Posts tagged Stella’s Voice

Who are following these girls (Part II)

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.

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“Courageous” AND who are following these girls?

We watched the movie “Courageous” a second time on New Year’s Eve and the message comes across loud and clear.  All children need daddies who can love and protect them from outside evils. Trafficking is an ever present evil especially when children are targeted. Noteworthy to see the men in the two hour movie take responsibility for not just being “good enough” fathers but also doing their duty of reaching out to other youngsters who have no role model to look up to. They resolved to be exceptional fathers.

Who are following the girls (and boys) in the former Soviet Union with ideas of hurting them for their own financial gain?  Are they reading this blog now? Read yesterday’s blog to find out why I ask these two questions.

What I’m reading about “Stella voice homes” there are too few dads to meet the needs of Orphans in Moldova and perhaps Kazakhstan now.  Please read on about what one man with a HUGE father’s heart wrote:

About Stella’s voice from the founder, Philip Cameron.

“…this fragile girl is an orphan in Europe’s most impoverished country: Moldova.  Though Communism dies here, there are vestiges of that sad mindset still in place. Incredibly, Moldovan orphans are treated as outcasts, common thieves, parasites…though they have done no wrong.  They are rarely encouraged, often ridiculed, all but starved and housed in conditions unspeakable.

In this environment young girls have no self-worth or self-esteem. They think of themselves as forgotten and forever lost.  When you speak with the girls they cannot even define the concept of “hope” though in their language there is a wonderful word for it.

So as the clock ticks away a mere girl of sixteen shivers on her thin cot.  She is hungry but she is used to that as she has gone to bed hungry every night of her life.  But tonight is different.  This is the last time she is allowed to sleep on a cot and take a meal of thin soup.  Soon she will be out on the street with nowhere to go and no one to turn to.  You would think she would be glad to escape an orphan’s misery but this is not the case.  Because she’s heard the rumors and wonders why so many that left before her simply disappeared.

She does not know she’ll likely walk right into the arms of sex trafficking profiteers.  Before being discarded she will become merely a profit center for her perverted captors and their clients in Europe, the Middle East and beyond.

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…”

(to be continued)

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Who is following this blog…and why?

WordPress has done an amazing thing by sending out an annual report to their bloggers of some of their personal statistics for 2011.  What is interesting can be somewhat unsettling as well.  Who is really following my blog and WHY?  Since I returned home to the U.S. after 3 1/2 years of writing every day on this blog about Kazakhstan, I blogged sporadically so thus I only had 164 new posts for 2011. (I’ve dedicated this blog now to mostly human trafficking issues) In total I have written 1,334 new posts since the fall of 2007.  My busiest day was May 19th with 349 hits, a record high for me for this year.  Otherwise, I have been straddling around 100 or 150 on average for most of this year of 2011.

Here’s what I find troubling, the top key word searches were “Kazakhstan girls” or “Kazakh girls.”  That happened several years ago when I had innocently titled a blog “Little Girl in Pink.” LOTS of hits on that one blog entry where I finally took the photo of the young Kazakh girl down.  I believe there are some strange viewers out there who have wrong motives for wanting to see these girls. Maybe these viewers move on to other sites that show lewd pictures of girls and I mean young girls. Apparently trafficked girls in the U.S. get started as young as 13 years old on average. According to Steve Graham from Australia (CEO of ACT) there are 1.2 million children trafficked every year throughout the world.

Here’s the breakdown of who is following this blog and from different continents.  Europe actually includes Kazakhstan in its statistics which I find amusing:

Europe: 17% United Kingdom, 13% Kazakhstan, 8% Turkey, 7% Germany, 6% Poland

North America: 90% U.S. 9% Canada (I know who my Canadian follower is) The others from the U.S. I’m not sure who they are but hopefully friends and family

Africa: Ghana 23% (I know who that American follower is), Morocco 17%, South Africa 14%, Egypt 13% and Algeria 6%

South America: Brazil 46%, Argentina 18% (other countries but too fragmented to mention)

Oceania: Australia 81%, New Zealand 15%

Asia: Philippines 24%, India 15%, United Arab Emirates 8%, Malaysia 7%, Pakistan 4%

Asia has me most confounded, why isn’t China included in these statistics?  Is it because the Chinese are not allowed to have WordPress or even have any blogging?  I would expect North Korea to not have a showing but why not Korea? My biggest WHY is how come the Philippines so high? They have a very literate population in English, as does India.  I can understand why Australia is so high, I just have a new follower (mentioned above) who heads up ACT (Against Child Trafficking). I also have friends I have met over the years from Australia and New Zealand.

To me this was interesting to speculate on and tomorrow I will write more about Stella’s Voice.  It is something that I hope would start up in Kazakhstan. Children who are released out of Kazakh orphanages because they are “grown up” at the tender age of 16 or 18, I can’t remember which, are to fend for themselves. Traffickers know how to pick them off very easily because they are so vulnerable. What I read about the situation in Moldova was horrifying.

(to be continued)

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