FIVE Moldovan girls arrived in the UK last week as they prepared for a tour of the country to raise awareness of the dangers of sex traffiking.
The girls - Nadia (20), Natalie (21), Constantia (21), Irina (19) and Dasa (20) - arrivied in Peterhead from the US on Saturday, October 29, having already undertaken an extensive tour there, telling their individual stories of how the work of New Hope Trust saved them from the horrors of traffiking and transformed their lives.
They will spend the next two weeks travelling the length and breadth of the UK including London, Birmingham, the south counties and the north-east.
The girls are all residents of the Trust’s Stella’s 1 and 2 houses, with all of them having entered the houses from orphanages having endured harrowing childhoods.
While four of the girls are making a return visit to Peterhead, Constantia is visiting for the first time and she told the Buchanie her story.
“My father was murdered when I was four years old and my mother took me to live with my grandmother and left me there,” she said.
“She did not come to visit me and one day my grandmother told me that my mum was dead and it would be better for me to go to the orphanage.
“There were lots of kids there to play with but there was no-one to love you there. Then one day I was outside and I heard my name being called out.
“When I loked round I saw this woman who was drunk and looked dirty ans she said she was my mother, but I did not believe her and I ran away from her as I was scared.
“Some older boys came and found me and took me to her and she took me out of the orphanage and we went to live in Russia for four years.”
After that period of time Constantia was told that she would have to return to the orphanage, but on her return there she could only speak Russian and was told by the teachers that she would have to start her schooling from scratch.
“I was put in the class with the younger kids - I was a big girl in there with little kids and they called me names and they made fun of me and pointed fingers,” she said.
“I thought that no-one would be my friend and I thought that perhaps I was too stupid or too ugly and I thought that no-one cared about me.
“The orphanage was cold and I had to move my bed in the middle of the night because water was pouring in from the ceiling. We had only two showers and the kitchen closed at 9pm so if you were hungry after that you just had to wait until the next day to get something to eat.
“We even thought Santa did not like us and we did not deserve presents at Christmas, and birthdays were just another day,” she said.
Then one Christmas a group of people came to the orphanage while we were singing and they were smiling and did not speak our language and we could not believe that they would listen to our songs.
“They were happy for us and they had stickers for us which they put on our faces and there was kindness in their eyes and they seemed happy to be there and spend time with us.
“These people made us feel special and they understood what we were going through. They told us that there was a God who knew our names.
“Philip and Chrissie Cameron became a blessing in our lives and without them I do not know what would have happened.
“I’m safe and thankful and glad we can save other girls like me,” she added.
While the girls will not be talking in Peterhead itself on this occasion, they will be giving their stories at The Fountain of Love Church on Palmerston Road in Aberdeen on Wednesday, November 9. Full details of the tour can be found on the Trust’s website.
However, if you would like to help girls like Constantia, then you can give any unwanted clothing or furniture or bric-a-brac to The New Hope Trust, where it will be converted into cash to provide a safe haven for girls and boys.
The Trust currently runs three homes - Stella’s 1 and 2 and Simon’s House - catering for 150 children.
Philip Cameron, who is accompanying the girls on their tour, said that every little donation goes along way to helping these children.
“One of the main things folk can do is donate any unwanted items - whether furniture or clothing. We can come and collect it if necessary, but all these things go to help fund what we’re doing in Moldova,” he said.
“We’ve just recently finished a fundraising drive which will provide two new houses and a church facility in Moldova. We are also hoping to expand on the boy’s side of our outreach by building a new boys home in the grounds of Simon’s House, which will hold a further 25 boys.
“In Moldova this past year they had an insane policy to put children back to theri loving families. In a lot of cases families were bribed to take their children back and the authorities closed down the orphanage in Cupcuii.
“When this policy failed to work, the trust spoke to the governer of the area and they agreed to give us the orphanage on a 25-year lease.
“This is the only Christian orphanage in the country and we have named it ‘Providence’ Orphanage.