Son: Bogdan (2001) aged 11
Daughter: Ruslana (2008) aged 4
aged 34 Marina
is a single mother
raising two children: 11-year old Bogdan and 4-year old Ruslana. Bogdan has
poor health and suffers from very serious chronic diseases, including
asthenoneurotic syndrome and epilepsy. Despite his health problems, the boy
loves football and is a very enthusiastic soccer player. Having to look after a
sick son and little younger daughter, Marina
had to stay home unemployed. For all this time the family survived from the
grandmother’s modest pension. Only recently Marina found a job and started to receive
minimal but at least regular income. Marina
Living situation: the family shares an old private house with remote relatives, with whom the relationship is very tense, and there is almost no communication. The accommodation is very poor, lacking basic conveniences.
Family monthly income: the family survives on the $112 salary of the mother and the $114 grandmother’s pension.
Help received from JDC:
- Monthly assistance from the Food Card program
- Winter relief (bed linen set and blanket)
- Baby carriage
- Clothing and school supplies for Bogdan
- Medicines as needed
Inna is the case worker. They live deep in the south on the right bank. Inna has 100 cases, different frequencies of visits. With this family she meets once a month and speaks once a week on the phone. The family is “needy” but not the worst case.
The main challenge of the case worker is money, especially when the family needs funds for medical care or treatment and we don’t have enough to spare. The connection with the family started because Yevdokiya is a Hesed client, the case worker told the family when Bogdan was born about options through JFS, and also told JFS.
Inna has been working for 9 years with Hesed; her family became JFS clients, and she then became a volunteer, helping other families in the “Home Management Support” program. Then she was invited to become a professional in JFS because they love working with her and she loves the job. When she was in Hesed she did the social work course (distance learning in
from Solomon University
in . Kiev
The entire area is dirty, abandoned, neglected. We got lost because Inna normally gets public transport here and there aren’t good maps here, there are unrecognized/unofficial roads, etc. There's a residential quarter (neighborhood) in
that isn’t officially recognized … because it was officially torn down in the
Bogdan still has problems. Sweet kid, friendly. Inna is vital, says
She helps. When I don’t know what to do she's there. I can call her. When Ruslana
was in hospital, Inna helped, mediated, helped bring medicines that they didn’t
have in the hospital. Inna has organized volunteers to stay with the children
sometimes works a night shift or a 24-hour shift. She's built a good
relationship with her boss, so if one of the kids is sick they are flexible.
She works hard. The pay is low but the conditions are good. Marina
Yevdokiya is sick.
They live far away from the JCC. The kids can't go to the summer camp because of their health problems. They come to JCC activities and programs, though this is difficult. Need to pay for transportation. There’s no bus from here – you pay for the private mashrutkas, cost twice as much, about $1.50 per person.
Bogdan is in fifth grade, loves soccer, especially
. Has a
wide smile. Sometimes goes to JCC, last time I was there there was a show and a
trip and we saw art. France
Everything smells terrible in the house.
doesn’t have front teeth. Bogdan helps
me go shopping, he carries the bags. He’s a good boy, he’s strong. "I don’t
think there are other Jews in the neighborhood. There are some who are
anti-Semitic and can say something about us getting help, I don’t care. But my
mother doesn’t like that." Marina
two mashrutkas to get to work, 3 UAH each trip, total of 12UAH. Marina
JFS will bring a repair program to the house before summer 2013. The priority is to install a shower (they wash themselves in a sink/bowl). They have an outhouse, shared with the upstairs neighbors.