Crossing the Bridge
“Almost twenty years passed since I last saw my cousin. The conflict in Abkhazia of the early 90s separated us. She lives in Kutaisi, I live in Tkvarcheli. Small distance, huge barriers,” says an elderly woman.
The long lost relatives met each other after two decades when she was visiting Kutaisi to receive medical assistance. Travelling across the conflict divide was not an easy decision, but the treatment in Sukhumi and Tkvarcheli brought no tangible results. After much consideration, she decided to cross the Enguri Bridge, an administrative boundary line, to receive the qualified medical assistance in Kutaisi.
“People in Kutaisi showed me respect and love, they cared for me. Doctors are highly qualified and the hospital facilities really comfortable. There should not be separation between people. The “wall of distrust" should be torn down.”
This is one of the many who benefitted from the medical assistance programme run by the Georgian non-governmental organization “Peaceful and Business Caucasus.” In 2013 only, up to 300 Abkhaz and South Ossetians received health care services in the hospitals of Tbilisi, Zugdidi and Kutaisi. The organization helps to get in touch with the clinics and arranges transportation and other logistics. Medical service is provided free of charge in most cases.