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Accountability -a fact of life for funded initiatives.

 

Together with the Mary Ward Loreto (MWL NGO), Different and Equal, VATRA and Planet Go (NGOs in Albania), RENATE was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in training on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), with the assistance of our funders. RENATE President, Imelda Poole, IBVM and Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications & Administration attended the training and also availed of ten opportunity to have a guided morning working through the best methodology for monitoring and evaluation.

Accountability and value for money are terms applicable to all sectors in receipt of funding and each of the above NGOs are not sheltered from such transparency.

RENATE relies on its membership to record its various actions/events/supports- both quantitatively in terms of numbers and qualitatively in terms of the impact of the work on the ground. It is a very helpful tool in determining the extent to which a programme/project is on track and to make any needed corrections accordingly. M & E is supposed to be helpful in ensuring the most effective and efficient use of resources and is also said to help programme implementers determine the extent to which the programme/ project is on track and to make any needed corrections accordingly.

While Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E ) is used to assess the performance of projects, institutions and programmes set up by governments, international organisations  and NGOs on an ever-increasing scale worldwide, the NGO’s referred to in this feature, thought it necessary and valuable to undergo training in this specific area.

Many international organizations such as the United NationsUSAID, the World Bank group and the Organization of American States have been utilizing this process for many years. The process is also growing in popularity in the developing countries where the governments have created their own national M&E systems to assess the development projects, the resource management and the government activities or administration. The developed countries are using this process to assess their own development and cooperation agencies.

Thus, RENATE members can anticipate a renewed call for data relating to their various initiatives. Your assistance in providing that data to Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications, in compiling the RENATE Database, will be greatly appreciated when Anne will be in contact with each of you for updates to the existing database. 

Read about some RENATE members who share that community and prayer sustain sisters helping victims of human trafficking.

 

When Sr. Margaret Gonzi, who ministers in Malta, starts her day reading the Gospel, she said she is reminding herself why she is in this ministry at all. “That is what gives me meaning,” she said.

“At the same time, my concern is: What is happening to the trafficked persons in this moment that I don’t know about? What can I do? I can’t do anything, but I can keep them in my heart and reflect that the Lord knows … . I feel I’m with them in the Lord’s presence. That gives me meaning: sitting in the presence of the Lord.” Margaret is a Sister of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, said sewing is also a good distraction. “There’s no need to spiritualize everything. It just takes my mind off things,” she said, adding that art and Spanish lessons are also positive outlets for her.

Sr. Gabriella Bottani, Talitha Kum’s international coordinator  said belonging to the Talitha Kum network is itself self-care.

“More and more, I realize that our gatherings are not only for planning, but that it is a way to feel that we are not alone, that we can share and understand one another because we all have those experiences.”

Celebrating Talitha Kum’s 10th anniversary in Rome, where representatives from each country’s network gathered Sept. 21-27, Sr. Carmela Gibaja Izquierdo, coordinator of El Salvador’s Talitha Kum network, Red Ramá, echoed Bottani’s sentiment, saying the gatherings are important “because you’re in an environment where you are in tune with others, speaking this same language of problems and hopes and illusions — that gives you encouragement.

“It tells me I’m not wasting my time, that I’m doing something worthwhile,” she said.

Bottani recalled Pope Francis’ words to the Talitha Kum sisters during their Sept. 26 private audience, when he told the sisters that at the end of their days, they should think of the faces of the victims they’ve helped. “This will be a beautiful prayer,” he told them.

To support and empower one another, Bottani said, is also a “deep prayer, because many of us feel alone throughout the activity.”

Full report form Soli Salgado at: https://www.globalsistersreport.org/news/people/religious-life/news/community-and-prayer-sustain-sisters-helping-victims-trafficking

Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery- 5 years later…

 

On December 2014 at the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish and Orthodox Religious Leaders signed a

joint-declaration-of-religious-leaders-against-modern-slavery/  as a public statement of their commitment to work together in spiritual and practical action to eradicate trafficking in Human Beings (THB) and restore dignity and freedom to its victims.

Five years later, the widespread phenomenon of human trafficking persists in its devastating effects suffered by its victims, men, women and children. Besides the “classical” forms of THB (mostly, labour and sexual exploitation), other new realities have appeared or intensified, such as removal of organs, trafficking in recently newborn babies, etc.

