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Human Trafficking Expert Recognized as 'Woman of the Year' in Romania

by Staff
April 6, 2009
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MEDIA ADVISORY, ( -- Free for Life Ministries, Inc. is pleased to announce the recognition of our partner and friend Iana Matei as "Woman of the Year" in Romania by the Romania government.

Iana Matei is the founder and Executive Director of Reaching Out Romania, a safe house for survivors of human trafficking. Reaching Out has a one-year program for those rescued out of sex slavery with the goal being the restoration of the lives of these young women. Iana Matei, a psychologist, has been running this program for over 10 years and is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities in the area of human trafficking. Ms. Matei has received many awards and acknowledgements including her recognition in 2006 as one of just ten "Heroes Around The World Working To End Modern-Day Slavery" by the U.S. State Department Trafficking In Persons Division.

Iana has fought on behalf of these young women and girls to get them back into school or to learn a trade, all the while giving them a place of safety where they can talk about the horrors they may have had to endure. Under Iana's care they learn what it is like - maybe for the first time - to have someone in their life that they can trust. Iana is someone who sees each girl as an individual child of God with an unlimited future and the chance to start a new life.

Despite successfully bringing over 200 girls through her one-year program and an 86% success rate, Iana has at times struggled to keep the shelter open due to lack of finances. Once a young girl makes it to the shelter every need is met free of charge including food, housing, clothing, medical care, lawyers, and vocational training.

Free for Life Ministries, Inc. is a Nashville, Tennessee based 501(c)3 organization with the mission to partner with shelters and individuals globally to meet the needs of human trafficking survivors through financial, emotional, and spiritual support. Free for Life currently works to support safe houses in Romania, Nepal, India, and Nicaragua and is proud to have been helping Iana Matei tell her story for the past 3 years.

You can learn more about Free for Life Ministries, Inc. and the Reaching Out Romania program at

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