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Case Study: Ida’s Story

Ida’s Story : Providing companionship in eastern Europe

Ida dedicated 60 years of her life to her career as a children’s ophthalmologist. She helped tens of thousands of children to see, and was proud to pioneer new treatments. She even volunteered as an eye-care specialist at her local Jewish community centre until she was 80.  

Now she is 94, and almost blind. Ida had no children and never married. Her friends and colleagues have all passed away – she is totally alone. Trapped in her one room apartment which she has been unable to leave since 2014.  

But World Jewish Relief gives Ida a respite from her isolation in the form of her companionship homecare worker, Lilia. Ida spent years helping other people to see, and now Lilia is her eyes to the outside world.  

Lilia is Ida’s only source of company – she reads to her, chats to her, listens to music with her and tells her all the week’s news. With Lilia’s company, Ida is no longer alone and even though she is sometimes confined to her bed for months at a time, Ida takes solace in Lilia who has given her a reason to smile again.  

“This is for me like a breath of fresh air! After all, before, I was an active participant in the life of our community! And now, thanks to Lilia, I learn about everything that is happening there! Lilia and I celebrate all Jewish holidays, and for me it is so important! Thanks to your project, I now have a wonderful companion and a person close to me. For lonely old people this is a priceless gift.”