Three years ago, The Fellowship's North American offices learned of the plight of a young Jewish girl in Ukraine who not only is hearing-impaired, but whose family also lost their home in a fire. Now, Vladimir Shraga of The Fellowship's partner organization the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) shares with us the tremendous strides young Lera has made, progress that would not have been possible without the support of our faithful friends:
My trip is going as planned and beyond [as I] pay a follow-up visit to our lovely Lera from Odessa. Remember her story - a story of a girl who was born with a hearing defect and whose flat was on fire a few days prior to my previous visit? I've just came back from this visit and my emotions are overpouring, but positive!
This time it was absolutely opposite to the visit from three years ago. Today there was a lot of laughter, happiness, hopes, gratefulness, and dreams about the future. Lera and her mother, are full of inner light. Their living conditions stay difficult with their kitchen, bath, and toilet all fit into one room, but otherwise they're doing great.
Lera has become more and more amazing, more and more talented, and shows kindness towards the whole world. She not only speaks and hears but takes part in theater, tells long poems by heart, and is doing well at school. I feel so happy for her, you can't imagine! I feel so proud of all the efforts that save the lives of such little gems as Lera. We Russians are not emotional by nature, but my visit with Lera makes me jump with joy!