BUCHAREST – Twenty kilometers outside of Bucharest, in the locality of Balotesti, is a place where young ladies find help to rebuild their lives and to live free from drugs. The center for girls “House of Joy” functions under the umbrella of Teen Challenge Romania.
The need to provide a home just for girls became apparent gradually.
As we took care of the boys, we became aware of the need of a center for girls, as well. We knew the statics for Romania, that out of every 10 addicts two were girls. It’s true that the majority are boys, but the other two really had no options for rehabilitation.
Teen Challenge Romania turned their attention to girls due to the danger that they are exposed to and because their situation is more complex.
It’s a bit different for girls because they are controlled through the drugs. They are used to deliver drugs from one place to another, and instead of money, they are paid with drugs. It’s hard to give them up and to get out, since they are used for prostitution, used in other combinations, and it is very rare that anyone is able to leave. It is harder to find girls. It doesn’t mean that there are none willing. But, I repeat, out of an estimated number of 100,000 drug addicts in Bucharest, there must be between 10 and 20 thousand girls.
Young girls are more easily lured through the help of social networks and fall prey to human trafficking groups and drug networks.
There are very many girls who are easily fooled on social media. They are contacted by young guys who have an attractive profile picture and begin to compliment them, telling them how pretty they are. Then for a few weeks they carry on discussions building them up and flattering the girls. But these “boys” are actually “sharks”, people involved in human trafficking and other horrible things.
The “House of Joy” girls center was opened in September 2015. Vicky Dobre is part of the leadership team and she experienced God’s intervention in her own life. Her husband completed the Teen Challenge program and they both had a desire to help others confronting addiction.
I realized I wanted to do something more. Just as God helped us through Teen Challenge, our family, Iulian, we felt we had to pass it on and help other people who are going through this. We fasted for several days and prayed. At the time there was no center for girls. There was only the Teen Challenge center in Gradistea and I said, “Lord, I want to do something to feel like I too am taking part in changing people’s lives, to help others to know You, to help them to see that they can change their lives.”
Georgiana Moldoveanu, the director of the center for girls, a former addict, has an incredible story according to Catalin Baciu.
The young lady who directs the center for girls, Geo, and does it in such an efficient way, with her whole heart and with incredible dedication, was addicted to heroine. She came to Church at age 43 and said, “Christians brainwash ! You are losers!” Her brother was in the program and she made fun of him. She told him he was being fooled by us. She also was hateful to boys and egged them on. Once again I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit saying to me, “This will be the girl that I will change and she will become the director of the girls center when you will have it.”
Addiction is a major problem and young people have not been completely and relevantly informed as to the risks that they are exposed to. The statistics are sobering and show that on a global level every seven minutes someone dies from an overdose.
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- Global News Alliance, Teen Challenge Center for Girls in Romania
- Teen Challenge, Official Website