Katerina was a young and energetic 17-year old who grew up in a one room farm house outside the Russian city of Kaliningrad. Her talent for sports was obvious to even the most untrained eye… It was obvious that she would one day be a star. 

Katerina lived with her mother, grandparents and severely disabled aunt. For their economic needs, the family depended solely on one lone cow. They utilized the cow’s milk for themselves and sold it at the market. They were also able to produce and sell different types of cheeses. Occasionally, Katerina’s mother found an odd job here and there, but their small and steady income came straight from the cow.

One day, fate took a turn for the worst. At the start of a sports competition, Katerina suddenly became very ill and fainted. She was rushed to a local hospital where she was diagnosed with a dangerous heart disease. Not only was she to undergo a major surgery, but she was absolutely forbidden to play any kind of strenuous sports. Her childhood dreams were ruined.

Soon after Katerina’s hospital stay, the family was faced with another tragedy; they found their invaluable work cow dead. Their livelihood was now in jeopardy as the cost of a new cow was an insurmountable 30,000 Russian Rubles ($862).

While the family tried to find a solution, the story made its way to the Jewish community in Kaliningrad. Our center there decided to assist the family and enlist the financial assistance of the Special Aid Fund at the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ).  The family was quickly approved and before they knew it, they received a new, life-saving cow.

While we could not fix Katerina’s heart, we were able to enroll her in many of our humanitarian projects. She now receives new clothing packages and monthly food parcels and we are so happy to have the opportunity to make her life just a little bit easier.

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