Kim Westfall, Founder
Two Sides of the Story on How We End Human Trafficking
You’ve walked alongside us for years as we dreamed about a Sanctuary in Romania and saw it become a reality. We’ve shared with you the hard truths of trafficking and the need for a safe place for survivors to seek transformation. Recently we’ve been sharing with you about Ukrainian refugees at risk, Romanian women trafficked to German brothels, and the work we’re doing educating people about human trafficking around Eastern Europe. How do all of these things fit together?
Our work at The Sanctuary in Romania has just begun! We want to see The Sanctuary being used to its fullest capacity. The reality of 600-800,000 people being trafficked every year is staggering. And we must have a safe place for survivors to go once they are free. But this is only part of the story.
The statistics tell the story of how rescue and prevention must work together!
Eastern Europeans are being trafficked all over Europe. We must cut trafficking off at its source! That’s why education right here in the epicenter of human trafficking in Europe is so important.
As our connections in Europe grow, we are seeing doors open. Learn how doors are for all of these strategies to align as parts of our mission to unlock transformation in the lives of human trafficking survivors and blanket nations in anti-trafficking strategies.
When we were looking at where to begin our anti-trafficking efforts and build the first Sanctuary, we knew Romania was a key location. But the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have left the people in the region even more vulnerable.
As we’ve seen the Freedom Highway grow and more advocates join the fight, we’ve learned the only thing better than helping a trafficking survivor become and stay free is to prevent it from happening in the first place!
That’s why we’re answering the call from ally organizations, government and police officials, schools, communities, and business partners. That’s why we’re creating information and curriculum in multiple languages to help people in Eastern Europe learn how to protect themselves. We must shut the door and cut off access to victims!
Here are a few ways we are prioritizing prevention:
We are connecting with schools who have invited our team to speak about anti-trafficking. They have seen a rise in the number of trafficking cases reported in their area and want to equip their staff and students with knowledge of how to protect themselves. Training includes online safety as intel shows traffickers are recruiting girls for prostitution online.
We’re meeting with officials, advocates, and business people from various sectors in Moldova. This neighboring country has expressed interest in working with us on training and anti-trafficking strategy for their police and border patrol. We are building a network of lawyers, educational experts, and specialists and are ready to begin the work in Moldova. We just need the resources to facilitate it!
We continue to work at the Romania-Ukraine border to educate border patrol, officials, and refugees about trafficking. We are building educational materials in the local languages for those coming across the border into Romania, including educating the staff at schools where Ukrainian refugees are being educated.
Join us in our efforts to stem the flow of precious souls out of Eastern Europe. When you give, you allow us to continue walking through these doors and seizing these vital opportunities to blanket nations in anti-trafficking strategies.