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RENATE member, Andreá Bezáková, CJ, appointed Director of SOLWODI, Austria’s new shelter and counselling centre in Innsbruck, Austria.

 


Since the 1st of February, 2017, RENATE member, Andrea Bezáková (Bohdana), has assumed the position of Director of a new shelter and counselling centre in Innsbruck, the Austrian Tyrol. This new centre is sponsored by SOLWODI Austria, under the Chairpersonship of RENATE member Patricia Erber, SDS, in conjunction with a number of Religious congregations and aid organisations.  
The centre in Innsbruck has opened following SOLWODI’s consultations with regional conferences of Religious and with civil society organisations, to consider the possibility of establishing an additional support centre to cater for the needs of women in western Austria, who have become victims of human trafficking, forced prostitution, exploitation and violence.
The operation of the new centre will be based on SOLWODI’s experiences at its counselling and services centres in Vienna and eastern Austria, which offer assistance and support to victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution.
A professional psychotherapist and experienced social worker and counsellor, Bohdana shares the shelter with five trafficking victims and is very busy meeting the various demands of establishing a new centre. New staff are being recruited to meet the demand for counselling and professional services.
Our prayers are with Bohdana as she manages this new centre and coordinates its vital work. 
Solwodi AUSTRIA – TIROL: Innsbruck.
Solwodi Innsbruck
Maximilanstrasse 8
6020 Innsbruck
Telephone: 0676 94 77 191
E-mail: innsbruck@solwodi.at
https://www.solwodi.at/2016/12/16/solwodi-in-tirol/
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.
 

Powerful testimony from an Albanian girl as she recovers from the trauma of human trafficking.

 

More than 3,00 people are trafficked into the UK every year, with the majority coming from Albania. Poor women and girls are mainly targeted, with many falling victim to mistrust in their ‘boyfriend,’ who often lures the girl into the trap of trafficking.
Reeta Chakrabarti, a BBC journalist, has been speaking to victims of trafficking in both the UK and Albania. Stories of brutality and exploitation are common to all whom she interviewed, girls ranging in age from early teens right through to adulthood.
Full report at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39046337
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

An encounter with Rosi- ‘’They are just children, not slaves.’’

 

 

 
In this year when the spotlight is placed on Child Trafficking, Columban Fr. Shay Cullen shares with us the chilling story of his encounter with Rosi, a six-year-old child imprisoned because her mother was unable to pay street vendor fees imposed by a corrupt urban official in Olongapo City, the Philippines.
Please see http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=31987
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

8th February – St. Josephine Bakhita: International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking

 

Mary Ward Loreto share the anti-trafficking video which they developed as part of their activities to mark the 8th of February, the International day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking.
 

2. What does the Bible say? Migrants, Refugees and Foreigners. Fr. James Martin, SJ, explains that it is pretty clear, in the following video clip, which featured in the 13th February 2017 edition of ”America Magazine- The Jesuit Review.”
 

What does the Bible say? Migrants, Refugees and Foreigners

What does the Bible say about helping refugees, migrants and foreigners? Fr. James Martin, SJ explains that it's pretty clear.

Posted by America Magazine – The Jesuit Review on Monday, 13 February 2017

 
3. In honour of St. Bakhita and the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, Archbishop Gomez, of the Los angeles Arch Diocese in California, speaks to us in the following video clip, about the need for everyone to be actively engaged in the fight against human trafficking. 
Preview YouTube video International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking
 

 
 
 
 

Night Vigil at the Basilica of the Holy Cross, Warsaw, Poland, in honour of the International day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons.

 


 
In honour of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons, The Bakhita Network in Poland, the Inter-Religious Network for the Prevention and Aid for the Victims of Contemporary Slavery, collaborated with two other foundations to organise a night Vigil at the Basilica of the Holy Cross, Warsaw on the 3rd/4th February with the theme ‘Turn night into the POWER of charity.’ Please click here to read the full report.

Night Vigil at the Basilica of the Holy Cross, Warsaw, Poland, in honour of the International day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons.

 

Night Vigil at the Basilica of the Holy Cross, Warsaw, Poland, in honour of the International day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons.
 
