With care and precision, Karina slowly moves the colorful rubber puzzle on the table to her 14-year-old friend Mariam, after the teachers leave the room. She confidently points at the blue squared piece. “What is this?” she asks her friend, “and this?” she repeats with the yellow circle, “and this?” while pointing at a purple rectangle. “Very good,” she says proudly after her friend identifies all correctly.
Short for her age, but always smiling, 10-year-old Karina has Down syndrome. Her friend Mariam has brain damage. The girls sit at a white table in a serene, recently renovated, activity room filled with children’s books, toys, and puzzles. It's their favorite place to go, the newly opened daycare center for children with disabilities in Borjomi.
And places like these are scarce for children with disabilities in Georgia. With only 40 daycares throughout the country and most of them located in urban areas, children like Karina are often left to fend for themselves.