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Poverty Alleviation Projects

November 10, 2009

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your October 2009 report for The $10 Club.

The Republic of Moldova, landlocked between Romania and Ukraine in Eastern Europe, has experienced a rough transition since its 1991 independence from the former Soviet Union. It is one of the poorest countries in Europe with more than one-third of the population living below the poverty line.

Beginning of Life is an organization in Moldova working tirelessly to support women’s health, fight HIV / AIDS, and care for girls rescued from the gruesome underground sex trafficking industry. They also provide medical and counseling services to pregnant women in the country. The group’s goal is to restore the physical and emotional balance of at-risk individuals in Moldova.

They help vulnerable women through their pregnancies, but also support young unwed moms with counseling and baby provisions for 12 months, so their first year of life is a positive one.

This month, 340 of us joined together to donate $3,400 to Beginning of Life in Moldova to provide a full year’s worth of food and hygiene products to nine vulnerable people in Moldova who were rescued from the streets, abandoned, or in dire conditions and are now served by the organization. Serghey Mihailov, Beginning of Life’s director, expressed overwhelming gratitude when told we were considering a grant for their work, and now says it is “like a miracle as we were praying for help due to a shortfall of funds from other funding sources.” Thank you.

Beginning of Life serves HIV positive people and girls rescued from human trafficking networks. Serghey writes:
Some find their way to the pregnancy clinic and other individuals we rescue from poor and unprotected families. All of them live in very awful and impoverished conditions. Health problems as a result of HIV infection make it impossible for them to keep their jobs and continue to work. Most of them receive some medical therapy through government programs but suffer from malnutrition and unsanitary environments.
I have been asked to practice serious discretion in revealing the identities of the marginalized victims we are helping and their full plight – so names are replaced with **. There is an obvious sensitivity to having this information broadcast too widely. But it is also important that you know a little about some of the people who you have rescued this month.
  • ** realized that she is HIV positive in a pregnancy clinic. She escaped domestic violence with 3 children.
  • ** and her daughter are HIV positive. **’s husband died 2 years ago from AIDS. She cannot work because of health problems. Last year after a simple sickness, the child’s immune system was compromised and the doctors detected AIDS. “We try to live normal life, even if it is very poor,” ** says.
  • ** is HIV positive and he has severe health problems. Doctors detected a brain tumor. He is very weak and cannot work or support himself. His parents have died. He has an aunt, but she is scared by his sickness and fears taking him in. So he is alone.
  • ** suffers from epilepsy. In the pregnancy clinic she learned of her HIV positive state. Pregnancy and nervous stress led to frequent epileptic attacks. Her husband left her and she remains alone with her son and disability. She is living on a small disability payment.
  • ** grew up in an orphanage. When she finished school one rich man took her as a housekeeper. But after a time he sexually abused her. Later she gave birth to 2 daughters, but even then she remained a victim of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Social services attempted to intervene and ** and her 2 daughters escaped into the village to stay with her children.
Moldova is also a country implicated in human trafficking. According to the US Association for International Migration, “Most victims from Moldova are sexually exploited, but there are cases of forced labor, forced begging, and organ removal... While anyone can fall victim to trafficking, in Moldova women, children and the disabled are especially vulnerable. Hoping to find a better life abroad and to help their families, many migrants are lured by false promises and trapped by traffickers.” William Finnegan, writing in the New Yorker, adds: “Foreign traffickers could buy a woman from a Moldovan recruiter for five hundred dollars, and sell her for five times that amount in a destination country.”

Five girls rescued from human trafficking are being helped by Beginning of Life – and as a result of this month’s grant, by you as well.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,
Adam

PS. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Please remember all of those who are less fortunate and make your November project donation right away!


The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org