This conference aims at bringing together different religions and denominations to express their understanding of the phenomenon of THB, their determination to fight against it, and to share their actions taken to prevent and counter this criminal reality which is, many times, invisible for our eyes in European societies.

  1. Introduction
  • MEP Javier Zarzalejos (EPP Group)
  • José Luis Bazan, Legal Adviser of COMECE
  • Renato Cursi, Don Bosco International, Executive Secretary
  • MEP Pietro Bartolo (S&D Group)
  1. Religious denominations’ commitment against THB
  • Sister Adriana Pérez Ayala, Community of the Good Shepherd, Brussels, RENATE
  • Sandra Iman Pertek, Researcher, SEREDA Project, Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham
  • Jamie Cresswell, Director, Center for Applied Buddhism, Vice-President of the European Buddhist Union.
  • Rev. Cristian PAVEL, President of Filantropia Timisoara.
  • Rabbi Avi Tawil, Executive Director, European Jewish Center
  • Heather Roy, Co-Chair of the Anglican Council of Belgium
  1. Final conclusions, MEP Javier Zarzalejos (EPP)

This was a wonderful opportunity to meet with so many people committed against THB, gathering exactly 5 years after the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery, with Pope Francis. The event was on the initiative of the COMECE, the EP and Don Bosco International.

After the introduction to the event, linking our meeting to the signature of the Joint Declaration in the Vatican 5 years ago, Political and Religious people expressed their convictions, and the diversity in itself, on this burning topic, was really enriching.

RENATE member Sr Adriana Pérez, OLCGS,  Ayala: work of Religious women all over the world on different levels stated:

‘I would like to begin with a quote from Pope Francis from his speech at the signing ceremony of the “Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Slavery” five years ago.

Every human being, man, woman, boy and girl, is created in the image of God. Therefore, modern slavery, in terms of trafficking in human beings, forced labor and prostitution, as well as organ trafficking, is a crime against humanity. “Pope Francis, Dec 2014

I belong to the congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, present in 72 countries around the world, who fight against human trafficking and work especially with women and children in distress. Our response to this scourge has its source in evangelical values. Jesus the Good Shepherd said, “The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy; I came for them to have life and to have it fully”. John, 10, 10

We have developed a discussion paper on trafficking in women and girls, which can be summarized as follows:

In all our work, we seek to analyze and address the root causes, examining and revealing the links between trafficking and policies of economic injustice, violence against women, discrimination against girls, militarization, inadequate support for migration and social acceptance of prostitution of women and girls. We encourage participation and leadership in networks and / or campaigns that support the end of trafficking and promote the empowerment of women and girls in all areas of work.

Our congregation is a member of the RENATE Network (Religious Network in Europe against Trafficking and Exploitation), a group of religious from different congregations of the Catholic Church fighting against human trafficking in Europe. “Networking is the strength of RENATE

RENATE’s commitment to trafficking in persons is at the heart of our vocation and our mission because it is about restoring human dignity; it is about restoring the image of God that is reflected in the face of so many victims of modern slavery. The leaflet below gives you the axes of our presence:

http://www.renate-europe.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/RENATE-Leaflet-english.pdf

Sandra Imán Pertek: insisted on the holistic needs of the survivors: they need a faith support, because THB affects SOULS!

“What’s the relationship between SGBV, displacement and trafficking? Emerging evidence shows that the migration crisis fuels trafficking of migrants and refugees across their journeys and countries of transit. Europe needs a solution urgently; sexual exploitation and other forms of modern slavery are an everyday tragedy of enormous scale. A solution to these crimes against humanity must include a comprehensive response to the migration crisis and its root causes.

At the Conference on Trafficking in Human Beings, organised by Don Bosco & Comece with MEP Javier Zarzalejos & MEP Pietro Bartolo, a number of faith traditions shared joint principles and raised commitments 5 years after the joint Declaration of religious leaders against modern slavery.

Faith groups called on European Parliament to increase collaboration with faith actors in tackling human trafficking. I was honoured to share some stories of the survivors of sexual exploitation and emerging research findings, pointing to the spiritual dimension of human suffering, the strategies of religious coping by survivors and finally the urgency for faith communities to reach out and support survivors across different settings, especially people on the move.”

