The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

MARIA Dolin­skiy ges­tures to us to sit down, but does not take a chair her­self. Our trans­la­tor tells us she has just re­turned from a trip to Odessa, a ten­hour round trip – all to make the equiv­a­lent of five US dol­lars (£4).

When her daugh­ter died of kid­ney fail­ure and her son-in-law died of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis, Mrs Dolin­skiy un­der­took to raise her grand­chil­dren her­self, rather than let them go into an or­phan­age.

We meet two of the chil­dren – Maxim, 14, and Lyuba, 12 (be­low). The cost of util­ity bills, plus food and medicine for the chil­dren’s chronic bron­chi­tis, far out­strips Mrs Dolin­skiy’s mea­gre pen­sion and the neg­li­gi­ble state ben­e­fits the chil­dren re­ceive. But the fam­ily is helped by World Jewish Re­lief with food and medicine cards, ac­tiv­i­ties and vo­ca­tional train­ing. They at­tend the lo­cal Jewish school and take part in events or­gan­ised at the Jewish com­mu­nity cen­tre.

As well as go­ing to school, Maxim is on a course which will pre­pare him for a job in the ser­vice in­dus­try.

Natasha, the fam­ily’s WJR case worker, says Mrs Dolin­skiy is “tire­less, an ex­am­ple to all oth­ers in chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances. We are proud to have peo­ple like her”.

Mrs Dolin­skiy ex­plains: “We are so grate­ful to be a part of this pro­gramme. We do not live a lux­u­ri­ous life, but some­how, we man­age.”

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