“From Bucharest to Rome
…breaking the links of trafficking”
After months of dreaming and praying, it’s really happening….we are going to be reclaiming freedom through dance in Europe! Specifically, we are going to be in Buchrest, Romania and Rome, Italy for 3.5 weeks performing original works, teaching dance and learning more about the issue that breaks our hearts.
On October 14th, 2013 we will be flying to Bucharest, Romania located in Eastern Europe. We have been invited to participate in an anti-trafficking campaign centered around the European National Day Against Human Trafficking, October 18th. Our participation will be to help raise awareness and ignite freedom and hope through our voice of dance. Not only will we be performing our work in a busy intersection as a part of the 18th event, but we will be performing in a Metro Station for the public, and for children in clubs and orphanages. The unique opportunity we have to share dance beyond performing for the public also excites us. We will be teaching a flash mob to women who have survived the sex trade, where they will get to use their bodies to dance and reclaim freedom in the streets! In the orphanages and kids clubs, we will lead dance workshops for the children. Our time in Bucharest will also allow us to learn more about the issue, giving us greater insight and deepening our work.
Then on October 21st, we will fly to Rome, Italy. Our two weeks there will involve performing in the streets, and taking any opportunity to gain insight on the issue, inspiring our work. There is also a group of local art students, who in their vairious artforms would like to use their talents towards abolition. We hope to not only connect with them, but encourage them and collaborate to create a peice together that can be shared while we are still in Rome. Our connections in Rome, Brian and Sarah Bennecht are also deeply involved in reaching out to girls in street prostitution. We know we have much to learn from them in our partnership while there.
Why Romania and Italy?
A bit of context….Romania, like many Eastern European countries, is considered a “source country” meaning, it is where the trafficking victims are coming from. Then they are taken to a “destination country” where customers come from all over the world to purchase sex. Much of Western Europe, are considered destination countries. In destination countries like Italy, many Romanians are being sexually exploited through strip clubs, massage parlors, brothels, and street prostitution. In search of a “better” life, many Romanian girls are coerced into taking jobs in a city like Rome, only to have their passports taken, they are beaten down and sold as prostitutes. Children in orphanages are especially at risk as many traffickers are just waiting for the young and vulnerable to take advantage of.
The opportunity we have to be in both ‘source’ and ‘destination’ countries has great significance in the message we have to share and in what we will learn. We know that our purpose in going is beyond what we have to share alone….there is so much to see, to learn, to witness and explore. This journey excites us….both in fun ways, but also scary ones.
Being inspired by things we were learning and having limitations, like dancing on concrete streets, has put us in a position of creating new work. We will be previewing this work in Cleveland before we go! Keep on a lookout, we will let you know when we have secured dates.
We are raising 75% of the funds to get us to Europe and do the work. With the help of a partnering organization and our fundraiser, we have covered flight costs- which is huge! There are still many needs to be met. Please consider giving towards this trip, you can make donations here: donate. Please also keep us in your prayers as we go…more updates to come! If you are not subscribed to our newsletter, we encourage you to do so! Go to the contact link and subscribe there!
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. We look forward to sharing this journey with you!