Professional Job Training
Into Freedom offers sheltered employment training for trafficking survivors including jewelry making, sewing, leather works, and clothing production.
Business opportunities are used as a vehicle to help transform lives. Participants are trained in job skills specific to their chosen employment interests. Seminars in professional development, financial management, interpersonal and entrepreneurial skills are available.
Micro Business Development
Into Freedom also runs a micro-business incubator program which offers interest free loans to orphans and group home residents who have good business ideas and need further assistance in product development and sales.
At-risk youth who would not otherwise be able to obtain loans for business development are able to purchase needed equipment, receive product development and sales assistance, and advance their production capacity. Income from product sales helps youth be less vulnerable to trafficking lures.
Trafficking Prevention Outreach
Into Freedom is currently running sex trafficking prevention programs in Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe located between Romania and Ukraine. Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Due to extremely dire economic conditions and high unemployment rates within Moldova, a substantial number of women get trafficked from Moldova into Cyprus, Turkey, Russia, and other surrounding countries every year through fake employment offers.
During prevention programs, youth are educated about current methods used by traffickers to lure victims into trafficking. Target audiences for prevention programs include high risk populations such as orphans, group home residents, and rural village girls, as well as public school students.
Some trafficking survivors in the Cyprus Restoration Program have participated in the Moldova Trafficking Prevention Program by voluntarily, anonymously sharing their stories with girls at high risk for future capture. When a survivor hears that her story had a direct impact in preventing others girls from being captured, she moves from being a victim to becoming a freedom fighter. It is an amazing transformation to watch!
Trafficking Prevention Summer Camp
Each summer, IF runs a week long camp for 150 orphans, group home residents, and at-risk teens in Moldova. In addition to fun summer camp activities such as sports, crafts, jewelry, card making, music lessons, dance, art, and swimming, campers are taught trafficking prevention , sexual disease avoidance, suicide prevention, self-defense, first aid, survival skills, budgeting, and healthy emotions. We also offer a junior leadership training track where young Moldovan orphans and group home residents gain leadership skills as they run various parts of camp while being supervised by an experienced leader.
By sponsoring 1 teen for 1 week of camp for $200, a life can be changed forever. Camp is the first time many of these girls have experienced unconditional love. Often, girls have showed up covered in lice and in need of immediate attention. By the end of the week, smiles, laughter, and joy are everywhere. In addition to the fun, campers report they now understand the risk of blindly accepting job offers without investigating the situation further.
Be part of the solution: make a difference!
Orphan Transition Program
Into Freedom, working with local group homes in Moldova, sponsors at-risk teen girls transitioning out of orphanages or unsafe living conditions. During this 3-5 year time period, teen girls are relocated to loving group home residences with caring houseparents. In this setting, girls pursue advanced education or job skills training, learn independent living skills, locate a shared apartment, and obtain a job. Sponsored girls have all expenses covered including shelter, utilities, food, clothing, transportation, medical care, and education expenses.
Transition from orphanage life is one of the most dangerous times for at-risk girls in Moldova. Often, girls must leave these institutions between ages 14-17 (after they complete 9th grade) with no income, no independent living skills, no job skills, and no contacts. Frequently, within several days of departure from the orphanage, girls are trafficked by smooth running mafia operations. The Orphan Transition Program stops trafficking by reaching the girls just before the most dangerous risk of trafficking occurs. Thereafter, education provides a way to obtain a good job and avoid income related trafficking traps.
Art, Dance, and Community Recreation
Seminars in art and dance are offered to trafficking survivors in the IF Cyprus program. Art projects include photography, silk scarf creation, crafts, jewelry design, drawing, and painting. Dance seminars include instruction in classical, jazz, and modern dance as well as in aerobics.
Additionally, trafficking survivors are invited to participate in fun community activities with other survivors such as bowling, swimming, bike riding, and fun ethnic meals.
Art is used as a transformative agent encouraging women to express their feelings and allowing them the space to explore the creative sides of their personalities.
Dance seminars promote increased physical fitness, while at the same time allowing for space to laugh and have fun.
Community activities allow trafficking survivors time to get to know other trafficking survivors in a fun, low pressure environment. Through community activities, survivors start to heal and form friendships with others who have had similar traumatic experiences.