Tatiana immigrated to Israel from Kazakhstan together with her mother when she was 11 years-old. She grew up in the city of Ashkelon and dropped out of school when she was 15. Tatiana roamed the streets with no parental guidance as her mother flitted from one personal relationship to another. After serving 12 months in the Israeli Defense Forces and dreaming of a better future, Tatiana moved to Tel Aviv and began working for a cleaning service earning a minimum wage. She eventually settled in Jaffa because of low rent prices and tried to build a home for herself and her partner Rami, who continuously promised to marry and provide for her.
Today Tatiana is raising her children Moti age 9 and Ella age 6 alone. She lives in constant fear that her children will be taken away by the social services because her monthly paycheck of 2,500 NIS together with the supplement to her income provided by the National Insurance Institute hardly covers the bare necessities needed to raise two children.
As of last March with the help of a caring city social worker, Tatiana’s two children were accepted into the Jaffa Institute’s Moadoniot/ After School Enrichment Program where they receive a hot lunch, homework tutoring, music lessons, and more. The family also receives food packages twice a month delivered to Tatiana’s small apartment from the Institute’s Food Distribution Center. Knowing that her children are cared for until the early evening hours and having the assurance that basic products are available at home helps to take substantial worry off Tatiana’s mind. It also enables her to work overtime hours and pursue other employment opportunities which may improve her and her children’s quality of life.