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Celebratory dinner in honour of Imelda Poole, IBVM, RENATE President, awarded MBE 21 November 2018.

 

At a celebratory dinner held in London last night (22 November, 2018), donors and friends of RENATE gathered to mark the occasion of the President being awarded an MBE.

It was an inspiring and supportive event to celebrate this special honour which Imelda has accepted on behalf of RENATE and sisters working to combat human trafficking around the world.

In their honour, guests at the dinner made financial contributions to support the work of RENATE.

Imelda shared the story of her life thus far and the story of RENATE as a firmly established network of Religious, collaborating in a myriad of ways in working against human trafficking and exploitation. A striking statement which struck a chord with everyone was that ‘’…ours is a Mission of Presence, with humility as a core source of our Mission. We work with people fallen off the edge. There is where we are called to set up new communities, outside the boundaries.’’

Two RENATE Working Board members present, Adina Balan, cj, and Ms. Ana Stakaj, shared about cross-border rescue work and activities at grass-roots level respectively. Adina spoke of her struggles against all odds in Romania,  to provide for and ensure assistance to young women and girls who are survivors of human trafficking and violence. In this regard, she instanced the capacity of RENATE as a network responding across borders whereby RENATE members in the UK provide shelter and agency in response to her call. Adina’s parting words resonated with everyone as she said ‘’Some people are alive today because RENATE exists, being there at the right time.’’

Ana Stakaj shared about the various actions underway in Albania, amongst which is the setting up of a Citizen’s Advice Centre where MWL provide Emergency Support and assistance in negotiating with social services in order that survivors of human trafficking, can live independent and dignified lives. In doing so, she spoke of ‘’…trying to break the chains of poverty and domestic violence.’’ People were very interested to hear Ana speak about the myth of migration that abounds amongst youth in Albania. Many aspire to leave the country in order to find a better quality of life, describing the UK, the USA and Canada as the ‘promised lands’ in their eyes.

The function concluded with congratulations extended to Imelda and to all at RENATE, with pledges of continued support and prayers into the future.

Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.

ARISE Foundation launch report on The Anti-Slavery Commitment of the Conference of Religious of England and Wales – 12 November, 2018.

 

The anti-slavery commitment of the Conference of Religious of England and Wales has been recorded in the Threads of Solidarity project, conducted by the ARISE Foundation and launched in Westminster, London on Monday, 12 November 2018.

RENATE members Mrs. Ana Stakaj, Patricia Mulhall, csb, Anne McNamara , pbvm, Marie Power, Ancy Mathews and Eileen Glancy were amongst invited guests at the launch of a report on the project.

Sr. Arpan Carvalho, bs, Sr. Cecilia Espenilla, op and Sr. Lynda Dearlove, rsm,  each spoke about their respective ministries and the harsh realities of life which render people vulnerable to traffickers.

The report is available at: ARISE Foundation Launch for Conference of Religious of England and Wales

URAT network Albania host the UN GiftBox anti-Human Trafficking Campaign, to mark 18 October, EU Day against Human Trafficking.

 

 

The URAT Network in collaboration with Terre des Hommes is running the UN Gift Box campaign  in Prizren, Kosovo on the 19th of October. The deputy ministers of Interiors from both Kosovo and Albania and the Mayor of Prizren are presenting at the opening of the event.

This year’s topic is raising awareness about child-trafficking in street situations for begging and petty crimes. Albanian children, mostly from Roma and Egyptian ethnicity, are vulnerable and exploited in Kosovo, as well as at home in Albania.

The organizations collaborating with URAT for this event are IBVM Loreto, MWL, Different & Equal, VATRA, SHKEJ, NISMA, ARSIS, and Caritas Albania.

Numerous events around the GiftBox campaign are organised, including exhibitions and amateur videos, all with a view to attracting and informing young people who are most vulnerable to Human Trafficking.

For updates on the campaign:  http://www.albaniahope.com/urat-network-the-united-response-against-trafficking/

Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

 

Santa Marta Group share Resources for 18 October- EU Day against Human Trafficking.

