Update From Not For Sale Romania
(For those of you who got my update email, this may be a bit of a repeat. But here is some info from my current trip with Not For Sale to Amsterdam & Romania):
Right now I am sitting in the GTR office in Timișoara, Romania (GTR is an organisation who’s entire anti-trafficking program is funded by Not For Sale Campaign). I am surrounded by noise and movement as case workers type away and chat on the phone, cell phones buzz, survivors of trafficking pass in and out photocopying their documents, bouncing a baby on the hip, pouring some more coffee… Upstairs two women recently repatriated to Romania sit with a GTR staff member recounting their harrowing experiences of sex trafficking in France.
“In Amsterdam with NFS South Africa Co-Director! Met with The Netherlands National Crime Squad yesterday who investigated over 200 cases last year including a case where a 140 Nigerian women were forced the women seek asylum to get in the country, taken to a shelter by the Dutch government- where traffickers would then return and take the women away. And that was just day one…” (April 1, 2011)
“This morning, our meeting with anti-trafficking leader in Amsterdam’s red-light district was interrupted by Hungarian trafficking victim knocking on the door asking for a safe place and a way back to Hungary. It’s simply amazing to see the dedication of people working in this movement.” (April 1, 2011)
“Got into Romania this evening and was welcomed by the abolitionist that runs Not For Sale Romania. Our dinner with her team was full of love. It is an honor to be here.” (April 4, 2011)
“’24 hours a day Monday-Sunday we are here for the survivors. We have to let them know we care. Our work is life, and our life is our work’ – Mariana, NFS Romania Director. Here we are lunch discussing the challenges of working in the field, but moments like these give me hope.” (April 5, 2011)
“Today, a survivor trafficked at age 9 told us, “Without Mariana [Director of NFS Romania], I wouldn’t be here. She let me stay in her home, she was not afraid I would steal or use her. She was the first person to trust me, and she is the first person I have learned to trust. Mariana is my grandmother.” She now attends university, is engaged, and visits her “grandmother” daily.”