Saying Yes: Coming Alongside Romania
Stories from Kim in our 2021 Annual Report
A Letter from Kim Westfall
I write to you with a great deal of gratitude for the last year and enthusiasm about what lies ahead! It’s true that some parts of the past two years, particularly Covid-19, were discouraging. At the same time, this period has opened many new doors for Uncaged. And I’m thrilled that Uncaged has been able to say YES to these new opportunities.
-We said YES to Talyssa who was being trafficked by her husband, a prominent lawyer in town. She and her children are now safe and we are fighting for her ultimate freedom.
-We said YES to Annabelle, a teenager who needed a place to heal and recover from years of abuse and sexual exploitation.
-We said YES when a government agency asked our team to be part of a sting operation. It freed 5 ladies that were about to be whisked across the border into a world of pain and abuse.
-We said YES when we were invited to pilot a program training healthcare workers to identify trafficking situations and intervene.
-We said YES to local partners when they asked us for training in how to support 35 women trapped in a cycle of slavery.
And we did a lot of celebrating this year too!
-We celebrated Natalia who was victorious in her court case with her trafficker. She stood in court and powerfully told him exactly how she felt.
-And we celebrated big as we made the final payment on the Sanctuary, a place that will serve thousands of survivors in the future.
2021 also came with expanded vision. We are honored to have rescued 47 survivors and cared for over 100 more who are tucked away throughout Europe in the midst of Covid restrictions. We also realized that the only thing better than seeing a survivor restored is preventing someone from being trafficked in the first place. We are thrilled to have had multiple curricula translated into Romanian. Now we begin the critical process of blanketing the entire nation, and beyond, in anti-trafficking strategies.
We were able to further develop key relationships with high ranking government officials and other anti-trafficking agencies both in Europe and the USA. These valuable partners are allowing us to go further, faster. Quite simply: we cannot do this alone. We need an army of responders and we see that army forming rapidly.
Finally, we are incredibly grateful for partners like YOU. Like I said, we can’t do it alone. It takes YOU and others like you who have stood up this year and said “YES! I hold the key to freedom.” Together we have unlocked cages for over a hundred survivors and touched over 1000 lives.
Let’s work to impact thousands more in 2022.
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I stand with women and children in Romania. I believe that every person deserves an education that will protect them from sex traffickers.
Today, I am speaking up to show my support for the SPEAK UP curriculum to prevent trafficking. I wholeheartedly believe that this curriculum should be offered to families and children as part of the Romanian Educational System.
Further, I commit to doing whatever I can to fight human trafficking in my own land, and support survivors of sex trafficking as they heal.
I am proud to stand as an Freedom Fighter. It's time for the good guys to get organized.
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