 

 

Modern slavery is one of the gravest criminal challenges confronting the international community. The scale of the problem is such that now, according to some studies, it ranks as the second most profitable worldwide criminal enterprise after the illegal arms trade.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 40 million people are victims of modern slavery globally and that annual profits generated from trafficking in human beings are as high as $32 billion. It is a serious crime that includes exploiting people for little or no pay. This exploitation can take many forms including; forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced criminality and organ harvesting.

There is a constant demand for trafficked people and the major sources remain poorer regions such as Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and South East Asia. Trafficking is facilitated increasingly by modern forms of technology, particularly the use of internet.

The eradication of modern slavery and the pastoral care of victims is a priority for the Catholic Church. Both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis continually drew the attention of the Church and wider world to the moral and human crisis evident in this widespread human exploitation.

Following initiatives by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW), the Santa Marta Group was developed by the CBCEW and first met in Rome during April 2014 when police chiefs and Catholic bishops came together, in the presence of Pope Francis, to sign an historic declaration, committing themselves to a partnership to eliminate human trafficking.

Named after the home of Pope Francis, in which the members stayed, the Group now has members in over 35 countries.

Through a series of conferences, the Bishops’ Conference has brought together the heads of national and international police and law enforcement agencies along with international organisations to look at how they can work with the Church to help victims of modern slavery.

The Santa Marta Group share with us some resources comprising posters and prayer-cards which may be helpful in Human Trafficking awareness-raising, advocacy and campaigning.

Resources available at: http://santamartagroup.com/resources/

The Global Slavery Index – 2018.

 


 
Published 19 July, 2018, the Global Slavery Index covers 167 countries, presenting country level data on prevalence, vulnerability and governmental responses to Modern Slavery.  Each country report is listed alphabetically, where each government’s response data is used to assess responses since 2014.
The 2018 report focuses on the top 12 global economies, providing information on the types of modern slavery and vulnerability factors affecting each of these countries, as well as the actions of the respective governments.
Each country study includes data on the greatest value-imports at risk of being produced through forced labour as well as information on the statements being produced under the UK Modern Slavery Act.
The studies conclude with a series of recommendations.
Full report available at: https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/resources/downloads/
Executive Summary is available at: https://cdn.globalslaveryindex.org/2018-content/uploads/2018/07/19102858/Executive-Summary.pdf
Highlights are available at: https://cdn.globalslaveryindex.org/2018-content/uploads/2018/07/19102647/Highlights.pdf
A series of 5 Essays included in the Index, including one by H.E Kevin Hyland, OBE, are available at: https://cdn.globalslaveryindex.org/2018-content/uploads/2018/07/19065624/2_Essays.pdf
Global Findings are available at: https://cdn.globalslaveryindex.org/2018-content/uploads/2018/07/19065941/3_Global-Findings.pdf
Regional Findings are available at: https://cdn.globalslaveryindex.org/2018-content/uploads/2018/07/19070208/5_Regional-Findings.pdf
Spotlights on specific sectors (Fishing and Cocoa) available at: https://cdn.globalslaveryindex.org/2018-content/uploads/2018/07/19070035/4_Spotlight-on-Sectors.pdf
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.
 
 
 

An unequal battle against Human Trafficking Reflection by Sr. Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS.

 

 

Author Marie Hélène Halligon, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity the Good Shepherd.
Author Marie Hélène Halligon, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity the Good Shepherd.

In November 2017, a CNN reporter brought to light the sale of African migrants in Libya. Such an escalation of the trafficking and exploitation of human beings, has surpassed all previous levels of depravity.
In the following article, RENATE member Marie Hélène Halligon, olcgs, writes about the ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking, not only from the imperative to release those who have fallen victim to traffickers, but from the primacy of restoring and maintaining the dignity of the human person, made in the image and likeness of God.
Marie Hélène expands on the theme of an unequal battle against Human Trafficking, by considering the meaning of the following Rights, which every human being is entitled to:
The right to a decent life- a battle against the roots of evil;
The right to freedom and safety- a battle against indifference;
The right to recognition- a battle against denial.
The right to international freedom- a battle of worldwide dimensions.
A political battle- to bring these rights to the attention of decision-makers.
The rights of all victims- a long-term battle.
The right to be considered a human being.
The right to education- a battle for the respect of freedom of expression.
The right to call on God- a spiritual battle.
Full article at: https://renatefrance.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/un-combat-c3a0-armes-inc3a9gales-teh-mhhalligon.pdf
Translated by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.
 
