A Family Displaced in Their Own Home Town

63-year-old Mari and her blind, infirm mother fled their home in Gori when the attacks began. Mari continues to care for her elderly parents and their trauma.

When a nearby explosion blew out the windows of the home of 63-year-old Mari, an English teacher, she instinctually tended to her blind, elderly parents for whom she is the primary caretaker. Moments later, when she discovered that the impact on her windows resulted from the bombing of an apartment building across the street, Mari immediately thought: “My sister, Sima!”

Sima, along with her husband and teenage daughter, had become trapped in her blazing seconds after her building was hit. Using a metal bar from a clothing wardrobe to break open the main door, Sima, a nurse, extricated her family from the burning building. Her husband was badly wounded in the fire and suffered lung and kidney damage.

Terrified, Mari, Sima, and the entire family fled by car to Tbilisi, where Sima’s husband underwent surgery. JDC supported the newly displaced family with what the family calls “vital help”—food and medicine packages as well as cash assistance to purchase basic necessities.

Mari and her sister, Sima, in the shell of Sima's apartment in Gori, the contents of which were destroyed in fires following an attack. Sima, whose husband was injured during the attacks, remains displaced.

Weeks after the first attacks on their building, Sima and her family have returned to Gori, but they continue to be displaced. Their home is nothing but a burnt-out shell and Sima’s husband can no longer work. As the family tries to move beyond the trauma that has interrupted their lives, they all cram into Mari’s small apartment, facing harsh conditions, and where the intermittent wailing of a frail and ailing mother is a chilling reality check.