Katya, a young woman from our Ternopil site in Ukraine, has a favourite quote that she often reflects on: “If love is in your heart, you are in the palms of God.” Katya’s been sponsored for the past 11 years, and tries her best to spread the love of God with others. “The main calling of each person is to love others and be ready to help them, therefore fulfilling God’s will,” Katya smiles.
Looking at sincere, balanced, and thoughtful Katya, it’s hard to believe that she’s lived through so much tragedy and sadness. When Katya was just two years old, her mother passed away in a car accident. Katya and her siblings were left orphaned and heartbroken. Their loving grandmother adopted the four children, and tried her best to provide for a good life for them.
Katya’s story touched the hearts of her kind sponsors, who began supporting her in 2008. Sponsorship allowed Katya’s grandmother to provide the children with household essentials such as clean bedding, kitchen utensils, school supplies, and most importantly, food. “For a poor family in a small village, this type of support was incredible, as the usual family budget is barely enough to feed the children,” explains Luba, our Ternopil site director.
Over the years, sponsorship has also motivated Katya to achieve her main goal in life of serving others. Thanks to the support she received from her family and her sponsors, Katya successfully completed high school and made the decision to pursue a career in medicine. Her sponsors continued to support her throughout her studies, which made a world of difference. Katya left home for four years to complete her degree, and was able to afford housing, books, and tuition.
Throughout her studies, Katya stayed involved in her passions, and worked during the summers. She’s fond of religious studies, and was chosen to attend a Catholic summer retreat in Spain. The experience motivated her to learn Spanish! Another summer, she chose to work at a dental office as a cleaner. “Even while cleaning, she showed a lot of responsibility and tried to learn the nuances of dentistry,” Luba smiles. The owner noticed Katya’s perseverance, and offered her a job after she completes medical school!
“Katya is our site’s pride,” says Luba. “She lives out her Christian values, and is an excellent example of the positive impact that sponsorship has in a child’s life. Sponsorship has helped her in her upbringing and has formed her future. She has made her way from the difficulties of her childhood to purposeful, confident movement towards her future. And this makes what we do so worthwhile!”