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Georgian Yard-Keeper who Shares his Salary with 13 Homeless Children

Ltd Tbilservice Group has launched a new initiative Yard-Keeper Diaries, in which the government company will share personal stories of its workers. The first story of this series has already won hearts of the Georgian readers after its appearance on the news agency iPress.ge. 

38-year old Ilia Chokheli is Tbilservice Group’s Samgori region worker who lived in an orphanage until the age of 16 and has seen some rough times throughout his lifetime.

Once Chokheli turned 16, he was forced to live independently, without any help from the orphanage. He found himself left to his own devices in the streets of Samgori. 

For two years, Chokheli looked for work and shelter in different parts of the town. In this period, Chokheli was baptized and started living in churches and monasteries, where he took up handicraft work.

After years of working, Ilia rented an apartment in Tbilisi and took custody of 12 homeless children. The children resided with Chokheli in his rented apartment. However, since the yard-keeper did not have a wife or any family, the Georgian government took away custody over the children. 

Starting 2012, Ilia Chokheli works for Tbilservice Group; he lives in a 10 square meter apartment in Tbilisi.

Chokheli mostly cleans the Rikhe square park that is near his home. He currently allocates his salary to 13 homeless children who reside at the Sabutalo homeless shelter in Tbilisi.

Rikhe CBW

Rikhe Park Chokheli

Source: Tbilservice Group

Nino Gojiashvili