By Felicia Carty; Edited by Katie Hackett
Dariko, 65, remembers a time when her family didn’t have water for their land. Like everyone in the community, their only source of water was 30 km away—a river up in the mountains. It wasn’t enough for everyone, and the system relied on wooden channels. During heavy rains the channels were destroyed.
Every spring, community members would gather to fix the system together, with one delegate from each family. When the men were busy working, the women would go with shovels to clear rocks and fix the channels themselves.
“Often, repairs had to be done in very difficult places to reach,” Dariko says. “Very steep terrain. There was a risk of falling down the steep slopes.”
Since parts of the channel were exposed to the sun, the water would evaporate during in the hot summer months. Without enough water, their crops withered.
When World Vision partnered with the community, a new irrigation system was prioritized. World Vision provided large, fully enclosed iron pipes. Community members helped professionals with the installation.
Dariko’s husband, Saginadze, says they are getting ten times the water they had before. The family has purchased more land to expand the farm, doubling its size. Before, they were growing just enough to feed themselves, but now there’s extra to sell at the market.
“We have cows and land—we grow potatoes, cabbage, beans and corn,” says Dariko. “Sometimes we sell our produce; sometimes we give to those in need as charity.”
“These [new] pipes World Vision brought are very good. They will last for centuries,” adds Saginadze. “It does not need maintenance every year. Instead of going and fixing these pipes, the people are working on their land.”
The extra income is essential to the family. Saginadze had a heart attack and his medications eat into the family budget. Their adult son, Beglari, lost his job a few years ago and now puts his focus into the farm work. They would have been in dire straits without the increased agricultural production.
The couple’s grandchildren Soso, 11, and Linda, 13, are both sponsored. Soso gets letters from his sponsor in Canada and saves them faithfully. Dariko is delighted by the letters from Canada and often encourages the grandkids to invite their sponsors for a visit.
Lina enjoys helping with planting during the spring, explaining, “It’s very pleasant for the family to be together.”
She has big plans to become a film producer in the future, but her younger brother Soso hasn’t decided on a career yet.
Help families in communities like Samtskhe Javakheti and sponsor a child today.