Maria's Story: A True Story of Survival
When Robin Barratt and his wife first met Maria in Moscow, they had no idea how much of an impact she would have on their own lives. From the initial interest in her story, the horror of discovering her daily struggle to survive through to active involvement in trying to improve her life. Living on the streets and begging is a harsh reality for many in Russia but for those with a disability life can be doubly cruel. Overlooked by the authorities and people who should have helped her, Maria willingly shared her story with the author who, in turn, made a promise, not only to tell the world about her situation, but to try and make a real difference. Maria’s Story documents the true story of one woman’s fight for survival against all the odds and those who tried to help her. It uncovers the truth of how many people continue to live in poverty in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. Desperately sad, haunting but frequently uplifting, this book is a tale about overcoming adversity and, above all, never losing hope.
the lady asked as she approached the agitated dog. She bent down at the object, tugged at it and pulled a child’s little red buckled shoe out from under the layer of grass and old leaves. “Oh my goodness!” She gasped. The lady with the dog had heard about the poor little girl that lost both legs in a terrible accident on the railway tracks nearby a couple of years ago and somehow she felt that this was her shoe. Although the lady didn’t know the little girl personally, she knew of her mother and
was definitely going to be a nice place to settle. There was the new Forum and library, the new Castle Mall Shopping Centre and another shopping mall under construction, loads of cafés and restaurants, two or three big screen cinemas and the new Riverside complex. However, there was one bad thing about Norwich that I noticed on our first evening out; the life on the streets after about midnight. Although, when I was a lot younger, I had worked at many of the nightclubs in Norwich, I never
for Inna’s flights, but we were determined that this was going to happen. We had had so many disappointments we fully expected our benefactor not to turn up. After arriving in Moscow, Inna made her way over to the hostel where Maria lived, still not knowing whether or not our benefactor was going to come. Inna arrived at the hostel at about 11am and called Maria from the lobby. Maria was upstairs getting ready and a few minutes later came down to meet Inna. They hugged and kissed and Inna gave
make her way from Zelenograd, about 30 miles north of Moscow, to Domodedovo airport about ten miles south of Moscow. She had to take the minibus from Zelenograd to Rechnoy Vokzal metro, at the very end of the Green metro line. She then had to catch a metro to Paveletsky railway station at metro Paveletskaya, on the circle line and from Paveletsky she had to take a train to the airport. It was a long, hot, uncomfortable three hour journey. She got there in plenty of time and waited for Jamie’s
idea who they were or what they were doing and anyway, she said, they had no spare rooms. The nurse asked whether they had paid in advance. They said they hadn’t paid anything but Inna had spoken to Doctor Kolesov and told him about Maria and the project, but he wasn’t there and the nurse wanted to talk about money. Inna asked the nurse how much money she wanted as a deposit and the nurse told her they required 2,500 dollars as an advance payment before anyone could stay even one night. Inna and