Jamie Cresswell: I know nothing on THB, but I feel we need a safer world

President of the European Buddhist Union. He is a member of the Soka Gakkai International -UK and has practiced Buddhism for 28 years. His Buddhist background includes a degree in Buddhist studies and practice and study in many traditions and schools.

Jamie is the Director of the Centre for Applied Buddhism. He is a member of the European Council of Religious Leaders and a trustee of Religions for Peace – UK.

Rev. Cristian PAVEL

Rabbi Avi Tawil: we felt the shadow of the Holocaust in his speech, and he expressed how difficult it is to be free after living under oppression, as for the victims of THB. “We would be colour-blind, religious-blind, etc. If peace and freedom were deeply in everybody, there would be no THB!”

Heather Roy: Anglican Church does not want to remain on ideas and words, we all have a responsibility: not to create conditions to increase THB; to do more; not to lose the understanding of Creation.

Then MEP Javier Zarzalejos gave the conclusion:

It is imperative that all states fight against trafficking in human beings and reinforced cooperation with religious entities that carry out invaluable work in the care of victims and the restoration of their dignity is reinforced. The wish was to eradicate THB at the end of 2020… we think it could not be possible, so maybe at the end of 2021!

Thanks to Sr Adriana, RENATE Member, for her input! May the fight against Human Trafficking unite us all faith-based organizations to free humankind of this scourge!

Celebrations at RENATE as the Good Shepherd sisters of Malta/Italy region Dar Merhba Bik opens 2nd shelter for women victims of domestic violence, in Malta.

 

Cutting the cake: Elaine Pavia, Margaret Gonzi, olcgs, Angela Ricci, olcgs & Victoria Borg, olcgs.

On Tuesday, 5 December, on ongoing partnership between the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity in Malta and Sisters of the Good Shepherd led to the opening of a new shelter – Dar Santa Bakhita-  aimed at helping victims of domestic violence re-integrate in society.

Present at the official opening of Dar Santa Bakhita, were Malta’s Provincial Leader of the Sisters of the Good Shephard, Sister Angela Ricci, accompanied by Dr. Ancilla Borghi; Director of the Foundation Dar Merhba Bik, Sister Margaret Gonzi, the Director of Services Elaine Pavia and Mr. Jon Michael Falzon, Minister of the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity.

Mons. Charles Cordina, Pastoral Secretary to Archbishop Scicluna, officially blessed and opened the house. This new home will hold 3 more families that would have gone through the program at Dar Merhba Bik successfully, which will allow them to work on the last few skills to be truly independent.

“No one deserves to be abused or attacked, and we are here to help,” said the sisters.

  The sisters do work with refugees and also in their localities in a decentralized manner with necessities such as clothes, food, and anything else they might need in their daily lives.

“All people need to do is knock at our door or call at any time of the day, and we will accept them with open arms, prepared to offer them our services,” said Elaine Pavia.

Elaine explained how all the requested information is given to the victims, and if the need arises, they are referred to other agencies.

Stamping out Exploitation in Travel- Report commissioned by ECPAT USA.

 

This new report benchmarks the travel industry’s progress on fighting human trafficking and the commercial exploitation of children. Although largely based on the US jurisdiction, the report nonetheless contains significant information which will be helpful to all other jurisdictions as they consider how to engage the travel sector in collaboration to combat human trafficking and exploitation.

The report presents key findings and themes from a study of 70 companies in the travel industry on their initiatives to fight human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The report establishes a way to measure progress, identifies the baseline for their engagement and highlights best practices to encourage cross-learning within the travel industry.

Authors: Kristine Adams and Michelle Guelbart, MSW.    

Full report available at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/594970e91b631b3571be12e2/t/5d916ad61d22d1764540263b/1569811177042/Stamping+Out+Exploitation+Report+V3.pdf

Talitha Kum- Launch in Japan of photographic Exhibition ‘’Nuns Healing Hearts.’’

 

In the work to Combat Human Trafficking and Exploitation, awareness-raising is a crucial activity which shines a light on the darkness of thes crimes.

Believing in the phrase ‘’a picture paints a thousand words,’’ the photographs taken by Lisa Kristine as part of Talita Kum’s Nuns Healing Hearts initiative, will be exhibited at the Gyoko Underground Gallery in Tokyo Station, as well as at the Mitsubishi Museum for one month. This exhibition has even become Japan’s National Project.

Photos from the reception party at www.talithakum.info #NunsHealingHearts