RENATE Member Blogs





The 8th Annual International Symposium on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling is taking place today in Brussels.

Four members of RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation) are attending this event and the President of Mary Ward Loreto Foundation/ RENATE, Imelda Poole (IBVM), representing Albania.

The delegates of this Annual International Symposium will:

  • Explore how to build effective multi-agency cooperation to ensure the conviction of perpetrators
  • Consider ways to safeguard victims by strengthening victim support
  • Take part in interactive discussions with key stakeholders and share best practice in the protection of trafficking victims
  • Examine how to better identify, protect and support victims of sexual exploitation through the delivery a person-centred safeguarding system
  • Share ideas on and transfer current knowledge of available training and education for frontline staff to ensure that they are qualified to identify and assess victims of trafficking
  • Evaluate the importance of partnership working and discuss how best to implement effective multi-sector collaboration;

The trafficking in human beings has, over the last decade, increased significantly. According to the International Labour Organisation, in 2012 there were 20.9 million people were victims of forced labour and sexual exploitation in the world. In the period 2013-14 EU countries reported 15,846 victims of human trafficking, 76% of which were women and girls according to a European Commission report. It is estimated that two out of three registered victims (67%) were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 21% for other types of forced labour and 12% for other types of exploitation. Please click here for more




30 RENATE members have registered to attend training on the above theme, which will take place at the Pallotti House Conference Centre, Freising, Germany. The training is tailored specifically for RENATE members who in their work, have to address trauma and trauma-related issues.

Amongst the themes to be covered are: Psychotraumatology-short theoretical background, features and symptomatology; Working with victims of sexual abuse- a spiritual, practical approach; Burnout-signs and features, prevention, psycho-hygiene; Trauma Therapy with victims of sexual exploitation in Germany; Spiritual counselling with Victims of Trafficking in Nigeria.

Amongst those contributing to the training, are Sr. Dr. Lea Ackerman, Foundress of SOLWODI; Sr. M. Regina Pröls of the German Conference of Religious; Dr. Ingeborg Kraus will lead on the theme of ‘’Trauma Therapy with vicitms of sexual exploitation in Germany.’’ There will be representation from the German Federal Criminal Police Human Trafficking Unit and members of the German Bishop’s Conference’s Working Group on Human Trafficking. Bishop Dr. Stefan Heße, of the Santa Marta Group will also join us for input and sharing.

Liturgy and reflections will support the work of each day and a  visit to SOLWODI Augsburg is also planned, providing an opportunity to meet with the members and share best practices

Watch this space for a full report later in May!

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.



42  participants including RENATE members, attended a special two-day training seminar on Fundraising and how best to work with donors. The seminar was jointly organised by both the ARISE Foundation and the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation (MWL), in Albania, catering to participants from 5 East European countries.

Through presentations, group discussions and analysis of case studies, the seminar covered all aspects of the grant application cycle, from researching and sourcing funders to proposal-writing. A very significant component of the overall training was building capacity to build and maintain strong relationships with donors.

Ms. Kate Horner, Managing Director of ‘Forward Motion Strategies’ based in Boston, USA, facilitated the training.

More at:

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.


Sr. Patricia Murray, IBVM, US Ambassador Callista Gingrich & H.E. Archbishop Paul Gallagher.


Co-hosted by the Union of Superiors General, the US Embassy to the Holy See and Solidarity with South Sudan, at the heart of the seminar were Religious sisters sharing stories from the frontline.

Delegates attending heard of the work of sisters ministering in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, aiming to build peace and empower other women at grassroots level in some of the most deprived and violent countries and socio-economic contexts.

The importance of education and awareness-raising, collaboration with both government and civil society was emphasised by sisters who spoke of their work to combat human trafficking, prostitution and the cyber porn industry.

Other sisters shared personal stories about accompaniment of victims of conflict and violence, where sometimes even the sisters themselves fell victim to such violence.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, paid tribute to the sisters’ courageous and selfless work as shared at the seminar, stating: ‘’For me, these are all examples of Religious women living …and working on the front lines, living out their faith, having to draw on all the resources of their faith and of the spirituality of their individual congregations and giving enormous witness to the Church and to Christ.’’  

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.



The workshop Innovation Management and Innovation Culture (IMIC) took place from 28- 29 March, 2018, at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Thanks to RENATE, I participated in my fourth workshop organized by the ERSTE NGO Academy Foundation so far. Previous workshops covered Leadership; Successfully leading teams and oneself;  Organizational design for 21st century. The trainer of this most recent IMIC workshop was Mr. Björn Schmitz, owner of the consulting firm Phil!iomondo and an expert in innovation management, business planning, collaboration, scaling and organizational development.

The following are key areas from the IMIC workshop, which we had the opportunity to discuss and analyse from the context of the challenges we encounter in our daily work time:

  1. Some approaches for creating and realizing ideas;
  2. How our innovation fits with the customer’s demands;
  3. Analysis of our organizational culture and innovation management;
  4. Reflection on our leadership style.

In this IMIC workshop I had an opportunity:

  1. to present the work of RENATE;
  2. to meet new colleagues from Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Austria. I was also able to share different experiences and to discuss about the daily issues in our work-places and try to discover new approaches to resolving problems;
  3. to learn about innovation management and innovation and to face it with design thinking challenge;
  4. to come up with ideas and concepts which should help me in my life;
  5. to conduct self-assessment and recognise my personal leadership style.

Therefore I am happy and grateful to have been able to attend this workshop!

Sr. Stanka Oršolić