When Katya* was found by local schoolteacher Eva, she was filthy and infested with lice, living without parents in a small village house. She had not bathed in several weeks and was traumatised after her alcoholic mother abandoned her, and her older brother was killed by a car.

It’s children like Katya, alone and vulnerable, that are easy targets for human traffickers. Official statistics estimate there are 25,000 Moldovan victims of human trafficking, and 40% of them are children.

Katya shows Crossroads staff the squalid conditions of the home in which she lived with her brother before being fostered.

Katya shows Crossroads staff the squalid conditions of the home in which she lived with her brother before being fostered.

Thankfully for Katya, Eva and her husband couldn’t bear to leave the little girl alone in the village, and brought her into their own home as a foster daughter. Today, Katya is a bright, well-dressed, articulate teenager, who loves her foster parents. The family, though, still struggles to make ends meet in a place that has been classified as Europe’s poorest nation.

Crossroads partnered with an NGO in the region to help foster families like Katya’s, shipping a container of goods that would help relieve the pressure of poverty. Today, Katya is happy, healthy and thriving in her foster family.

We shipped toys, stationery, household goods for foster families, and a large quantity of educational items that they are now using in their support centres. Families living in poverty, who may be tempted to give up their children to state-run institutions, are given the care, support and respite they need to keep their children within the family home.

*Not her real name

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Moldova Snapshot

Moldova Population: 3.55 million

Capital: Chișinău

Moldova is the poorest nation in Europe. There are currently 7,000 children in staterun institutions but only 2% are orphans (BBC). Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, formerly part of the Soviet Union. Our partner project is actually based in Transnistria, a breakaway state, autonomous but with limited international recognition. It has a population of 505 thousand, and its capital is Tiraspol.Of children who pass through orphanages in Moldova, one in 10 commits suicide and one in 5 become involved in crime

Moldova map

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