(DF Watch.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Construction work began Saturday in the north of Tbilisi on what will become in Georgia’s first palliative care center for children.

The initiators of the new hospice marked the start of construction work in the village Dighomi, a Tbilisi suburb.

The project is aimed to be finished by the end of 2016. This will be a place where children with chronic or incurable diseases will receive palliative care with their families for free.

The hospice aims to offer three types of services: 24-hour care for 10 children; a day center, where kids and their parents will get day-time services; and a care at home service. The latter is already being offered to 15 children in Tbilisi for free.

The idea of opening the hospice came up after a study was carried out in 2013 to about situation of children who require palliative care. According to the study, 839 children require such care every year.

Open Society Georgia Foundation took the initiative to the project, and it is co-financed by the president’s reserve fund and supported by the medical corporation Evex.

Georgia’s first lady Maka Chichua was present at the start of construction work, together with OSGF Director Keti Khutsishvili and Evex director Nikoloz Gamkrelidze.

Chichua outlined that the non-governmental sector, business, individuals, and many individuals have been involved in carrying out this project and she thanked them for their support.

Together with the other speakers, she inserted the list of the people and organizations who donated for the project in a capsule and placed it in the foundation of the new house.

“This is a place where children will receive complete care, medical care, psychological support, will have entertainment, all for a comfortable environment,” Khustishvili told journalists.

Among the attendants at the opening were mothers of future beneficiaries. One of them had brought her child.

“This is very important so that little members of our society can be happy in the final days of their lives and so we may help them make their lives better. I call on everyone to get involved in this project,” Maka Chichua said.