Age 78, Kiev, Ukraine
In 1960, Liudmila was the top chess player in Ukraine and a member of the Soviet Union’s national team. She’s always seen chess as a noble endeavor, the kind of game that makes you think. And when it comes to which chess piece best defines her? She knows one thing: She’s definitely no pawn.
But life has been cruel to Liudmila, too, and she’s sometimes been subject to forces beyond her control. She was born in evacuation, 1,500 miles from Kiev, in a Russian city where her family had fled to escape the Nazis. And though she worked in a factory for decades, the collapse of the Soviet Union left her with a pension of less than $2/day.
Liudmila worked hard her whole life, only to end up alone in poverty. Now it’s up to us to help her.