17,000 Russian teens age out of orphanages each year and are routed to the nearest big city. Half the girls will be sexually exploited shortly after leaving their orphanage. Some are targeted by traffickers even while at their orphanage but most during their vulnerable transition to life in the city. Others are offered false jobs, such as modeling or working in a cafe, but in reality they are trafficked and forced into prostitution. Girls are exploited throughout Russia, Western Europe, the Middle East, and in North and South America.


iEmpathize, in collaboration with various orphan outreaches, is navigating how best to lead orphan girls through this difficult transition. In addition to the Orphan’s Journey short film we are translating our anti-trafficking prevention curriculum into Russian. The outreach will educate orphans and orphanages on the tactics of traffickers while connecting them to the resources they need in order to safely transition out of orphanages. We are aiming for a 2016 release.


Orphan’s Journey:

This film was shot at the actual locations from the girls’ stories.
Producer/Director Brad Riley  ||  Camera/Editor Simon Scionca  ||  Music by Tune Society

Photography by Simon Scionka, Artifacts images by Megan Newton