Moldova is the smallest and poorest of the former Soviet Union countries. Situated in eastern Europe between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is unfortunately one of the most trafficked countries in the world. The government institutional care of orphaned and abandoned children lasts until they reach the age of 16 or the U.S. equivalent of the freshman year of high school. Then they are on their own with no family, home, or support. Now that Moldova has closed its orphanages, children are being pushed into often harsher and riskier environments at even younger ages. These circumstances make them prime victims of human trafficking.
JMI’s transitional living program is an effort to meet the needs of these vulnerable young people. JMI has four transitional living homes, two for boys and two for girls situated in Moldova’s north and central areas. We hope to open two more homes in the southern part of Moldova in the next 3-5 years. These homes allow at-risk teens to have the opportunity to continue their education, meet with a JMI social worker to address their needs, receive the love and support of the JMI staff, plus participate in English lessons, life skills classes, computer classes, and Bible studies. JMI’s mission is to raise a new generation of Christian leaders in Moldova through these programs.
Our in-country staff provides the opportunity for sponsors to have an ongoing relationship with a child in a shelter, foster care, or in an extreme poverty situation. We also provide school and hygiene supplies, seasonal clothes, quarterly gifts, and other services as needed.
When vulnerable children are around age 15, we assess them for inclusion in JMI’s transitional living program. Transitional living provides a safe home (if needed), accountability figures, spiritual guidance and counseling, social work services, tutoring, volunteer projects, life skills, vocational training, and the possibility of higher education, all within a family-like environment.
We provide an independent living program beyond transitional living that allows successful graduates to share living expenses in shared apartments while attending university or to begin their careers, moving them further along the road to self-sufficiency and protecting them from being trafficked.
We minister to shelters and villages through summer camp programs led by our partner churches. These camps allow us to share the love and hope of Jesus with all the participating children while identifying the most at-risk for sponsorship.
Our Transitional Living Program is the most effective and most expensive program JMI runs in Moldova. If every Transitional Living Teen is fully sponsored each year, JMI still runs a $100,000+ annual deficit for this program. Would you help us close this gap by giving a monthly, quarterly, or annual gift toward this effort to prevent these precious ones from falling victim to human trafficking?