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Rescuing Young Women From Traffickers Hands
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times


New York Times, October 15, 2010
Posted: May 23rd, 2016
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/world/europe/16romania.htm...

Ms. Matei started out life thinking she would be a graphic designer. She married, had a child and then divorced. In 1990, as Romania was emerging from Communism, she [fled] the country, walking alone ... into the former Yugoslavia. She eventually arranged for her son to join her and was resettled in Australia. There, she earned a degree in psychology and worked with street children. But in 1998, after bringing her son to Romania on a holiday, she decided to move back and began working with street children here. Soon, the police called asking a favor. Would she take three young prostitutes they had just rounded up to a doctor? Afterward, she was just supposed to release them. I was annoyed until I got there and saw these girls, Ms. Matei said. The mascara was running all over their faces. They had been crying so hard. And they were minors ... but no one cared. One of the girls was pregnant. All three would be in the hospital for two weeks. But afterward, Ms. Matei said, child welfare services would have nothing to do with them. Eventually, I got an apartment for them, and more girls kept coming, she said. Thats how it started. Over the years, she has cobbled together all sorts of financing, pleading with various embassies. Right now, the shelter [she founded] is supported by an American ministry dedicated to combating human trafficking, Make Way Partners in Birmingham, Ala. More than 400 girls have stayed in the shelter, and most of them are still in touch, she said.

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