May 12, 2015 By The FellowshipSophia was just two-and-a-half years old when Rabbi Eckstein met her in March 2014 at Fellowship-supported Tikva orphanage in Odessa, Ukraine (see photo below). At the time, she was severely malnourished, weighed only 15 pounds, and had a severe case of influenza.Sophia had been born in a slum in Odessa. Her father abandoned the family shortly after Sophia’s birth, and her mother was an alcoholic who couldn’t find work. Sophia and her two siblings were forced to live without electricity or water and often went without food. Sophia was dirty, scared, hungry, and sick.Thankfully, Sophia began receiving the care she deserves at the Fellowship-sponsored orphanage. Since Rabbi Eckstein’s visit, with loving compassion and intensive medical care, Sophia has made remarkable improvements. She has gained weight, is walking normally, and plays happily and calmly with the other children.The psychologists have worked extensively with Sophia, and while she has made impressive strides, she still has some developmental delays. She will need more attention and care from the counselors at the orphanage, and thanks to support from The Fellowship, she will receive all she needs to become a happy, healthy girl.