To The Guests Invited to the wedding of Katie Melua and James Toseland
Message from Katie Melua
“First Step Georgia is very close to our hearts. Ive been aware of the work they do for a few years now and having introduced it to James, he is also moved by the many stories and the countless children First Step has helped. We couldnt wish for a greater gift for our wedding than your kind support for this work. “ August 2012
Since 1998, First Step Georgia (a non profit organisation)* has been providing a variety of services for children and young adults with special needs. The work of First Step was started on discovering the horrendous living conditions of disabled children in the infamous (now closed) Kaspi orphanage.
Everyone involved with First Step Georgia is very excited with the wonderful generosity of Katie and James in asking their wedding guests to support First Step Georgia rather than giving them wedding gifts.
We are currently seeking support for our Home Based Care Programme –
This programme consists of providing home based care services for the more physically and profoundly disabled children in their own home as we discovered a great many disabled children had no access to any type of service. There are currently 50 children being helped in this programme and the families are generally very poor. Caregivers work with the disabled children and their families on a daily basis and they are also supported by a full professional team – psychologist, occupational therapist, paediatrician, speech therapist, home teacher and social worker. This programme is important because families which are not supported are more likely to place their disabled child in an institution. Our experience has shown that once a child with special needs has been sent to an institution it is unlikely that the family will take the child home in the future.
To give you an idea of how far money goes in Georgia…. A full time caregiver receives $290 per month and a home teacher $340 per month……….The cost per month for one child in this programme is $150.
Everyone at First Step Georgia has been heartened by the number of children who have been part of this programme and who have gone on to main stream education and become more integrated into society.
Mirian suffers from very severe physical and intellectual disability. Mirian and his family lived in a remote mountain village in the Ambroalauri region of Georgia and life was so harsh there that they moved to live in Tbilisi. Mirians home in Tbilisi, which he shares with his mother and two other siblings, is a tiny room without a window or running water. His mother earns US$150 a month working a six day week as a cleaning lady. When First Step Georgia staff found this family Mirian had never been outside the windowless room and could not sit up without help.
Since June 2011, FSG has included him in their home based care programme. He has been provided with an electric wheelchair and especially adapted furniture. He is visited by FSG specialists regularly who supervise his rehabilitation. Support from FSG donors has changed this little boys life and given him and his family hope of a more normal and socially inclusive life.
*Everyone involved with First Step Georgia in the UK, Ireland and US are volunteers and pay all their own expense in relation to their work for First Step Georgia…. So everything you donate goes directly to support Georgian children with special needs..
Help us to continue helping Mirian and others like him………..
*Everyone involved with First Step Georgia in the UK, Ireland and US are volunteers and pay all their own expenses in relation to their work for First Step Georgia. This means that everything donated goes directly to support Georgian children with special needs.