HOPE’s Fellowship Club for the elderly, the “Old Friends’ Home” has been running for eight years already. The Club’s members meet twice a week, have tea, fellowship and celebrate holidays together. They also receive charitable donations in the form of groceries each month.
Valentina Ivanovna (photo, left side) has been a member of the club for many years. She is 83. Valentina’s father was forced to leave his home and move to Tomsk before her birth. He had three more children in Tomsk. In 1937 Valetina’s father was taken to the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs and later Valentina found out that her father was suspected of “organizing a Polish resistance”. After that Valentina never saw her father or grandfather again.
When WWII started Valentina and many of her peers left school and started working in factories making equipment for the war to help her country in such a difficult time. Valentina worked in the factory the entire war and afterwards she kept working there.
One time artists came to the factory to give a performance. One of the artists became Valentina’s husband. They met in the factory and got married a while later.
Valentina’s husband died in 1961. Four years later Valentina got married a second time and spent 25 years together with her new husband. Unfortunately, her second husband drank a lot and Valentina couldn’t handle his alcoholism and they eventually got divorced. Since that time she has been alone, and she simply worked in the factory until she retired. Now Valentina is a pensioner and many of her friends are gone.
But thanks to the Old Friend’s Home Valentina has many new friends, and she is very encouraged by this. Valentina tries not to miss even one meeting in the Old Friend’s Home.