Faces of The Fellowship: Olesya
Six-year-old Olesya lives with her parents and her older half-brother in a tiny house in the countryside of Belarus. Her father built most of the house himself – and while he is very proud of his work, the house is very drafty, which makes the cold winters extremely uncomfortable. He also built Olesya’s bed, a loft-like space over her parents’ bed, which she loves but is not very safe.
The family’s house has no running water or gas heating, and it is far from the nearest town. Olesya’s brother designed a special seat on the back of his bike for Olesya to sit on, and he and their mother take turns biking Olesya the many miles to school each day.
Olesya’s mother earns a small salary working as a seamstress, and the family raises chickens and tends a vegetable garden. These serve as the family’s main source of food. Olesya’s father, a trained psychologist, has not been able to find work in several years. He recently suffered a heart attack, and requires a lot of medication and care. The family worries about the uncertainty of the future.
But one thing is certain: The Fellowship will be there to help. Ever since she was a baby, Olesya has received monthly food packages from The Fellowship to supplement her diet of homegrown vegetables, helping her to grow into a strong and healthy child. Last year, The Fellowship bought the family a new refrigerator and helped them fix their roof, which had begun to leak and made the cold winters even worse. They know that no matter what obstacles they face, they will be able to count on their Christian and Jewish friends around the world, and for that, they are so grateful!