Faces of The Fellowship: Veronica
The Fellowship | November 16, 2016
Veronica’s first year of life was filled with anger, neglect, and heartbreak. Veronica’s father, a man dealing with anger issues, turned their home into a place of fear and abuse.
It was almost a blessing when he left his family. Ella, Veronica’s mother, tried to pick up the pieces of their lives when he left, but her husband left the family with a lot of debt.
Because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Ella cannot apply for government assistance. She had absolutely nowhere to turn, except to her elderly and impoverished mother. Her mother receives a meager pension and lives in a tiny apartment.
Even so, Ella took her one-year-old baby, Veronica, and her 17-year-old daughter, Clara, to her mother’s apartment. It wasn’t ideal, but, Ella explained, “We had nowhere else to go.”
Today, Ella still lives with her mother and both women continue to struggle financially. The family lives off Ella’s salary and her mother’s pension – together, only $185 a month – but their combined incomes aren’t enough to afford nutritious food for Veronica, let alone costly medicines.
Veronica, who is now three years old, is constantly suffering from coughs, colds, infections, and rashes due to a weak immune system. Even if they could afford to send her to preschool, she wouldn’t be able to go because she is often so sickly.
While Ella works, her elderly mother looks after Veronica. Clara, Veronica’s older sister, works as well in order to earn some money to pay for her own school fees. “I may not be able to continue my schooling,” said Clara. “But a girl without a job or source of income in Ukraine has very few prospects for future success.”
Thankfully, the local Jewish community, which is sponsored by The Fellowship, got in touch with the family and immediately wanted to help them improve their desperate situation. Now, they receive clothing vouchers for warm winter clothing and a monthly food package from The Fellowship.
Ella feels so welcomed by the Jewish community and thankful that her girls will now have the basic necessities they need to stay healthy and strong. The whole family is so grateful to Rabbi Eckstein and The Fellowship for rescuing them from their suffering and giving them hope for a better tomorrow.