Faces of The Fellowship: Majina

The Fellowship  |  February 3, 2016

Majina, IFCJ recipient standing outside with a brown hat and furry scarf.
Faces of The Fellowship: Majina

Until two years ago, Majina, 78, worked as a pediatrician, caring for multiple generations of children in Mariupol, Ukraine. Now Majina is in need of assistance – she is battling breast cancer and feels weak after a recent surgery.

Majina discovered the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) when she cared for a child whose mother was an IFCJ-supported Hesed employee. While the two talked, the mother knew IFCJ could help Majina, so she connected Majina to Hesed and IFCJ.

Sadly, in addition to battling cancer, Majina recently fractured her arm. And despite the fact that Majina worked in a prestigious job for years, her pension is only $66 a month. She also fears for her safety, as Mariupol is on the frontlines of the Ukrainian conflict.

This conflict reminds Majina of her youth, when her family fled to the Ural Mountains to escape the approaching Nazi army. When they returned to Mariupol after the war, they found their house was completely destroyed. For years, the family lived in an army barrack until they could finally afford to move into a modest flat.

For Majina, though, one of her biggest challenges is adjusting to retirement. It is hard for her to sit at home. These days, following her surgery, it is even difficult for her to move around her house.

Thankfully, IFCJ provides Majina with a homecare worker, who not only helps Majina take care of household chores, she helps Majina get out, holding her arm as they go for slow walks through the neighborhood.

IFCJ also provides Majina with a bank card, which she uses for food and the medicine for her cancer treatments, emergency assistance, home repairs, and special food packages for the Jewish holidays.

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