A post from Restoration member and Global Outreach Committee member Jesse Blaine:
Moldova is a small country, unheard of by most people, that is located between Romania and Ukraine. It comes complete with Europe’s only remaining communist government (although that is supposedly changing), lives in a GDP neighborhood with Haiti, Laos, and Niger, and has the notoriety of being the Europe’s highest per capita source of human slaves. With a crippled economy and potential job prospects abroad, Moldova has a high percentage of orphans who come from poverty abandonment and are poured into the country’s orphanage system.
Like any good chip off the ol’ Soviet Bloc(k), the orphanages are usually drastically underfunded, over populated, and usually staffed by under trained/overworked caretakers. Children in these environments are left to their own devices, leaving them vulnerable to cycles of abuse that passes down through generations of orphans (I was abused as 7 yr. old, therefore I shall abuse a 7 yr. old when I’m 14). I’ve seen this first hand, running a summer camp for these kids in Moldova.
To cap off the mess, the government usually pulls funding at the age 14, leaving poorly trained orphans — who many times don’t know what their currency even looks like — to fend for themselves. The result: 70% of the boys are in prison within 2 years, and many of the girls become tricked into slavery. I mean if you were a 14 year old girl, and someone said, “Hey you’re pretty enough to be a model. You know you could make good money doing that….here come with me, I’ll help you with that…,” how would you respond?
Restoration has responded by partnering with a transition home and orphan ministry that is active in many parts of the world, including Moldova. Find out more about World Orphans’ work here.