Daughters of Saint Paul train Catechists on human trafficking in Makurdi Diocese Daughters of Saint Paul train Catechists on human trafficking in Makurdi Diocese  (Daughters of Saint Paul Nigeria)

Empowering Catechists as collaborators against Human Trafficking

Reflecting on this year’s theme for Talitha Kum’s Second General Assembly and 15th anniversary, “Journeying Together to End Human Trafficking: Compassion in Action for Transformation,” held at Sacrofano, Italy, recently, the importance of continued networking in the fight against human trafficking was empahsized. According to Sr. Abby Avelino, MM, the International Coordinator of Talitha Kum, “The assembly was a unique time to meet, listen, dialogue and redefine strategies for eradicating human

Sr Oluwakemi Akinleye fsp

Prophetic voices against human trafficking

The great works of many religious sisters in various parts of the world, with many collaborators, in the fight against human trafficking continue to be admirable and appreciated. Their daring and amazing skills in organizing and carrying out several antitrafficking activities from creating awareness, to forming antitrafficking ambassadors and empowering minors and women are remarkable and worth emulating.

The sisters give of themselves in this noble and courageous task of eradicating human trafficking because they are convinced that it is an evil and that no one must be made to go through its horrors and trauma. They work mostly in teams and take great risks in rescuing survivors and exposing perpetrators of abuse and trafficking. They too are often in danger of being attacked, contradicted and assaulted. Yet they move on as courageous foot soldiers, focused on saving lives and promoting true freedom for their fellow brothers and sisters.

Every effort counts in ending human trafficking

Catechists in many African Catholic parishes are men and women who dedicate their time, energy and resources, in collaboration with priests, to build up the local parish community in its faith journey. They prepare candidates for the Sacraments, lead prayer services without a priest and participate actively in the Small Christian Communities. Since these are community leaders, the Daughters of St Paul in West Africa (Nigeria and Ghana) have committed themselves to the formation of Catechists as collaborators in the fight against human trafficking.

The Sisters usually organize with the local Bishop and chaplain for Catechists of a diocese and give the input on abuse and trafficking during the annual training program for the Catechists.

Sr Josephine Idowu, the Delegate Superior of the Daughters of St Paul in West Africa, states that, “Today, it is the responsibility of everyone to join in the fight against human trafficking and our sisters cannot be exempted. They gladly carry out this task even in difficult and challenging places.” The Daughters of Saint Paul have animated over a thousand Catechists in different dioceses in the north and south of Nigeria.

Working together to eradicate this scourge

One of the many reasons why human trafficking continues to thrive in Africa is the reality of poverty on the continent. The poor and less educated are often the first targets, even though some young people from wealthy homes have also fallen victim. The question one asks is, must the poor in Africa continue to fall victim because they are poor? There is so much already being done by various groups to curb trafficking but how can we hasten the education and empowerment of our people so as to prevent them from continuously being trafficked? Today the victims may be persons living in the next building or village, and tomorrow they might be your relatives or dear ones. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to rid society of the evil of trafficking in persons. As Sr Mary Baron OLA, the president of the International Union of Superior General (UISG) states, “the support to fight together against this scourge is always needed of all committed people, of whatever creed, of whatever gender.”





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02 June 2024, 17:14