Not For Sale Romania Director nominated for Trust Women Hero Award
A young woman comes into the office, no older than 25. She’s carrying a 3 month old and two young children follow closely behind. Mariana Petersel approaches the woman with a calm, natural address. While straightforward and direct, her voice is not lacking compassion. “Have you and your children had lunch?” she asks in Romanian.
The young woman had been repatriated from Italy where she was trapped in a begging ring with three children. The trauma of her exploitation is still raw.
This is a normal day at Not For Sale Romania. Back at our headquarters we are grateful for the impressive and seamless style with which our director carries out the day-to-day work of supporting survivors. This is what Mariana wakes up every day to do. She is the face survivors are met with when they enter the shelter, and for many, she is the first person in their lives they are able to trust. Countless individuals carry her influence as they leave a past of exploitation behind and boldly pursue a noble future. We do not talk about her work often, but it is critical and fundamental to every success we have in Romania.
On this day of giving thanks, we’re thankful for a director that embodies the heroic, and we’re celebrating an immense honor: Mariana has been nominated for a Trust Women Hero Award. Nominees for this award are judged for their impact and the groundbreaking nature of their work. We can’t imagine a better candidate. Our thoughts and best wishes go with her as she travels to the Trust Women Conference on Tuesday, December 3rd.
Mariana, we are so proud of you.