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The children from Prezeti

EUMM monitors pay regular visits to settlements for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s). Usually they talk to adults missing their homes and native land. But on occasion of The International Day for Protection of Children, on 1 June, monitors from Field Office Mtskheta have talked to children from the Prezeti IDP settlement about their dreams and plans for the future. The Prezeti settlement is a special place. Surrounded by hills, located far from the main road, it is almost isolated from the rest of the world. For many of these children, this is the only world they have ever known or seen.

Eto is a six-year-old girl, who can’t wait to go to school. She wants to become a dentist, since her mother is suffering from bothersome toothaches . She loves cycling in the narrow streets of Prezeti, but she also enjoys collective sports. Together with the neighbourhood boys, she plays football as a goalkeeper. She is dreaming about getting a dollhouse – the one from the TV commercial. She would also like to play computer games. Her mother explains that Eto likes the games where one can organize a virtual kitchen and learn how to cook or bake a cake. Eto’s favourite tale is about Aladdin; maybe because she has the same adventurous approach to life.

Eto on her bike in the narrow streets of Prezeti

At a glance, you see that ten-year-old Nukri is a natural born “sportsman”: broad shoulders, confident walk and he wears a big sports watch (a gift from his father). Three days per week, Nukri attends judo lessons, but mostly he sees himself as a future karate fighter. Nukri is a great fan of Jackie Chan and Ronaldo. Just like many other boys in Prezeti, he likes to play football. In his opinion, girls favour to play the game where one has to chase the other kids. He rushes off to meet and play exactly this game with his two best friends, Natia and Lia. But, this young tough man has a big heart. He takes care of six new-born puppies and is trying to figure out how to find a nice and safe home for them.

Nukri takes care of six new-born puppies

Zhana and Anna are five-year-old twins. Although Anna is proudly showing her yellow coloured nails, her mother describes her as a tomboy – brave and courageous. Anna likes uniforms and wants to become a police woman or to serve in the army. Zhana has also already decided her career path as well. She wants to become a doctor to cure her grandmother. Anna and Zhana are both dreaming about the sea. Once, while they were watching the ocean on TV, they asked their mother: “Do you think we know how to swim?” In summer, the settlement in Prezeti is surrounded by flowery fields and meadows, but they are out of bounce for kids – too many snakes in the tall grass. Therefore, the twin sisters and their younger brother have arranged a small play house in the shed. At the heart of their Kingdom is a kitchen, where Anna shows how to make khinkali.

Zhana and  Anna in their "kitchen" preparing khinkali

The playground in the centre of Prezeti is a favourite place for four-year-old Mariam, where she can spend time with her three best friends who are girls – “I am a girl, so I play with girls”, she explains, shrugging her shoulders. They play with dolls, they run and chase each other. In the future, Mariam wants to be a doctor to cure all people. So far the Prezeti settlement is her entire world. She likes this settlement, because all her toys are here, but she is also dreaming about visiting Karchokhi village. This is the place, in the Akhalgori district, where her mother and older siblings originally came from. Mariam is the only one in the family born on TAT. Now she wants to see the legendary village, known only from stories, with her own eyes. And she is also dreaming to have a dollhouse!
Mariam in Prezeti, dreaming of  her own dollhouse

Ilia (9), Nato (10) and Lali (11) are siblings. Nato and her brother Ilia loves to play football. Ilia’s favourite team is “Real Madrid” and he admires Cristiano Ronaldo. In Nato’s opinion, Leo Messi is a more skilful player. The oldest sister Lali prefers books to sport. She likes reading about King Solomon’s treasures and other adventure stories. The two sisters take part in school performances. This year they will perform “The Little Princess”. The girls are excited. All the pupils, parents and teachers have been invited for the play. Lali will play the King and Nato will impersonate the Rose. Nato is a fan of the Sukhishvili ensemble and regrets that the folk dancing lessons she used to attend at school have been suspended. But she doesn’t give up on her dream to become a professional dancer. Lali, as well as her many friends, would like to be a doctor. The youngest llia is impressed by police cars, so he wants to be a policeman when he grows up.

Nato, Ilia and Lali - children of Prezeti 

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