This family’s harrowing story began 17 years ago when Gocha and Maia’s first child was diagnosed with Cystic Fibroma at the young age of 2. In order to afford her medical treatment, they sold their home; however, the child died anyway, leaving them grieving and homeless. Following that devastating catastrophe, they spent a period of time living alone in the forest in flimsy cardboard constructions built out of whatever they could find.
During this time, Gocha, who had been working as a loader, developed a health condition that caused him to lose his job. Then, two years ago, the river near their makeshift home flooded, destroying what little sense of shelter they had managed to create. Once again devastated by circumstances beyond their control, the family was assisted by some local people who provided them with a single room in a nearby wood factory, which is where they currently live.
Recently, a documentary TV report that aired across the country brought attention to the family’s strife, and people from all over the country have come to their aid, providing them with food and supplies. In addition, Gocha has found a new job as a butcher, and the family is hopeful about finding a house in the future. Almost every day people call them to ask their address in order to bring their help. Even the only doctor in their territory impressed after that TV report and since then she examines this family free of charge.
This ongoing photo series, which features both parents and their six children—Tinatin (15), Nikoloz (12), Saba and Mariam (10-year-old twins), Nino (4), and Barbare (1 and a half)—tries to highlight the family’s lifestyle and show the way they live. For example, Nikoloz and Saba go to the church near their house every Saturday and Sunday to help the priest in the ceremonies and rituals. More important is showing the influence of media in our life; here we see how a TV report is changing the life and lifestyle of a family.