Janette is afraid.
She’s afraid of what will happen to her this winter. She’s afraid of the cold. It creeps into her tiny house, through the hard concrete floors and the gaps in the thin walls. Her breath freezes in the air. It freezes the pipes, so she cannot wash.
Janette is afraid of putting on her heating. Her pension is so small that she can’t afford to pay to heat her tiny home, and still pay for food. She has to choose. She is afraid of getting into debt, but sometimes, it gets so cold that she has no choice. Spiralling into debt isn’t an option for her. She is afraid of having her heating cut off. She is afraid of what would happen to her if left to deal with the cold alone. She is afraid of getting ill, because she has no money to pay for medication.
But above all she is afraid of the cold.
Janette is a widow. She lives alone in Poltava, Ukraine. Her house has only one main room, with a lean-to kitchen and bathroom attached. When she lost her husband nine years ago, she had to start life again, with nothing. With no one to help look after her, she is struggling. Her pension is tiny, about £55 a month. She says, ‘Sometimes I don’t have enough money to buy food. It is so hard to pay for heating bills alone because I don’t have any spare money – it’s so hard not to borrow money.’
World Jewish Relief provides Janette with a bank card to help pay for her heating, and gives her support and advice through her local Jewish Community Centre. She says, ‘I don’t know what I would do without it and without the help of people from other countries. I would go hungry. It’s scary even to think about it.’ Thanks to your continued support, we can make sure Janette doesn’t have to be afraid of the winter months. She can be safe in the knowledge that putting on her heating won’t cause her to spiral into debt, and that there is someone there to help and advise her if she falls ill. There are many more older people out there like Janette, who live in fear of the colder months. With your help, we can help them live in warmth and safety this winter.
£28 can protect older Jewish people from the bitter winter by contributing towards their heating bills.
£83 pays for heating for someone like Janette for the whole winter.
£270 provides a total winter support package for an older person, including fuel, heating bills, bank cards and warm clothes.