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Ending sex trafficking worldwide means we are fighting for freedom at two levels. We work one-on-one with survivors to equip them for healing. It’s a personal, intimate process for each survivor. We want to honor each of them as individuals. On the other hand, we know we’ll never be able to stamp out this evil without broad, systemic change.


For a few months now, Kim Westfall has served as an advisor for the European Center for Legal and Education Research, or ECLER. It’s a coalition of over 60 organizations and professionals across Europe who are working to end trafficking. Together, we’re developing international strategies to combat trafficking and serve survivors.


One of the most pressing projects we are working on with this team is a plan to rescue and restore child survivors. As you may know, over half of sex trafficking survivors our team has worked with in Romania are children.

Right now, Romania has no national process for identifying and finding missing children. Even when they find these precious little ones, they usually have nowhere safe to send them. More than 80% of them end up being re-trafficked because they have nowhere to go.


We’re working to change that! As part of the plan ECLER is putting together, child survivors will be directed to the first Sanctuary and our aftercare program. These children will get to safety, where we can address all of their immediate needs and put them on the road to healing.


I want you to know that your support and encouragement paves the way for us to be a part of groups like ECLER. It’s your dedication that is going to help us change Romania, Europe, and then the rest of the world.


Let’s see trafficking end once and for all, especially for the sake of these precious children!

Awareness around sex trafficking is rising around the world. As this movement grows, people have been asking us, “What can I do to help survivors of sex trafficking?”


Hearing this question warms our hearts. Every person has a role to play in this fight. Every person can know the signs of sex trafficking and be prepared to step in. Every person can get involved by supporting a survivor aftercare organization like Uncaged. These are concrete steps that every person who wants to heal survivors of sex trafficking can take!


Beyond these ideas, we have seen that God has already given individual people talents that can help to heal survivors. Sometimes, they hide in plain sight. Hobbies that seem ordinary can be extraordinarily powerful for unlocking transformation!


One of our donors, who we will call “Gigi,” heard about Uncaged from a longtime family friend. When she learned about the horrors of sex trafficking, she immediately knew she wanted to take action. She got involved supporting Uncaged. Then, she wanted to go deeper. At first, she didn’t know how.


“I’m a retired executive from the corporate world,” she says, “I was thinking to myself, ‘what can I do for these people.’”


All the while, she was creating beautiful greeting cards in her free time. Years earlier, Gigi entered a card-making shop and was fascinated by the intricate paper designs on display. She picked up a multi-layered, embossed nutcracker card and inspected it wonderingly. Soon after, she signed up for a class to learn how to make that same card.

“I made a dozen of those cards,” Gigi laughs. “I realized that paper made me happy.”


Gigi decided to make cards with words of encouragement for survivors. Survivors have often received few tokens of affection in their lives. These beautiful cards were designed to brighten their days and give hope. She even took it upon herself to translate the messages into survivors’ languages!


Then, Gigi took it a step further. “I heard Kim and the trauma therapy team start talking about art therapy. They were saying that even the act of working with your hands, of doing creative activities, could rewire some of the trauma for survivors and give them relief.”


The idea struck: what if Gigi could create card-making kits for survivors to use as art therapy materials? She reached out to us to confirm it. This tactile activity would be perfect for the trauma-therapy program.


Now, Gigi has created dozens of card-making kits for survivors as part of her “Hey Beautiful” series. Each kit contains the card design, the materials for creating it, and step by step instructions for how to bring the card to life. The cards contain messages of hope and encouragement for survivors in their own languages. The cards range from basic styles to exquisite and finely detailed pieces.

“I love knowing that survivors make these and can feel proud of themselves,” Gigi shares. “On a personal level, it makes me feel even more connected to these courageous women and girls. Cards are about reaching out to people and touching them. In today’s world, reaching out to a person with something you’ve made is one of the most powerful things in the world.”


Gigi firmly believes everyone has a talent to bring to anti-trafficking work.


“I really believe that we all have a chance to be a part of this movement in different ways,” she states. “Everybody has something that they’re interested in that could be helpful to survivors. We take so many things for granted that might be new and wonderful to a survivor.”


Together, we are unlocking transformation for thousands of survivors. All it takes is people like you and Gigi combining our gifts and determination to be the key to freedom!


If you are ready to deepen your engagement and bring healing to survivors, please click here today or email us.

I wanted to share an encouraging story of hope with you today. It comes from Romania and a little girl who visited our Sanctuary. Earlier this year, we hosted a birthday party for our local mayor’s son at The Sanctuary. There were several children running through the forests and enjoying nature. Off to the side stood an 11-year-old girl, *Daniela. She wasn’t interacting or talking with anyone. Our European Director asked a few people about her, and they pointed him to a village woman that had brought her along. The kind woman explained that this little girl had been severely abused by her father for years. She was then passed off to uncles and other men who did the same. As a result of the trauma she had developed some special needs.

Our director noticed Daniela heading over to one of our miniature ponies, or equine therapists, as we like to call them. She began to interact with the pony. She was kissing the ponies’ noses and talking to them. Her guardian asked, “What is going on over there?” Our director replied, “she is talking to the ponies."

The woman said back, “No... she doesn’t speak.”

They went over to Daniela and heard her sweetly whispering to the pony. “I love this pony. This is my best friend. What is his name?” Daniela asked.

“Raphael.”

“What a beautiful name. I love you pony. Would you like to be my best friend? I promise I’ll take care of you and I’ll come back to visit you.” Stunned, Daniela's guardian turned to our director and said, “I don’t understand what is going on here.”

Our director responded, “This is therapy." He asked if he could take a picture. Daniela said “Yes, and please send it to my grandma and tell her I’m safe. I am safe because this pony is strong!

We love this! Equine therapy, also known as Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT), is a treatment that includes equine activities and/or an equine environment in order to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth. Equine Therapy can help the individual build confidence, self- efficiency, communication, trust, perspective, social skills, impulse control, and learn boundaries. It will serve as a core facet of our trauma-informed healing program. What a joy and blessing it is that our first Sanctuary came with 15 miniature ponies!

Your support and encouragement has brought this healing environment to life. Here's to hundreds, even thousands of stories like Daniela's.

ABOUT US >

Our focus is on the tremendous and complex task of rescuing and restoring shattered hearts, minds, and psyches.  Our goal is to become one of the world’s leading catalysts and resource hubs for the anti-trafficking movement.

Uncaged’s Communication Policy >

Uncaged adheres to a strict policy of never revealing the identity of a traffic survivor. To ensure that we never re-exploit a survivor, all images and names have been changed.

CONTACT >

T: (404) 480-0449

PO Box 80163
Atlanta, GA 30309

E: info@uncaged.org

Paintings by Hyatt Moore