"Only the metal door frame remained after they burned my home," Elene told us. "I thought that I should close it but then I realized that there was nothing to protect behind it. It was then that I decided to flee." Elene, 77, looks at a photograph of her former home in South Ossetia. She has been living in the IDP settlement of Karaleti, in the Republic of Georgia, since she was displaced by fighting in 2008
Elene herself was in her late sixties when the fighting commenced, but she took it upon herself to assist an even older couple who had little understanding of how to survive in flight. After walking for days in the forest, they finally found a place to rest. "We found a natural spring from which we could drink and there was a pile of hay nearby where we could rest," she said. "We lay quietly on the hay listening to the sound of tanks rumbling on the road nearby". All told, she and the elderly couple spent 10 days hiding in the forest. Here, Elene stands on the front porch of her home in the Karaleti displacement settlement
The only photograph that Elene possessed that shows her former home in South Ossetia.