Today was a truly memorable day at SHALVA. While all of our guests are extremely special to us, it’s rare that we have a dignitary of such magnitude as we just did!

We had the honor of hosting the First Lady of Georgia, Maka Chichua, on a tour of SHALVA, and as a special treat, she arrived with the wife of the ambassador to Georgia and a crew of security that the SHALVA kids thought was very cool!

Through a translator, the First Lady was told the story of SHALVA, how it came to be what it is today, and the story culminated with meeting Yossi Samuels, the impetus behind SHALVA and our greatest ambassador. So taken with Yossi was she, that she invited him on an official trip to Georgia as her guest!

SHALVA was one of only 2 Israeli organizations chosen by the First Lady, in order to meet her interest in helping children with special needs. She heard of SHALVA’s sterling reputation as a center of unique and groundbreaking treatments and therapies for children of all ages. She was especially taken with the babies in our nursery, falling in love with our little cuties, while getting to meet Efrat, our very own SHALVA graduate who now volunteers in the nursery herself! The First Lady was astounded that we were able to run such an impressive and full-service center with no cost to the parents.

She ended her tour with a true appreciation for all SHALVA does, and left a gift of 2 gorgeous leather-bound books as a token of her gratitude for SHALVA’s hospitality. It was a remarkable visit, and it made everyone feel good to make a connection between Israel and Georgia through the children of SHALVA.