Moms sharing life (and potatoes) at the Shelter
At camp this summer, Natasha was our youngest mom with the smallest baby. Little Yuliana was just a month old!
Natasha began attending our Day Center in 2021, where staff member Katya befriended her. Then Natasha dropped out of contact for a while. When we found out Natasha was pregnant, Katya renewed their relationship. We welcomed her into our Stop the Cycle program, which serves orphaned youth who’ve become parents.
After the baby was born, Katya and Stop the Cycle director Oksana visited with diapers, groceries, and other supplies. Natasha lived in her boyfriend’s village house, which was in poor condition and far from the city—not a healthy home for a baby. Natasha’s legal guardians in the same village didn’t offer any help with her newborn.
Soon after the first visit, it was time for family camp! “Thank God Natasha and Yuliana were with us at camp,” Oksana wrote, “where we all became friends, where we talked a lot about the responsibilities of parents.”
In part because of her positive camp experience, Natasha accepted our invitation to stay at the Shelter for a week. At sixteen, Natasha’s already a very good homemaker, and brought potatoes, carrots, and beets to share. (Her garden produced 70 pounds of potatoes!) She joined a friendly group of Shelter moms who work hard, help each other, and love attending church together.
That week, Natasha made some long-overdue doctors’ visits. But we hoped she’d want to experience all the Shelter has to offer. She liked it so much, she soon asked to stay for the winter.
Orphaned moms like Natasha often have no one to turn to. But because of your support, our Shelter doors remain open, even in these uncertain times. Thank you!