She is living alone in two-member family, saying that she was able to overcome the hardest period in life with only two sewing machine and one iron. She was sewing everything, what was order to her, having coped with six-year imprisonment of her son. At this time, her second child was a student, being in need of a lot of things.
Tsitso Bolkvadze is 40 ear old, currently running her own small tailor’s shop. Though, before this she was employed in a big Tailor’s Shop, where as she says worked overtime without compensation, not being able to take a leave and neither being able to allocate time for the family members.
Soon she realized that she had to start her own business. Being granted with two sewing machine by her dad, she started to receive orders and currently is working independently.
“I have much work, being able to sew a dress in 2 hours, not keeping the consumers waiting. I cooperate with the University, dancing Ensembles, having sewed the costumes for the participants of World Chess Olympiad. Independent work means much more income and freedom as well” – says former inmate’s’ mother.
Suffering from much workload, she says that employment of other members of the family would be an ease. Tsiso’s 24 year old son being released from custody in April 2019 fails to get a job, being a huge problem for him. Having worked on construction and due to irrelevant labour conditions he soon left job.
“After my son’s imprisonment the problems of inmates was perceived in a different way. Not having received any aid from the state in the process of employment, employment of my son is vitally important for my family. Despite the fact that I am rather labour-capable I have health problems, regularly working in a sitting position and bowed manner, I happen not to do anything in a day and the whole family remains without any income source” – says Tsitso Bolkvadze.
With the purpose to expand Tailoring Business, she addressed the Institute of Democracy and involved them in the project for “Strengthening Former Inmates”. Despite of having a little free time she was still able to attend the trainings, having brought significant knowledge and experience to her own business through trainings and seminars.
The Institute of Democracy is implementing the project in four regions of Western Georgia together with partner organization. According to Tsitso she could not believe that she could help inmate’s family and has never heard about similar program, though after being involved in the program her Tailor’s House was visited, inventoried and purchased her all necessary additional tools and equipment.
Program for strengthening former inmates considers supporting of former inmates’’ family members’ health and employment.
Program for strengthening former inmates is being implemented by the Institute of Democracy with the financial support from the European Union in four regions of Georgia in cooperation with Guria Youth Resource Center, Tanaziari and Foundation “Abkhazinterkont”.