Hopechest

The Nitty Gritty

Beginning of Life

So the other day I realized that I haven’t given you folks a lot of details about what I’m going to be doing in Moldova. Part of that is because I didn’t have a whole lot of details to give, but part is because I’m not a very detail oriented kind of gal. Stuff just happens when it happens and I just go with it.

But since I know people like to have more information than, “Going to a country that you may  not know where it is and spending time with girls who were victims of sex trafficking,” I thought I’d give you a quick run-down of some of the things we’ll be doing.

I leave on Sunday, January 20 and return on Monday, January 28.

Here’s Moldova:

The capital is Chisinau, which I still don’t know how to pronounce (I think it’s something along the line of keesheenew, but don’t hold me to that). We’ll be staying there.

I’m going with Children’s HopeChest and this team of lovely ladies. We will be working at the Beginning of Life Foundation. This is a space that helps rehabilitate girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking. The ages of the girls there are between 8 and 17. (Please let those ages sink in.) My understanding is that there are 12 girls there right now, but that could change before we arrive.

While we are there, we will be sharing skills with the girls. Part of this is to teach them a skill so they can earn money so that they are not victims of human trafficking again. Often the girls are kidnapped when they go looking for work to help support their families financially, since Moldova is the poorest country in Europe.

But the other part is simply to spend time with these young women and to let them know that they are valued. I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around what it is to be a victim of slavery, and to have your body used in such a way. So when we are there teaching them self-defense, or art journaling, or crochet, we hope that they can use that in some practical way, but even more, it is our hope that they feel treasured and valuable.

In addition to our work with Beginning of Life, we will:

  • visit neighborhood families that have either former victims or at-risk victims of human trafficking
  • visit a crisis pregnancy center
  • teach in a public school
  • visit a church youth club
  • visit a local youth community center
  • see an escape presentation
  • tour a monastery

I am so grateful to those of you who donated toward my trip. Thanks to donations from the blog, from my church, and a super amazing Christmas gift from my husband, nearly all of my expenses were covered. I cannot thank you enough for your support. I will do everything in my power to bring you stories of what I experience there and to offer you opportunities to help these girls.