 

A wonderful success story from RENATE's Greek members:

 


 
Two Years! Join us in celebrating two years of serving trafficked and exploited women in Greece, and the many miracles in between!
Read more below.
Last month we celebrated two years of operation at Damaris!
We held a reception party on the new rooftop garden of our safe house (pictured above). It was a beautiful evening celebrating all of the blessings of the last two years since first opening our doors in April 2016. We gathered with many pastors and partners that have been praying and supporting the organization from the beginning. Damaris House is a seven year prayer and dream that came true.
As we look back on the last two years, we reflect on a season of ministry scattered with growth, miracles, and blessings. We have helped thirteen girls from many nations to be rescued, rehabilitated, and restored. Our girls have come from Greece, Romania, Dominican Republic, Iraq, and many countries of Africa – we are an international family! Our family continues to grow, as we have welcomed four babies born with us and one more due next month!
In these years, God has shaped our ministry as the injustices around us continue to grow. Nearly all of the trafficked women in our house have also come to Greece as refugees, through Turkey to the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios. We are continuing to grow partnerships with Christian initiatives on the islands to help moved trafficked women out of refugee camps and into our program at Damaris. When new women come to our house, they not only receive a safe place to rest and raise their family, but also access to education and recovery through our day program. Our day program will teach women necessary skills for their healing, such as anger management, self-esteem, parenting, budgeting, healthcare, healthy relationships, the Greek language, and the 12 Steps Recovery Program.
At Damaris, we are also passionate about introducing our participants to the radical love of Christ through the Gospel. We hold an optional Bible study for the women each week and are seeing spiritual growth in the women’s lives. Teams from the States also join us in this mission, as they will come for our Celebration Week. During this week, the teams teach the women a new project and share their own testimonies – a time that has proven to be a powerful for our ladies to hear how God works in other women’s lives!
We want to model a lifestyle of prayer for the ladies in the program, so prayer is at the core of all we do. We thank the Lord so much for your prayer and support, we could not do this without you! As we look ahead into the next year of operation, we are faithfully praying for God to provide the funds to purchase second stage housing. Currently, our house has five rooms and one emergency room. This year we hope to purchase two additional apartments for more independent participants that have transitioned out of Phase 1 and into Phase 2. We are also praying for the funds to start a business to employ the women. Please pray that the Lord will continue to miraculously provide for the ministry and we will be able to grow in these avenues we are pursuing!
So, here’s to the many blessings of the last 2 years, and to 22 more years to come!
Love,
Dina Petrou
Director of CHD
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Join the party!
You can give the gift of opportunity and empowerment for the women in our program! Help us reach our goals for this year by donating to our second stage housing program here.

BOUGHT AND SOLD.

 


 
In 1 Corinthians 6, which was read on Sunday 14th January, St Paul tells the people of Corinth that they have been “bought and paid for”.  Elsewhere, Paul tells his readers that they have not been bought with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Paul’s desire is that the readers, and we are now the readers, should set a high price on themselves, since God values them so much.
Those very words, “bought and paid for”, are very chilling when we think of them in the context of human trafficking. Women who have been forced into prostitution have heard them when they pleaded with their traffickers or with “clients” to spare them. Some have been told, “Shut up! I want what I paid for!” or “I paid for you and I want my money’s worth”.
It is heart-breaking to hear women working in prostitution saying, “I am only a piece of dirt”. This is what they have been reduced to; this is how they see themselves.
Modern society has got to the stage where there is a divide between those who are valued and valuable and those who are of less value or even expendable. Whole populations are dismissed as of little consequence. Who is good enough to be allowed to enter the USA? Whose life can be ended before birth? Who can be bought and sold for the gratification of other people?
Paul’s words are encouraging and challenging. Let us value ourselves, know who we are and what we are worth to God and let us value others so much that they will begin to value themselves, and know themselves to be precious in our eyes and in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.
Eilis Coe, rsc. 15 January 2018.