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Gurjaani. A house for people with disabilities

March 20, 2014

           Gurjaani is a region of Kakheti, Georgia, where Hand in Hand non profit organisations, established in 2010 in Tbilisi, Georgia, providing the houses for people with mental and physical disabilities. The main mission is to create worthy living conditions for people with disabilities and help them to socialise into society.

Dmitri Burjanadze, 26, is a person with disability has been living in this house for almost three months.

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This small square room contains his whole life. There are two beds and chairs, one computer and one table where the different types of games are being located: backgammon, cards and domino. This room belongs to Dmitri and his friend, Timur.

“His body is in growth-retarted, and this is his main problem. In other things he is very smart and clever,” says Marina Modebadze, the director in “Hand in Hand” organisation.

Before his coming to this house, Dmitri had been living in other house in Dusheti, Georgia.

“There was my love, but there was no rest. We were fighting a lot.”

Above his computer place there is a bear “Panda” on the wall. As he told it is a gift from his ex beloved. He said it is a gift from his ex-beloved, but he was uncomfortable and did not want to talk about it.

“He has a girlfriend. She lives far from here, and they often speak by phone,” tells Marina, “His mood depends on her. He hopes to have a family and children.”

“I don’t love her anymore. We broke up”

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In spite of his distance he is still keeping in touch with his friends. He knows enough about computers to work on them and write programs.

“This computer was a gift to me from our former president Michael Saakashvili,” says Dmitri, “I wrote him a letter eight years ago when he had just started his presidency.”

“Since he has a computer, he likes to find thought-provoking and challenging questions to ask us, but we can not answer, he starts to tease us,” Marina laughed.

He is fond of classic music and he adores Beethoven. On his shelves are a lot of books: bible and detectives are his favorite ones.

“ I love reading detectives. My favorite is Qodja Manuilidze.”

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Dmitri is a very intelligent and tries to be socialise.

However, he says that a wheelchair became the obstacle for him in many cases of his life.

“Hmm it is a good question to ask who I would be without wheelchair, ”says Dmitri, “Let me think. May be a detective like Sherlock Holms.”

Searching the Internet he showed his new wheelchair, which they purchased from the Ministry of Health.

“I am waiting for it,” says Dmitri.

Dmitri desires to learn Russian language. He can understand everything and speak a bit.

Dmitri is a strong person with his own specific character. As Marina said, he is a kind person.  However, his character can be very difficult.

Dmitri loves drinking coffee and smoking. The ashtray is full of cigarette buts. He used to smoke two boxes of cigarettes in a day. Despite that he loves to drink cognac with his friend.

He is fond of animals, including a street dog named Belka.

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He plays chess, computer games, backgammon and cards with his friend. “Timur is not only my friend. He is my brother.”

There are many common things that unite them. But one of the most important is they are both in wheelchairs.

“It is too loud here,” complains Dmitri about the noise coming from outside.

Dmitri’s table is full of different staffs described his character and his lifestyle. He is mad of computer games played with Timur.

Dmitri was born in Rustavi, and now it is his only dream to see his hometown.

“I would like to see Baku too,” smiling, tells Dmitri.

“Would you like some coffee?”

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