Shelter in a Kindergarten


August 26, 2008

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    Mercy Corps Georgia  </span>
    Photo: Mercy Corps Georgia

After Russian troops left the city of Gori, internally displaced persons (IDPs) from across the conflict zone began streaming into town. At first, they were accommodated at various offices and public buildings around the city, and then reassigned to kindergartens and various other schools on August 24. In addition, a tent camp was set up here to handle the overflow of families returning from the nation's capital, Tbilisi.

Most of the displaced families come from villages located around Tskhinvali, the main city of the occupied region of South Ossetia. They don't yet have any information about their houses and family members that stayed.

These displaced people had to flee the violence quickly; as a result, they could not take any documents with them, such as ID cards. They are unsure where to go and what to do next. They do not have critical supplies such as mattresses, blankets and bed sheets and, because of the violent ordeal that they've endured, they're distrustful of almost everyone.

The number of displaced people is rising by the hour here in Gori. Many are suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, and are in desperate need of psychological counseling.

According to the local government data, no food or supplies had been delivered to those taking shelter at Kindergarten #8 in Gori. That changed today, when Mercy Corps supplied 100 displaced people with a three-day supply of food and hygiene supplies as well.