The Nitty Gritty

Beginning of Life

So the other day I realized that I haven’t given you folks a lot of details about what I’m going to be doing in Moldova. Part of that is because I didn’t have a whole lot of details to give, but part is because I’m not a very detail oriented kind of gal. Stuff just happens when it happens and I just go with it.

But since I know people like to have more information than, “Going to a country that you may  not know where it is and spending time with girls who were victims of sex trafficking,” I thought I’d give you a quick run-down of some of the things we’ll be doing.

I leave on Sunday, January 20 and return on Monday, January 28.

Here’s Moldova:

The capital is Chisinau, which I still don’t know how to pronounce (I think it’s something along the line of keesheenew, but don’t hold me to that). We’ll be staying there.

I’m going with Children’s HopeChest and this team of lovely ladies. We will be working at the Beginning of Life Foundation. This is a space that helps rehabilitate girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking. The ages of the girls there are between 8 and 17. (Please let those ages sink in.) My understanding is that there are 12 girls there right now, but that could change before we arrive.

While we are there, we will be sharing skills with the girls. Part of this is to teach them a skill so they can earn money so that they are not victims of human trafficking again. Often the girls are kidnapped when they go looking for work to help support their families financially, since Moldova is the poorest country in Europe.

But the other part is simply to spend time with these young women and to let them know that they are valued. I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around what it is to be a victim of slavery, and to have your body used in such a way. So when we are there teaching them self-defense, or art journaling, or crochet, we hope that they can use that in some practical way, but even more, it is our hope that they feel treasured and valuable.

In addition to our work with Beginning of Life, we will:

  • visit neighborhood families that have either former victims or at-risk victims of human trafficking
  • visit a crisis pregnancy center
  • teach in a public school
  • visit a church youth club
  • visit a local youth community center
  • see an escape presentation
  • tour a monastery

I am so grateful to those of you who donated toward my trip. Thanks to donations from the blog, from my church, and a super amazing Christmas gift from my husband, nearly all of my expenses were covered. I cannot thank you enough for your support. I will do everything in my power to bring you stories of what I experience there and to offer you opportunities to help these girls.

  • Christie @ Random Reflectionz

    Amazing work.

  • skippingstones

    I’ve been meaning to ask you if you’d do an interview about this for my blog sometime after you get back. Would that be possible? I’m glad you’re doing this. Like you, my heart has never prompted me to mission type work, but (like you) you never can tell what you’ll be called to do. Thanks for the information, I was definitely curious. Good luck and travel safely!

    • Alise Wright

      Sure thing! Shoot me an email sometime & we’ll make sure it happen. Thanks for your support!

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    Alise, thank you very much for informing people about the horrible plight of women and girls victimized by sex trafficking. Ignorance and apathy allow such horrors to flourish. I am also grateful to organization’s such as Vladimir’s that provide counseling, job training, financial support, and love and kindness to these women and girls. That said, I have a few doubts and questions. I do NOT doubt that volunteers who teach a girl to crochet will help her know she is cared for and valued. I do wonder whether local women would be more suitable. They know the girl’s language and are already there. Could not the money used for airfare be instead donated to pay for building facilities or paying for food or paying the counselors? I would like to help survivors of trafficking, but am unsure of where to donate. Vladimir’s organization says it provides counseling for three months. That sounds very good, but is it done by professional mental health workers? What happens to survivors who enter the program pregnant against their will? Are they allowed to choose for themselves whether to continue the pregnancy or not, or are they forced to give birth as a condition of continuing to receive help? I support women who choose to remain pregnant after rape, but those who do not should not be violated a second time. As lack of choice makes rape a traumatic violation, so with forced pregnancy. Is the evangelizing portion of the program mandatory or optional? I do not object to evangelization per se, and I understand some people find great comfort and meaning in religion, but it should never be coerced or be a requirement for receiving help. In your blog, I find much wit and wisdom and humanity, so your support of this organization does mean a lot. If you could allay my concerns, I would be glad to donate what I can to Vladimir’s center. I hope I have not offended with my questions, and best of luck to you in your endeavor.

  • Miles O’Neal

    This is awesome. I’m really excited for you and for Moldova, and will be praying. It’s also very close to Albania, which took a big part of my heart.

  • Pingback: Let Us Be Women Who Are Willing — SheLoves Magazine

  • Pingback: Ensnared by Doubt | steadily skipping stones