 
In honour of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons, The Bakhita Network in Poland, the Inter-Religious Network for the Prevention and Aid for the Victims of Contemporary Slavery, collaborated with two other foundations to organise a night Vigil at the Basilica of the Holy Cross, Warsaw on the 3rd/4th February with the theme ‘Turn night into the POWER of charity.’
Preceded by references to the issue of human trafficking in the Press, on radio, in advertisements on websites and social media, the Vigil was open to all who were touched by the tragedy of our enslaved brothers and sisters. A special invitation was extended to those who made extra efforts to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 03.00 on the first Saturday of every month throughout the year. The Divine Mercy Chaplet focused specifically on praying for the victims of human trafficking, the perpetrators of their suffering and an appeal to bring an end to human trafficking in the world.
Together that night, we listened to the cry of the victims and prayed “Father, they are your children, not slaves.”
Subsequent to the Vigil, the Catholic Press, radio and print media in Poland, published articles about the Vigil and about the problem of modern slavery in the world and in our country.

The Vigil programme (from 21.00 p.m to 5.00 a.m) was as follows:

  • Bishop Grzegorz Ryś, Bishop of Krakow, presided over the Eucharist. His touching sermon confronted our attitudes as he emphasised our collective responsibility to take action and gave examples of what each of us can and should do in order to stop this crime, in accordance with the Word of God;
  • The Hour of Voices – stories of human trafficking victims followed by marimba music and prayers of intercession;
  • The Gesture of Solidarity – the possibility of spiritual adoption of one victim of human trafficking, where a person prays for the victim, for one year. More than 470 people undertook this gesture of solidarity. They each received two silicone wristbands: one to remember their undertaking and the second wristband was inscribed with ‘’I am with you,’’ translated in four languages. The name of the person who will pray, will be shared with the specific victims living in sheltered housing in different countries;
  • The Rosary – illustrated with sand painting and music;
  • Healing and worship prayer
  • The Divine Mercy Chaplet;
  • Tea offered an opportunity to meet each other and discuss the night’s theme.
  • The documentary ‘Nefarious: Merchant of Souls’ – was shown to those who wanted to stay until the morning.

Joanna Lipowska, fmm.
Reports in Polish:  www.siecbakhita.com    
Gallery – http://www.siecbakhita.com/index.php/galeria
Videoclip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNWPLrGGCHQ
 
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.

STOP Human Trafficking-Caritas Slovakia share news of Liturgy at the Franciscan Church, Bratislava, 8th February, 2017.

 

The Franciscan Church in Bratislava was crowded with people who gathered on the 8th of February, 2017, the International day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, to pray for the victims of human trafficking worldwide.
Fr. Felix celebrated Mass and his Homily focused specifically on the issue of modern day slavery and its impact on countless millions of lives. 
During the Liturgy, several Slovakian victims of human trafficking spoke of their personal experiences. Each story was accompanied by a candle, symbolising the light of hope and the candle was subsequently placed on a map of the world, as a gesture of solidarity in prayer for the victims of human trafficking worldwide.
The church choir, Chorus Salvatoris, accompanied the Liturgy with Taizé hymns.
An exhibition of photographs entitled ‘’Life after Trafficking- Life after Deliverance,’’ was staged in the Franciscan church. The photographs were accompanied by the words of victims, speaking of their memories, hopes and desires following their return to Slovakia.
A screening of the short film entitled ‘’Ivan,’’ took place after Mass. This film is an authentic testimony from Ivan, who was one of our clients, a victim of human trafficking who died on the eve of St. Bakhita’s Day, 2015.
“In conclusion, we share a common lamp lighting the candles of hope for victims of trafficking. The light has  to symbolise the freedom and dignity of every person and also hope for deliverance of all those in the shackles of enslavement.’’
Full details of the event are available at www.obchodsludmi.sk
Adapted and prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.
 

Important to step up coordination of anti-trafficking efforts, says OSCE Special Representative during an official visit to the Russian Federation.

 

RENATE is encouraged by the OSCE’s emphasis on the strength of collaboration in working together to combat human trafficking. It is also heartening to see that the spotlight will be placed on trafficking of minors, given the theme of the International day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, 8th February 2017, ‘’They are just Children, not Slaves.’’  Please click here to read the full report.