Natalia was born into a typical, Ukrainian village family; poor, simple and needing to work almost every day of the year in order to survive and grow. She wanted to be a medical doctor but her family could not afford the cost of such an education.
Although she lived in Ukraine, the only college she could find to study Nursing, at government cost, was in St. Petersburg, Russia. She studied diligently and passed with honours.
In her home village, MMC had begun renovating, improving the medical clinic. The newly enlarged clinic became more functional, so more people came for medical help. Natalia got a job in her village medical clinic as a nurse. She also became the laboratory technician in the clinic and has worked there ever since. She uses all the supplies that MMC send to the clinic for patient care and for lab work. She is extremely pleasant, caring, effective and highly respected by her fellow staff (4 others), patients, villagers, and by MMC people who meet her.
The nurses must wear uniforms in the clinic, usually just a white lab coat. Their salary is so low that even purchasing their uniforms is difficult for them to afford. After work they must go home to chores; hoeing the garden, feed the pigs / chickens, take the cow out to pasture, milk the cow, prepare family dinner. They could not survive only on her salary of approx. $100 CAD per month.
Yet, Natalia cares for, and makes time to help, those in her village who are even less fortunate than her and her family. She is married, has 2 children and a house, but many other poor village families are also on her mind, in her heart.
One such family, living on the edge of the village, is closely watched and cared for by Nataliya. This family consists of:
- Grandma – still the leader, keeps family organized and together.
- Son – no education due to mental challenges. He occasionally gets some menial work in the village to earn a bit of money.
- Daughter – no education, same reason. She goes with her mother (grandma) to Poland to work in the fields, 2 months in the spring, 2 months in the fall. This helps to get the family through the winter.
- Daughter-in-law (son’s wife) – no education. Requires much assistance, supervision.
- Grand-daughter – about 3 ½ years of age. Attends Child Care Centre occasionally.
- Grand-daughter – about 11 months of age.
Nurse Natalia was informed of this concern. She knew the family well, and how much help they needed. Most importantly, Natalia believed that no one cares for children more than the parents of those children. She believed that children should be with their parents.
Natalia took it upon herself to compassionately visit, work with, and help this family, to keep them together, to help them overcome any obstacles that might rupture the family unit.
From the clinic the family receives diapers, clothes, medicines (Tylenol etc.), vitamins, household goods, toys as they are available. When are they available? When MMC boxes with supplies arrive. Supplies collected, packed, sent by wonderful MMC volunteers and donors; supplies distributed by the nurses at the clinic to patients, families in need, such as the family above.
If MMC had not supported renovations and upgrades to the medical centre, as well as medical supplies and equipment, Natalia would not have a job there and would not have been able to help this family, or other families. Thus with MMC assistance, the staff can do their job, function effectively as a medical centre for everyone in the village. The medical centre, school and Child Care Centre have all been slowly improved over the years creating a healthier community for all. MMC is well known there!