Just two months after announcing sweeping reforms of Georgia’s banks, 36-year-old Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze looks set to become the new Prime Minister. While the country’s banks have become among the most profitable in the world, they have done so at the expense of ordinary Georgians. If Bakhtadze and his replacement at the finance ministry follow through on these reforms, they could be the first step in addressing some of Georgia’s most pressing economic woes.
Rusudan Chelidze, 80, Zemo Bakhvi, Guria
‘You cannot really call what we went through back then childhood. There were only two of us. We had no one else out there in the whole world.’ [Read more…]
The devastating earthquake of 1988 has left a lasting mark on Armenia’s second city. Despite reconstruction projects, Gyumri’s ‘temporary’, dilapidated trailers are still home to thousands. As these families remain unable to break the cycle of poverty — the city centre is receiving an expensive facelift. [Read more…]
Despite the veneer of patriarchy and the respect for the elderly, the life of old people in Azerbaijan is hard, especially when they are lonely. With an average pension of $100, they can only hope for help from shelters, kind neighbours, and volunteers.
Barekamavan, a village on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, regularly comes under fire. Unfortunately for Barekamavan’s besieged residents, this is not their only problem, and with people moving away, the village faces extinction. [Read more…]
In the villages around Armenia’s Lake Sevan, for up to 10 months of the year the men work away in Russia to earn enough money for the family to survive. This leaves the women alone to complete the back-breaking farm work — and the children growing up without their fathers. [Read more…]
Women in Georgia very often lack a voice of their own. Their opinions, feelings, dreams, aspirations, and achievements can be conveyed by others, often the men around them. The Women in Georgia project gives a voice to these women, allowing them to tell their own stories — in their own words. The project collected 150 distinct stories from women throughout the country. OC Media brings you a selection of these stories, translated into English and Russian. Below, in her own words, Natela Soselia. [Read more…]
Ceasefire violations are a regular occurrence on both sides of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the village of Kokhanabi, 300 metres from the front, is no exception. While life is made almost impossible by a constant hail of gunfire from across the border, the government has left villagers to fend for themselves. [Read more…]
Thousands of children in Armenia are needlessly separated from their parents and placed in institutions due to disability or poverty, American rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released on 22 February.
On 10 February, up to 50 homeless activists held a demonstration in front of the Tbilisi City Assembly building, to speak up for their rights. [Read more…]