a very interesting and varied McCabe pilgrimage in Holy Georgia. During our extensive travels, we went to Gori, where Stalin was born. Gori is a small city (population 6,500) in the Shida Kartli region of Georgia, the home to over 3,000 internally displaced people. We went there to visit Society Biliki – a non-governmental, non-profit organisation founded in May 1997 and supported by the MET.

The mission of the organisation is to help troubled and vulnerable young people to fully realize their potential, regardless of their social, ethnic and religious background. The children who benefit are from families with low income; street children; those displaced through war and in state care; and children of refugee families.

“Biliki” means “narrow path” in Georgian – a testimony to the challenges of gaining the acceptance and friendship of the vulnerable children they strive to help.

We were warmly welcomed during our visit and were given a presentation of the huge and varied work they do – often under difficult circumstances. Their main programmes are:

Child Care:
Two day centres providing educational, psychological, social and basic services; and four small family safe houses.

Community Development:
English classes, computer classes, handicraft studio, and integration skills.

Civil Education Development:
Support for teachers and students. Civic Clubs.

Voluntary:
Working with the European Voluntary Service to provide a four-month programme of hosting and sending young people.

During our short time at the Society, children arrived for their after-school activities and were excited to be involved in the handicraft studio making various items (which were for sale and bought by many of us).

It was a good visit and we left feeling very humbled by the amount of work they do with very limited resources. Do have a look at their Facebook page – you may even spot our group photo!

By Kevin Dunne