Life started in a dog house
Yelizaveta, who as a baby was thrown out like a garbage: about her life, about people, dogs, adventures and the Dream
I was told about her by an old friend, a social worker Volodymyr Serhachov. He once came up to me and said, "Sasha, can you write about our Lisa? She has such an interesting life. Dramatic but full of adventures. She talks with dogs, she's never afraid of them, because she lived in a doghouse. She dreams of a trailer. To live in it."
The dog that did not come out to eat
I could not but to become interested in Lisa's mysterious abilities and her life of adventures. We met in Dravtsi "near Mary! Do you know where Mary is in Dravtsi!?" - Lisa asked on the phone. I realized that she was talking about the statue of Our Lady, the protector of disadvantaged. I arrived there. A smiling 12-year-old girl came out of the ravine. Well, as tall as a 12-year-old. In fact, Yelizaveta Stercho will turn 35 in July. She does not have a home, but she is not a bum. She talks about her life muddily, because she has experinced a lot, but willingly.
- Lisa, can I you call this?
- What else? Everybody calls me that. I am Lisa.
- Do you live here?
- Nearby. At friends'. Good people take me to live with them. Friends. There are a lot of good people around me. I'm good to them and they are good to me. And God is merciful. If not for Him - I might have already been gone...
- Where did you live before?
- Here and there. I grew up in an orphanage. My mother abandoned right after I had been born. She put me in the doghouse. People came to feed the dogs, and one dog would not come out to eat. They looked closer and saw that it was me. They carried me to the maternity hospital. And found my mom. But she did not want me. That's how I ended up in the orphanage. And she would take me only when she needed money. To register some documents for me and receive benefits. Then she would get drunk and throw me out to the street. And they would take me again to the orphanage. Sometimes I would travel, fleeing bullying in the orphanage. Boys there insulted me. They would catch me and bring back. I have been in different orphanages: in Perechyn, in Berezny and in Domboky... But everywhere it was the same. Bullying. I would ran away again. And would travel again and stray. Often - with dogs who were my friends. They protected me, treated me better than some people...
There is a land, trust and faith
- And where do you come from?
- From Rozivka. It's a village near Uzhgorod. My parents' property is there.
- So you have a house?
- No, not house. There is the land, and the house was burnt by my mother. When she was drunk. And dad burned there... It would be great if there was a house. I would live there, work on the land, would grow something in the garden, have chickens, some cattle. And would help others. I do help now...
- You know, I'm an honest person. And normal. I am friendly to people and they trust me. I lived on a farm in Rozivka, slept on the hay. Helped with farm work. They would give me milk there, something to eat. People sometimes call me to help with some work: wash windows, clean the house, sit with children...
- Does anybody help you?
- Yes. Many people. But the family of my pastor helped me the most. From the church I have been attending for many years. This is an evangelical church. I've been going to it since the very beginning. This church was built by "Pilgrims", many people in Uzhgorod remember them. They are traveling evangelists who lived in Uzhgorod for a while near the Bozdosh park in tents and preached the Gospel. They had two very good dogs and, while traveling, I came up to these dogs, played with them and fell asleep next to them. There I was found by a keeper. "What are you doing here, boy?" - he asked me. I'm not a boy, I'm a girl. I just had a shortcut hair. (I've had long hair only since recently.) I told him about my life.
I stayed with the pilgrims and for the first time I heard about God who loves and helps all. I lived with them for a while. And when they left, and the church was founded here, the family of the pastor Volodymyr helped me a lot. His wife Liliya helped me to receive documents... Helped me to find a job at a sewing factory, dormitory. I worked there for about five years.
Music and walks with the dogs
- Volodymyr Serhachov told me that once you were on a hike with tents and when a pack of dogs came at night to the place, where you had camped, you shooed them off. Is this true?
- It is. I just told them that this place is taken.
- How did you do that?
- Like this, "Woof!!" (Lisa accurately mimics the "language" of the quadrupeds). There were other incidents too. Once, a stranger's rottweiler came to Volodya's yard, began playing with their dog and got entangled in a chain. And so the dogs with entangled chains were just sitting there and growling. For about three days, the whole family had go to work and children to school through the back yard, because they could not get past those dogs. They even called rescuers, but they arrived and just shrugged their shoulders. What could they have done, shot the dogs? Finally, they called me. I came, freed them and took the rottweiler to another neighbourhood of the city. I talked to her, told her that I would take her to where she would be found by her masters. She did not even barked at me, let alone bite me.
I still often work with dogs. If any dog needs to be treated, have its hair cut, ticks removed, treated against fleas, washed - they call me and I'm happy to do it. Everybody says that I could be a veterinarian.
The Dream. Big and... achievable?
- Do you receive a pension? Disability?
- Yes. I have a stomach ulcer. Twice a year, I get treated in the hospital. I have also had a head injury.I was riding a bus to update the photo in the passport and got into an accident. And because of that I have a disability. I receive a small pension, live off it and save a little of it.
- Saving for anything particular?
- I really want to have my own home. I understand that I never will be able to build a new house on my parents' land, because it is very expensive, but I dream to buy a trailer. They cost about 15,000, they most simple ones. And now there are also heated ones, where you can live in the winter. There is everything for living there, a bed, a kitchenette, a shower. The best trailer, that I saw on the Internet, costs 35,000 UAH. I took a photo of them from the internet on the mobile phone. And it is very expensive to deliver them here. Around 20,000 UAH. Brand new, so beautiful!
- And how much have you saved?
- About six thousand hryvnias.
- You still have a lot of saving to do.
- (Sighs). Yeah. Maybe some miracle will happen and God will help me earn the money somehow or find another way... His ways are misterious. I do what I have to do now. Help people, work with dogs, save money for my dream.
- Lisa, what do you have to do to survive having no roof over your head, being friends with dogs and only a few people, and yet keep such optimism?
- You just have to do good.
- Does the world give it back?
- Not always. But you still have to do it. So God told us.
If you want to help Lisa realize her dream, to give her a job, for example to look after a dog, to walk it, and pay her for it - call her, she will be happy to do it and she'll do it well. Her phone number is 093 929 3004
And people with open hearts, who can and want to help the young woman realize the dream of a "warm trailer on the parents' yard", can easily transfer money to her pension card in the "Privatbank". It works, we tested:
Card 6762 4682 0715 9298 - Yelizaveta Stercho. Born on 26.07.1979
Побільше б таких статей про дійсно хороших людей.
Ця історія не може нікого залишити байдужим...
Я була приемно вражена, прочитавши цю статтю і хочу сказати, що знаю ЛІЗУ особисто вже давно. Вона чудова людина. Надіюсь, що всі її мріїї здійсняться.
Дуже дякую за цю статтю. Я знаю Лізу особисто. Це дуже добра людина. Своїм оптимізмом вона надихає людей.
Ліза бажаю здійснення твоєі мріі.
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