Today the room was filled with chattering and beads in our JewelGirls workshop at the Moscow orphanage where many of the young girl survivors of trafficking live. This is an exciting time of the year for the all of the girls because they know that their handcrafted jewelry will be sold across the city to excited buyers. They will even get to sell their jewelry at the U.S. Embassy again!
There is also a little sadness, too. FAIR Girls just found out that an opportunity to build a national trafficking hotline and offer shelter to more than 100 girl survivors of trafficking in Russia is now gone. In June, FAIR Girls’ was awarded a large U.S. government grant (so large it was going to double our entire budget!) to create this critically needed hotline and shelter program for young victims. We worked very hard to create partnerships and our Russian team could not wait to get started. Sadly, due to the Russian government’s decision to kick out USAID, our grant was ended before it even began.
What this means is that 100 young survivors of sex trafficking and labor exploitation no longer has a shelter to safely lay their head. They lost two counselors and a job training expert they never knew they would have had. And, the entire Russian federation lost a chance for a national trafficking hotline that could have saved thousands of lives across the country and around the world.
We are doing everything in our power to find support and make sure that we can keep our doors open. 100 young girls aged 4 to 21 need us. Yes, you read that right - our youngest survivor is four years old. These young girls are strong. They are survivors. So, we have to be strong together because they rely on us. We are getting up and getting creative. We are reaching out to supporters, and we are going find a way to make sure these girls do not lose their chance for the love, empowerment, counseling, and life skills that our JewelGirls program in Russia offers them.
Our staff works tirelessly with a team of volunteers to reach these young survivors in 8 shelters and orphanages across Moscow and St. Petersburg. I hope you will enjoy the beautiful photos of the young artists working on empowering their lives! They learn so much in our workshops and counseling sessions, and it shows through their incredibly beautiful jewelry!
We really appreciate GlobalGiving, and we appreciate your support right now. If you think you can help, please consider making any you can contribution, reach out to your friends, see if your company may consider a matching gift. Or, give us a call at 202-609-7797. You are a part of our team, and together we can make sure to overcome our loss and continue to empower these amazing young girl survivors! We ask in our project title “What kind of Girl Are you?”. We say, “Survivors!”
Thank you so very much,
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