Imagine a young girl being left alone in this world. Now, imagine that same girl being turned out into the streets, because she is too old to stay at the orphanage. Many of these orphans end up as victims of human trafficking. They are sold into sex slavery and many languish and suffer there for years with no hope of a better life.
We call our girl's homes Stella’s House, and they are homes for orphan girls who have been aged out of state-run facilities and are prime targets for sex traffickers, those who want to trap them in modern slavery.
While living at Stella’s House, the girls complete their education, learn life skills, and grow in an environment that changes their mindset from “I am just an orphan” to “I am worthy of being loved.” Instead of becoming a child trafficking statistic, these children are loved and given a chance at a victorious life.
The vision for Stella’s Voice began at the fall of communism, when the media was first allowed into Eastern Europe and began showing the dire conditions of the state-run orphan homes. In response to the desperate need, our teams started taking aid to these homes.
When we reached Moldova, the director of the first home we visited asked us, “Have you ever seen a baby freeze to death?” By mid-December, 16 children had frozen to death in their beds. Stella's Voice began working to see that no child ever froze in that home again.
We also watched young people age out of orphan homes and get put out on the streets. One in particular—Stella—was exploited by human traffickers, sold, and eventually died from AIDS at 19 years old.
The year was 1996, and the mission of Stella's Voice was birthed.