CNEWA

90 Years, 90 Heroes:
Ivlita Kuchaidze

Some of most memorable people we have encountered over the years have been not only heroes, but survivors.

One of those is Ivlita Kuchaidze, whose indomitable spirit and engaging smile mask a life of exceptional challenges:

Ivlita Kuchaidze survived famine, World War II, the Cold War, the Georgian civil war and the country’s turbulent early years of independence. But, at 93, she may be facing her hardest challenge yet: Along with an estimated 400,000 other Georgian citizens, Ms. Kuchaidze endures a life of abject poverty.

After decades spent caring for others, Ms. Kuchaidze has become one of the thousands of pensioners who must depend on charity to survive.

“How do I live right now? In the cold. Hungry. Everything has gotten so expensive,” she says.

“I am used to it,” Ms. Kuchaidze adds. “I grew up half hungry. It is harder for people who used to live well.”

…Hers is the story of so many Georgians of her generation — defined, in large part, by jagged contours of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. It is the story of perseverance in the face of oppression, of holding on to hope in spite of every imaginable hardship. It is a story of longing and loss.

It is also a story of a heroic woman who never let life defeat her, despite all her difficulties. “Thank God for what I have,” she told writer Molly Corso. “Whatever I have, it is enough.”

Read more about her remarkable life here.

CNEWA is privileged to work with Caritas in helping to support “new orphans” like Ivlita Kuchaidze, people who once lived a secure and comfortable life but who now find themselves forgotten or alone — yet still holding fast to their dignity, uplifted by the faith that sustains them.

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