€30.00Donated So Far
Campaign reset! We raised an amazing EUR 1036 over the course of the first campaign, but unfortunately it has all been spent now. Zhelyan is doing her utmost to raise four kids all by herself, along with a cat, a dog, and various stray and foster animals who wander in and out of her life, as if attracted by a magnet. The father is not involved; the grandparents are not involved; the aunts and uncles live out of town and have children of their own. Her first graders are fairly healthy and attend school on a regular basis, but the tiny twins, for whom a daycare centre was found at long last, keep getting sick. They may not even be re-accepted, due to lengthy absences, and have to wait until May, when they will be able to go to the local kindergarten. Various misfortunes, of which poverty is always the direct or indirect cause, befall the family and the landlady too.
It goes without saying that Zhelyan has tons of work, but none of it pays in financial terms. Please donate to keep her going, if you can. The text of the original campaign is below.
Zhelyan is a young mother of four who is separated from her husband, with one dead and one estranged parent, and almost no income other than meagre child benefits (a total of 240 leva, or 120 euros per month to feed the entire family). She has completed school up to the eighth grade and if one day she finds the time, she will pick up where she left at the evening school. The family live in a rented house with a kind landlady who uses the modest rent primarily to buy medication for her illness.
Job-wise, Zhelyan has been in a Catch-22 situation: unable to get paid work because there’s no one who can look after her toddler twins, and unable to collect enough points for daycare – in part because she doesn’t work. However, this autumn the twins will finally be going to daycare, while the two older kids are starting school. Zhelyan hopes that, with some luck, she will find a job once things settle after the first day of school. Until she receives her paycheque, though, she will have nothing.
She is a kind soul who, despite a rough start in life, is highly motivated, wants her children to have a better chance than she did, and always tries to set a good example. She has a great love for animals, with a cat named Choffi at home and several street dogs who are very attached to her. She never forgets to feed the hungry animals and has found adopters and foster homes for a number of dogs and puppies, some of whose stories I have followed closely.
Here’s what Dr. Malev, who goes to the same church as Zhelyan, has to say about her:
<< Hello, I’ve known Zhelyan for about three years. We see each other on Sundays at the Seminary temple. She would always come with at least two small children. At the beginning, I’d see her standing mostly outside, asking for some money after the service. Then I noticed her going in timidly to attend the service and was surprised to see her and another woman take the toddlers, a boy and a girl, to receive Communion on multiple occasions. I realised with satisfaction that this was not just about begging. A year passed. Zhelyan’s attendance was regular. One day after the service, we started talking in the yard. When she found out that I was a medical doctor, she asked for some advice for her children and gradually told me about her situation, the poverty, the husband who doesn’t help her or, to put it more accurately, doesn’t work and contribute to the family. She said she was from Samokov and that if things don’t work out, she’s thinking of going back to her relatives. She lives quite far from the Seminary, and it takes no small effort to get to the church. The toddler twins don’t go to daycare yet, and she looks after them and is always with them, so she is unable to work and has no income. She has two other children who will now be in first grade.
The children have been baptised, and Zhelyan herself is going to be baptised, if all goes well, in October, despite resistance on the part of her husband’s relatives.
In summary, I can say that this is a young mother in a difficult life situation who lives with her four children in great hardship, yet I have never seen her treat the kids with impatience; she has shared her ambition of raising them healthy, of choosing the best possible school for the older ones, of Christian upbringing for the kids, of maintaining a connection to the Church.
All this gives me a lot of confidence that this family deserves more long-term and targeted assistance.
Wiser people than me have said: “Give to the beggar, even if he’s riding a horse,” but they have also said: “Let the alms thrice bathe in the sweat of your hand before you give.” >>Veleslav Malev, MD, internal medicine
- Alina Lilova
Light at the end of the tunnel - but need still greatUpdate posted by Alina Lilova at 05:06 pm
Dear friends,A lot has happened in the past couple of months. Zhelyan and the four kids have moved to a rented flat with our help - we are 2 or 3 people/households who support the family. Mecho the dog and Choffi the cat have remained with her former landlady for. . . . .