World Abaza Congress and a group of philanthropists will help a poor family from the village of Baslakhu to construct a new house.

Said Bargandzhia

The team of the World Abaza Congress and a group of philanthropists will help the Batal Chirigba family from the village of Baslakhu, Ochamchira district, to build a house. The villagers of the Batal Chirigba family will also take an active part in the construction.

Batal Chirigba, a young drawing teacher, after graduating from an art school in Sukhum returned to his native village of Baslakhu and got a job at a local school to teach children to draw.  He has two children, the youngest is an infant.  The Chirigba family has a small farm, livestock.  The first thing that catches the eye of everyone who comes to their present house is a large, beautiful and well-groomed courtyard.  But the house itself is a small “hut” of two rooms, where the family is now huddling.  They have the opportunity to move to Ochamchira, but it’s important for the head of the family to stay in Baslakhu, continue to work in school and help the village develop.

The head of the WAC Women's Councils Geta Ardzinba said that Baslakhu residents asked the Chirigba team to help build the house at a meeting held by the WAC in the village on February 15 (the World Abaza Congress holds meetings in the settlements of Abkhazia and creates local branches of the WAC there. To date, more than 30 local branches have been opened, including the village of Baslakhu - ed.).

“Each of those present at that meeting said that there is a young family in the village with two children, the youngest was born just a few weeks ago, who need help.  The head of the family graduated from an art school in Sukhum, he is very talented, however, he did not stay in the town, but returned to his native village to work at the school as a teacher of drawing.  In addition, he still helps every villager a lot.  People said that in every household there is an object in which Batal “had a hand” because he knows how to handle equipment.  According to the villagers, he “elbows-deep in fuel oil every day”, helps everyone and does it for free,” Geta Ardzinba said.

She explained that, as a rule, the WAC does not provide targeted assistance, however, in this particular case, the Congress team came to the conclusion that through the help of one family, the whole village can be helped.

“We thought and decided that help to this particular person would be significant for the whole village, because the school will have a teacher, and in the village there will be a “jack of all trades”.  This is exactly what we call for in every village: mutual assistance, gathering own strengths, collective work to benefit the village,” Geta Ardzinba said.

Commenting on the upcoming project, Levan Torchua, the head of the Youth Councils of the WAC, said that work to raise the foundation will begin in the coming days, and then the blocks will be installed.

“Stone work will be completed within three months.  Local residents also take part in the work.  We (Congress - ed.) will also be there,” said Torchua.

The benefactors also helped the family in the construction - the “Kaskad” company and personally director Aslan Adzinba, the Abkhaz Shipping Company and its leader Daur Ardzinba, as well as private entrepreneur Artur Ashuba.  The World Abaza Congress expressed gratitude to other donors: Esma Osiya and Irina Ozova, who gave the family cribs and strollers.

The Executive Secretary of the WAC, Inar Gitsba, also said that recently, repatriates who have returned to live in their historic homeland have begun to actively join the Congress and its projects.

“One donated diapers and necessary things to the family for caring for a child, and promised to provide the baby with diapers as long as necessary.  Another handed over food.  These benefactors wished not to reveal their names,” said Gitsba.

Batal Chirigba himself thanked everyone who helped his family.  When asked why he decided to stay in the village and why he helps the villagers for free, the teacher answered simply: “I grew up here!”

His wife, Elena Taniya, also expressed gratitude to everyone who responded and who will help with the construction.

“Thanks for the support.  This is our home, we want to live here.  My husband wants to continue working at school, he does not want to leave children,” she said.

A resident of the village of Baslakhu, Koba Chitanava, once again noted that Batal never refuses to help the villagers, responds to any request, is not afraid of any work.

“My brother recently died.  I built a grave.  Batal helped me a lot.  He helps for free,” said the man.

The head of the local branch of the WAC in Baslakhu, Robert Adleyba, is convinced that it was extremely important for the village to help Batal, allowing the family not to leave.

“He teaches children to draw, he is a very worthy guy, not afraid of any work. He always helps us. It is very important that such people remain in the village.  Honestly, when we asked for help, we did not think that they would respond so quickly to our request. We really appreciate your support and we will help to build a house with our own hands,” he said.

One of the priority and significant areas of work of the World Abaza Congress is to support residents of settlements in Abkhazia and places of compact residence of Abkhaz and Abaza outside the Republic, and to contribute to the improvement of settlements. WAC strives to create the conditions under which residents will take the initiative, and will gradually and together improve the quality of life in their homeland.  To this end, the WAC creates local councils that accumulate such activities on the ground.  By February 2020, the number of local councils in Abkhazia and Turkey reached 30.