The 250 ("two-fifty") Club is a group of extraordinary businesses who have joined the fight against poverty and crime in Moldova.
Moldova is a small country surrounded by Romania and Ukraine. This former Soviet republic was known for its agricultural production, as the breadbasket of the USSR. Today, Moldova is regarded as the poorest country in Europe. Moldova is primarily a source country for victims of human trafficking, who are frequently forced to become sex workers in the Middle East and Europe.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands of Moldovans were unemployed and desperate, making them vulnerable to exploitation. Many social programs that benefitted women were dismantled. The economic situation became precarious, and deep impoverishment hit the rural areas of Moldova. Political transition benefited the development of organized crime networks that were able to take advantage of the instability of the region. Trafficking in human beings was on the rise as crime groups capitalized on poverty, corruption and the disadvantaged position of women in society.
Today, the average monthly salary in Moldova is only 230 USD. Few opportunities exist within the country, which has led to mass migration. More than a quarter of Moldova’s small population of four million live abroad, searching for better economic opportunities. Moldovans are desperate to get out, hopeful that they will find a more prosperous life elsewhere. This combination of desperation and hope leaves many young women susceptible to the false promises of recruiters who offer opportunities too good to be true in Europe and the Middle East.
It’s estimated that 1 in every 100 has been trafficked to date. Trafficking occurs both within the borders of Moldova and abroad, with the majority of victims being exploited in Russia, Turkey, Italy, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates. Moldovan victims have been identified in more than 40 countries. Sex trafficking dominates the trade, but labour trafficking and forced begging are also common practice.
27% of trafficking victims are children.
The majority of human trafficking victims are involved in forced labour. Labour trafficking involves the use of fraud, coercion, or force in order to get a victim to provide labour or services. More than two-thirds of trafficking victims fall into this category, including more than 10 million adults and nearly 4 million children. The International Labour Organization reports that forced labour and sex-exploitation generates USD $150 billion in illegal profits per year.
With your help this will change
This is not a fight we can do alone and are looking for 25 businesses who will join with us in fighting poverty and crime in Europe's poorest country.
With just £250 per month (or equivalent in your currency), we can change the lives of potentially thousands of children. Orphans are prime targets for traffickers and we need to get them out of institutions and into a family environment, where they will be safe and receive support and education.
We realise this is a huge commitment, but the rewards we believe outweigh the investment. In return, we will add you to our web site and talk about you on social media and raise awareness about how your business is changing lives.
In addition, we will give you regular updates on how your support is being used on the ground and how the money you give is helping radically transform the lives of young people in Moldova.
We'd like to personally speak to any business willing to stand with us and welcome you to register your interest here.