Project Spotlight: Helping a Ukrainian Child in Poverty

The Fellowship  |  February 18, 2022

Jewish girl who lives in poverty in the FSU
(Photo: FJC)

By partnering with various organizations, The Fellowship is able to help tens of thousands of Jews in need and in poverty throughout the former Soviet Union—including children. So many families with children are desperately trying to make ends meet on little to no income. In order to survive, The Fellowship gives them assistance such as food and medicine as well as homecare visits and therapy, made possible by The Fellowship’s friends and supporters. We help children like Alexandra.

Poverty Is All She’s Ever Known

In Vinitsa, Ukraine, poverty isn’t hard to find. In fact, here as in other places where The Fellowship serves, poverty is a painful reality out in the open for far too many.

When we arrived at Alexandra’s house, poverty is all we saw.

And for this sweet Jewish seven year old, poverty is all she has ever known.

Behind a rusted gate sits the falling-down shack Alexandra calls home. The gate never squeaked, because no one ever came to visit.

Seven years of near starvation left Alexandra malnourished and anemic. Unlike other seven year olds, she had no energy to run and play. And unlike other children, Alexandra had no friends, and no hope. This little girl had nothing but loneliness.

But then one day Alexandra heard the rusty gate creak open. Someone had come to visit!

Fellowship volunteer stood at the door of the family’s shack with a smile and a large box of food. Delicious, nourishing food.

Alexandra and her siblings enjoyed the snack the Fellowship volunteer gave them, while their mother broke down in tears of heart-wrenching anguish. Alexandra’s health threatened the poor girl’s very life, her mother cried. But the family had no money or resources to treat Alexandra. They had nothing; they live in poverty. “We are all alone, we have no one to help us,” Alexandra’s mother cried.

But now Alexandra and her family are not alone. They have Fellowship friends around the world whose love and care has provided hope for the first time. They now receive food boxes and warm clothing. The family has moved to a boarding house, where Alexandra’s mother works as a cook. The children now attend Jewish schools.

And Alexandra, thanks to the medical care she now receives, is healthier than she has ever been. “Your kindness has saved our lives and given us a second chance,” her mother says, her hopelessness, her poverty as distant a memory as that gate creaking open.

The Fellowship has been providing food, medicine, heat, basic needs and aliyah to Jews in need in the former Soviet Union for over 30 years, and we’re prepared for any situation the hundreds of thousands of Jewish people in that region may face. Help support vulnerable Jews with your gift of love and comfort today.

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