Search for a person or deed which would overshadow the high-spirited and kind person which is Maka is completely futile. Multitalented and industrious, this 17-year-old girl from the SOS Youth Facility Tbilisi charms with her resourceful nature and positive spirit.
In the past two years that she's been living at the youth facility, Maka spent every other weekend with her SOS family. She fondly remembers the time she lived at SOS Children's Village Tbilisi and lovingly speaks of her SOS mother. "She taught me to look forward and not hold any grudges," says Maka. "It's only when you forgive and let go of the past that you can strive ahead."
True to her words, Maka spends the weekends in between with her biological family*. She helps with the care of her ill grandmother and assists her mother with the housework. "I don't find it hard, they need my help," says Maka holding back a tear at the thought of her father. "Everyone has the right to happiness," she says after a pause. "But, if you have children... you shouldn't forget about them..."
Leaving painful subjects behind, Maka turns to talking about her life at the youth facility. "I get along great with everyone, both youngsters and educators," she smiles charmingly and adds with a laugh, "Which I find rather strange 'cause I'm very opinionated and never hesitate to express my opinion."
Her friends make up for her modesty: "Oh, she can do wonders with old clothes," says Ana. "And the way she accessorizes, whoa!" adds Maria. "When she takes over organising a picnic or field trip or even house cleaning, I know we'll all do our part smiling," admits Mikhail. "She's an inspiring leader and efficient team player. In addition, she's independent and ambitious. The sky is the limit for her," finishes youth leader Temur.
Independent and ambitious
Maka understand the value of education which was the focus of a feature story in a Georgian monthly cultural magazine called "Hot Chocolate". Here's what the readers found out about her:
"I study aviation at the Faculty of Tourism Management. In my spare time I take a course in Latin American dances, though I like any music to which I can dance. ... I plan to find a job in September. I believe working while studying will allow me to experience freedom so I can provide for myself soon. I think everyone is capable of achieving success. It's all up to us. Whatever I do is my own deed, good or bad. I don't like it when people fall under the influence of others and lose their identity."
Maka's plans for her future include successfully obtaining a college degree, finding a stable, well-paying job, having a cosy home and - attending the carnival in Rio de Janeiro! "If I could attend the carnival just once, I'd be the happiest person in the world," she admits.
Everyone around Maka is convinced she'll accomplish all her plans for she has the will to always find a way. Recently, Maka was alone at the youth facility when someone knocked at the door. She answered to a girl of approximately her age with a desperate look. "Could you spare some change for bread?" the girl asked.
As Maka was handing a few coins the girl asked what kind of place this was looking at the blue [SOS Children's Villages] logo. "I told her it's a home for youngsters from disadvantaged families," explains Maka adding "And then she handed me back the money."
The girl told surprised Maka that she lives in the suburbs with her little sister and alcoholic father. The mother left them years ago. The sisters used to live in orphanages, but ran away escaping the terrible conditions. Now she was begging to survive, but not at the expense of other disadvantaged children.
"I realized the unknown girl wouldn't take any help from me, so I played a trick and told her that since she was here she could help me sort out some of my old clothes which I planned to donate to the church that afternoon," explains Maka. "I knew she couldn't say no to me."
When the two were done with the clothes, Maka invited the girl to stay for lunch: "'I hate eating alone,' I told her," smiles Maka. After lunch the girls went to the nearby church. Maka bought two candles and gave one to the girl. They lit them each making a wish.
"When we came out [of the church], I told the girl that my wish was for her to allow me to give her my old clothes," says Maka and adds with a glitter in her eye "she nodded and said that her wish was to have one more sister, one just like me."
* SOS Children's Villages is convinced that maintaining ties to family members is crucial when it comes to a child's well being and promoting his/her further development if the SOS child still has biological parents and/or close relatives and if there are positive emotional connections between the SOS child and his/her relatives. This is why we support SOS children in keeping in touch with their relatives.