“How’s your work in the underworld of Romania going?” read a message from my friend the other day. It surprised me and in fact, I still haven’t replied. It got me thinking: is that what people think I’m doing? Do they think I’m wondering the streets of Romania at all hours of the night, rescuing girls? Oh how wrong they are, its quite the contrary really, I’m usually in bed by 9pm!
I thought I would put to rest the misconceptions (however cool they sound) of what my internship entails and in fact what’s required to break the cycle of human trafficking. Paperwork, paperwork oh and that’s right more paperwork! It requires a dedicated team of volunteers who spend countless hours, weeks, and even months reviewing and writing policy’s, consent forms, raising funds and so on.
It’s not as simple as taking the women out of prostitution. Where do you take them? What will they eat? What will they do for a living? Such questions don’t really cross your mind. They didn’t cross mine; I thought once they are out things will just get better. Anything’s got to be better than the conditions they have experienced, right? But I was wrong. Imagine for a second, you’ve been told your good for nothing but sex. That you have no other purpose, all hope has been drained out of you. What then? What do you do now? At least when you were a prostitute you had shelter and food.
That’s why we put up with the paperwork, so the women can have a place they can call home. A place they can heal. That’s why I’m here. Here to do whatever I can to help Abolishion’s Restore Project. If that’s creating awareness, taking meeting minutes, researching accommodation, furniture prices, then so be it.
Two weeks into my internship and this has been my greatest lesson; you do whatever it takes.