Each month we feature one of EFN’s many partners across Europe. Our first “partner spotlight” features Monica Boseff with Open Door Foundation (in Romanian Usa Deschisa) in Bucharest, Romania. Moni is an advocate, pioneer and hero to survivors of human trafficking. She founded “Usa Deschisa”, an emergency shelter in Bucharest, Romania.
What do you provide for the women in the shelter?
Immediate protected residence (right after being rescued); complete medical care and treatment; psychological, emotional and spiritual counseling; financial and material support (weekly allowance; personal hygiene items; clothes and shoes); judicial assistance; continuing education and job placement.
How many paid staff do you have at Usa Deschisa?
8 (1 psychologist; 1 social worker; 1 house manager, 1 administrator, 3 guards and the director).
How is the shelter financed? Donors? Government?
No government funding; just one private donor.
Do you have volunteers?
Yes, at the moment we have 8.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Lack of serious and committed sponsors/donors; lack of financial involvement on the government’s side; building awareness in these girls’/women’s minds regarding old, destructive group of friends, and breaking the cycle of victim’s complete lack of self esteem and sense of value/worth.
How is your relationship with your local government?
Very good. From the very beginning, we have had very good relationships and collaboration with the National Agency Against Human Trafficking and the Department for Fighting Organized Crime, as well as the precinct in our area.
Can EFN partners send Romanian women we rescue to the shelter? How do we contact you?
Yes, of course. If EFN is the referral, I can be called on my phone directly or via email.
Are you open to visits from EFN partners?
Definitely. We just need to be contacted in advance. I do not recommend a large number of visitors, but rather 3-4 trustworthy representatives who are referred by EFN.
Do you have future plans for your shelter?
We are currently expanding the living space, making room for 10 more victims; we are trying to find donors interested in helping us put in solar panels, and we are praying to seek God’s guidance in opening a shelter for minor victims.
What advice do you have for EFN partners who are thinking about opening a shelter in their city?
Pray hard, think seriously about this (it is by far the most challenging and honoring ministry I have ever been involved in), connect with the local authorities and see what is the greatest need in that region/area and how can you respond to it.
After the women leave your shelter, do you still have contact with them?
With most of them, yes. It also depends on the terms in which the woman left the shelter. We not only keep in contact, but we also continue to support her, according to the new circumstances and set of needs she has.
Want to learn more about Moni and Usa Deschisa?
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