Girls sitting in circle at the SOS Children's Village Tbilisi, Georgia…
Ever since he was little, Giorgi has enjoyed working. Rather than relaxing over summer months or chilling out with friends on weekends, Giorgi was busy polishing glasses and helping out. Every penny he made, he put aside for an important investment.
Girls sitting in circle at the SOS Children's Village Tbilisi, Georgia
Ever since he was little, Giorgi has enjoyed working. Rather than relaxing over summer months or chilling out with friends on weekends, Giorgi was clearing tables and polishing glasses. Every penny he made, he put aside for an important investment.
Giorgi describes himself as natural born workaholic. This dark-haired young man in his early twenties finds no work difficult. Presently he is engaged in a huge investment for the future.
Ever since he was a little boy, Giorgi's high spirits and diligence captured those around him. After completing primary school, he enrolled to a vocational school for designing which he completed in time and with high marks. Though his school was demanding and time-consuming, Giorgi managed to find time for part time jobs and to finish a course in hairstyling.
"I think my [SOS] siblings and friends were happier than me when I finished the course," laughs Giorgi. Within days after getting his certificate, the children and youngsters lined-up for his hairstyling services. "I never said no to anyone, because although I did it for free, I was actually gaining loads of experience."
Though fascinated by the world of glitter and glamour, Giorgi is also very realistic down-to earth boy. "I completed my wish for studying fashion, I managed to get my hairstyling certificate, but I was always aware of the competition and the obstacles in this industry. So, one summer I took a bartending course in order to find jobs easier."
Giorgi's persistence and hard work got him seasonal employments in many popular restaurants and bars around Tbilisi. He began providing financial assistance to his biological brother and mother, and soon moved back to live with them in the small flat in Georgia's capital. Then came a disappointing time...
Suddenly left with way too much free time, the workaholic used it to look back at his life. "I went back to the time when I finished school and took a bartending course. I thought, if I did it once, I can do it again. So, I decided to go back to school and earn my classical high school equivalency diploma," says Giorgi.
After discussing the issue and getting support from his SOS mother and his counsellor [from the SOS Youth Facility], Giorgi enrolled to preparatory courses for the national exams. He used his savings to pay for the courses. "One part of my savings comes from my salaries and the other from my sponsors' money gifts," says Giorgi. "I promised myself to give more than my best, because I'm not the only one who is investing in me."
The exams are coming soon and by then Giorgi will be very busy with his studying. Asked whether he's also considering university studies, he shortly says: "One step at a time. But, who knows..." The proud optimistic young adult concludes: "I always planned to one day spend my savings on something big. I can't imagine anything bigger than my future."
Family having lunch in their house at the SOS Children's Village Assomada, Cape Verde
In Cape Verde, the sweet smell of 'Kuskus' would attract anybody passing by the kitchen. And Isabel's ten children are not an exception!
'Kuskus' Cape Verdean style: Isabel's kitchen is full of big pots! Pots for 'catchupa' (a traditional stew), pots to cook a big whole fish with tomatoes, onions and lime juice...and pots to make the traditional 'kuskus', a sweet delicacy that her ten children will enjoy tonight. This SOS mother from SOS Children's Village Assomada definitely likes to treat her children. Today, she will also treat you, with her 'Kuskus' recipe!
Once a week, Isabel treats her big family with a 'kuskus'. It's a time all children love, starting from the nice sweet smell that spreads in the house, to the time all sit around the big table to enjoy the hot 'kuskus', with butter and a glass of milk.
Today, Isabel is preparing her maize 'kuskus' alone. Twelve-year-old Vanessa knows how to cook 'kuskus' and often gives her a hand, but today, she is busy playing with her SOS sister Monika upstairs in their room. Some of Isabel's other children are out in the village, playing. Only eleven-year-old Emmanuel is hanging around the kitchen, looking after his baby brother.
Though it's a very fast recipe to make, one needs to plan a little ahead when wanting to make 'kuskus'. Isabel's family size special ceramic pot has stayed overnight in a bucket full of water, to be ready to use. In a big plastic bowl, Isabel pours 900 grams of maize flour and 200 grams of potato flakes. Quantities are always big when you cook for eleven! She first mixes the content with her hands before adding enough water to make the mixture humid (but not wet). Rubbing the mixture in her hands to avoid having lumps, Isabel explains how important it is to do this step properly. "In the end, your mixture should look like semolina", she explains. "After, you add as much sugar as you want, depending on your taste", continues Isabel. "You can also add some cinnamon, but today, I'm out of cinnamon!"
In the meantime, Isabel has put water to boil in a metal pot. The pot needs to be of good size, so that you can place the ceramic 'kuskus' pot on top, to steam the 'kuskus'. The mixture is ready. Isabel puts it in the special pot [a ceramic pot with a round bottom with some holes, to let the steam go through] which she has just dried and places it on top of the pot of boiling water. "To make sure the steam doesn't escape, you have to seal the two pots with a mixture of flour and water", explains Isabel. Finally, she covers the ceramic pot with a lid, and, during the half-an-hour cooking time, displays plates, glasses forks and knives on the long kitchen table.
Very soon, the children staying in the house smell the sweet delicacy. Two of them run out to inform their siblings that the 'kuskus' is ready and within a few minutes, all are seated around the table, a big smile on their face! While Isabels makes sure that all have a hot slice of 'kuskus' on their plate, the older siblings pour milk in all the glasses and help the little ones spread salted butter on their 'kuskus'. Forks and knives in hand, the family becomes all of a sudden very quiet No need to wonder why! It's just delicious!