Gaining a Foothold on Success

Ksenia Kisileva, 7
Chernovtsy, Ukraine
 

Ksenia lives with her family in a small and dilapidated house in the Ukrainian city of Chernovtsy.  For years, her mother’s job has been the family’s only source of income and they cannot afford to make basic home repairs, not to mention pay for medical treatments for Ksenia, who was born with a crooked left foot.  Ksenia’s condition made it impossible for her to walk, keeping her out of pre-school and kindergarten.  Though her condition may have been treatable in her infancy, severe medical neglect and the denial of treatment caused her condition to worsen significantly. 
 

Periodically, efforts were made to send Ksenia to a kindergarten that was far from home, but with limited funds, she never had adequate clothing or shoes to wear, and the experience was always painful and short-lived.  While Ksenia was supposed to start first grade at the beginning of the year, her spotty educational record made her completely unprepared for a real school experience.
 

After being briefed on Ksenia’s case, the local LifeChanger FSU coordinators arranged for her to receive medical assistance, including extensive treatments to ease her pain and daily physical therapy exercises to strengthen her foot muscles, psychological counseling to resolve the trauma of her neglected condition, and tutoring to build her basic academic skills and prepare her for school.  She also underwent a qualified medical examination in one of Kiev’s best clinics and received recommendations for further treatment that would improve her condition.
 

During the summer months, LifeChanger FSU arranged for Ksenia to attend a summer camp in Zhytomir, where she was able to engage socially and prepare herself for her first real educational experience at the beginning of the next school year.  Additionally, the whole family received new clothing and personal hygiene products, and local volunteers helped LifeChanger FSU fix the family’s home, creating a calming and nurturing environment for Ksenia.
 

After just two months of intensive tutoring, Ksenia is showing tremendous potential.  She can already write numbers and is now learning her letters.  Indeed, every day brings Ksenia a step closer to her dream of going to school to learn new and interesting things, make friends, and create beautiful memories.  Success begins in grade school, and Ksenia is well on her way thanks to LifeChanger FSU.