I’m picking up from where I left off with Philip Cameron writing about the organization he founded “Stella’s Voice” in Moldova, check out this website with an interview with one of the orphans.
“The magnitude of this misery in Moldova is astounding. Over 450,000 girls have gone “missing.” Nearly half a million girls have vanished into the night…and as the clock counts down more will join them…”
…As Chrissie (Philip’s wife) and I began to comfort orphaned children it became evident that what they craved most was a smile and a warm embrace. I realized my personal mandate was not just bringing them “stuff”…what these precious orphans needed from me was to be their Dad.
That’s where I met Stella. She was a small handicapped girl, with a pronounced limp, but who possessed a huge personality and spirit. We formed a special bond and she became my ever-present helper during trips to Modolva. I joyously watched her grow from a young girl to a delightful teen. But then on one of my return trips I walked into the orphanage and Stella was gone. No one seemed to know where to find her. I was heartsick.
I searched relentlessly for her. I would ask everyone: “Have you heard where Stella went? Do you know how she’s doing?” Then one day my answer came…Stella was dead. She became a victim ensnared in Europe’s vicious sex trade. She was used by men over and over again, contracted AIDS, and perished, homeless, helpless and victimized until she took her last breath.
Stella and innocent girls just like her are abused because they have no place to call home when they turn 16. And the sex traffickers are sickeningly clever. They approach girls like Stella pretending to be a friend. Here’s how they deceive: A woman may approach a girl on a bus and ask if she would be a live-in nanny for her children. Or a man may approach a girl and tell her that his brother owns a restaurant in Italy and needs workers for the kitchen. He’ll pay $300 a month.
The innocent and homeless girl will jump at a chance to be a part of something and traffickers prey on this vulnerability…Instead they are sold into the sex trade for as little as $3,500. And then, there is no escape. A girl is raped 30-40 times a day with their owners profiting as much as $350,000 per year until they are ‘used up’ or dead. The only way for us to dry up this market of innocent girls was to establish homes where good could triumph over evil…one girl at a time. An in doing so, Stella’s “voice” remains alive for girls who would otherwise be homeless, powerless and eventually silenced.
In 2007, the original Stella’s House was born…” Check out the website…
However, I believe the traffickers have moved to Central Asia where they can prey on other young girls who are vulnerable and unprotected because it is not talked about. People are becoming more aware in Kazakhstan but there is much work left to do to create a safe environment for girls. Did you see what happened to the young girl in Afghanistan who was kidnapped to marry some guy in the military and they tortured her to go into prostitution. She fought it tooth and nail. (literally she lost several finger nails and had her ear burned) I may blog about that tomorrow.