For almost two years Arjan Erkel was kidnapped by masked Islamic rebels in Dagestan, Russia. It was a nightmare he never expected to live through, but once he was in the middle of it he learned how to cope with his new circumstances. His unique story about survival, his quest for freedom, and his powerful recovery is still inspiring.
Next to that Arjan is also a Co-Founder of Free a Girl. A foundation that is dedicated to freeing young girls from forced prostitution. Since 2008 they have freed and given a second chance to more than 4,750 girls globally.
Because of his ordeal, it became Arjan's mission to assist people in their quest for freedom, to live in a world without fear, surrounded by protection.
We talk about how he was kidnapped. The feelings of guilt that his fiance felt as he was kidnapped in front of her house. How he had guns held to his head in the car and forced to answer questions on the way to his new prison, a hole in the ground that was barely tall enough for him to stand.
Arjan shares about some of the low points in his almost two-year imprisonment from bare-knuckle fighting a guard, finding a gun that was left behind in the shower one day, a standoff with a captor about not removing his mask.
Finally, Arjan was rescued, he became a media sensation, he was reunited with his family, his fiance and now they are married with three kids. Almost 17 years after his kidnapping he is running an organization called Free a Girl where he continues to fight for freedom and second chances for those who are kidnapped and placed into sex trafficking.
Free a Girl was founded in 2008, based on the vision that every child has the right to grow up in a safe environment. All children around the world must be protected against every form of commercial sexual exploitation.
What is Girls Who Do Stuff?
Come as you are with the courage to speak up and tell a better story. A raw and real podcast from two courageous women making an impact in their communities by helping guests share their unique stories.
Your hosts Jenny and Sarah are soul sisters with a passion for creating a space for authentic storytelling. Their guests will make you laugh, cry, and leave you with all-the-feels while you learn from thought leaders like entrepreneurs, influencers, coaches, real estate moguls, speakers, reality stars, and creative geniuses.