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  • Writer's pictureKim Westfall, Founder

The Freedom Highway is Expanding into Moldova

You’ve supported us as we responded to the dire need for protecting Ukrainians from trafficking this year. The war in Ukraine is far from over. Last month, the world watched as a large dam was bombed and flooded villages and cities. We watched from far away, but our team in Europe heard from the people who lived it.

Their villages were devastated, and their animals drowned. Everything they owned went under the water. If that was not enough, those that tried to escape were fired upon by the Russian army. Hundreds of people need refuge and are trying to save their lives by fleeing into Moldova and Romania.

An ally organization has opened its schools and homes to 500 Ukrainian refugees. 200 of those refugees are children, under 14 years of age. We know that war makes a perfect opportunity for traffickers to prey on vulnerable people fleeing. The organization contacted our team and asked them to intervene. Thanks to the support of donors like you, we were ready to respond!

Our team traveled to neighboring Moldova to meet those arriving. We provided food, medicine, and clothing, and are making sure that these children are not being trafficked by criminal networks operating in the area. The needs continue to grow, as those people have nothing. They need clothing, medical care, food, hygiene, products, school supplies, and emotional therapy for their trauma. Many of them swam or floated for miles and have lingering health concerns.

Providing for basic needs helps these people settle in a free country and trust Uncaged as we educate them on how to protect themselves. In the first days of handing out brochures and training people to recognize the signs of trafficking, we realized organized groups of traffickers had been identified in the area. They were able to identify several people in the group that are potential traffickers. This is a normal strategy traffickers use: embedding themselves in refugee populations to recruit people. Authorities were alerted and our training is already reaping the benefits of keeping these people safe!

We are training those working with these refugees and they are continuing to educate others. Anti-trafficking education is rippling outward throughout Moldova and more people are gaining knowledge and being protected! This is how you reach a nation! This is how we blanket Eastern Europe with anti-trafficking strategies and ensure people stay free.

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