We were so moved by the anti-human trafficking efforts A21 and Zoe Church are doing in Bulgaria and Greece that we returned once again in 2019 to help support their campaign to raise awareness and abolish slavery in the 21st century.
One of the primary efforts undertaken when returning to Sofia, Bulgaria in 2019 was to help Zoe Church break ground on a vision they had been pursuing for many years prior, The Children of Hope Project. To purchase land and provide safe housing for a handful of Roma families they have been supporting from the Orlandsvtsi District.
When we visited the previous year, the community had recently lost everything and were forced to rebuild makeshift homes on top of the rubble from their homes that were bulldozed and destroyed. We had committed to support the project in an effort to help give their children, the next generation, hope for a different future and an opportunity to break generational curses. The Roma are one of the most marginalized people in Europe, which makes them extremely vulnerable to human trafficking. Your odds for a bright future are increased exponentially when you are able to focus on hopes and dreams vs. the bare necessities for survival.
Orlandovtsi District - Sofia, Bulgaria
We were blessed to return to the Roma community in the Orlandovtsi District of Sofia, Bulgaria. It's not just about painting nail polish on little girls that means the most (although it definitely brings some very warm smiles), but to have the time to ask questions and connect in a healthy, loving way. In a gentle, nurturing way it says, "I invite you into a space together because I care to hear and listen to you. You matter, and it is an honor to get to spend time with you!"
"The ability to truly love and pray for the very best in one another is a gift from God, who fills us up as we pour out. I never feel tired when I am doing what I know is on my heart to do."
Yolanda Christensen, Free To Fly Founder
We spent two days with A21 learning more about human trafficking and visiting their Freedom Center.
We were also blessed by Hydrafacial and their unbelievable generosity and support in the fight against human trafficking. They provided Free To Fly with amazing gift bags to be given to all the survivors at the A21 Freedom Centers in both Thessoloniki as well as Sofia, Bulgaria. Less than 1% of victims are ever rescued, so we celebrate every survivor. Hydrafacial reached a total of 40 survivors. Thank you!