Single Mom

Yulya and Lera live alone. Yulya is a beautiful woman who, by a miracle, is still among the living. Now disabled and without a husband, she is nevertheless raising a daughter. Lives only for her. I already wrote about them. It was a chance encounter. They live next to our sisters whom we’ve been helping for years.
Yulya is still young but can barely walk, relying on a cane. Our Lena noticed her on the street. A few words were exchanged and everything was clear. Her life was a hard one. Everything is made worse by the fact they live in LPR. Where the socially vulnerable are particularly affected because social benefits are tiny. Medical support is limited. And yes, the war there is not an abstraction but a fact. People often write me to say that, well, we have plenty of people in Russia who need help. It’s all true, there are single moms, disabled, abandoned elderly, in Russia aplenty. But believe me, it’s ten times worse in a war zone. I realize that for many that war does not exist but..you know, it’s probably useless to explain. You either get it or you don’t. And I ask you, please ignore his post if you disagree with me. There are hundreds of pages, posts, bloggers who are begging for you to deposit your opinion there.

Continue reading

Yulya and Lera

I’m often asked–how do we find people who need assistance?
It’s an interesting question, but also a banal one–it always varies. In some cases it’s the neighbors, in others acquaintances. In general, of course, we get referrals from the Social Services Center in Lugansk, which is where people who need help go. Curiously, nearly all the direct, first-person appeals we encountered on the internet turned out to be either lies or divorces. Not always, of course. And then there are the cases where we accidentally encounter such people ourselves. I remember how we met one granny in Khryashchevatoye. We then came to simply take photos of the village where nearly half of the houses were destroyed. There were lots of burned out vehicles on every street. Tanks, APCs. It was January 2015. We met her right on the street. She was taking tiny steps, with felt boots over snow, bent almost all the way to the ground. We pushed some money into her hand and she cried. Since then we have found her and came to visit more than once.

That’s what happened with Olya.
This young woman lives next to our sisters whom we’ve been helping for years. Our friends have noticed her a long time ago–a young woman, but limping with a cane. One time when we were bringing more aid to our Alyona and Marina, we saw Yulya once again. Got to talking. Turned out not for naught.
Zhenya says:

Continue reading