On Feb. 8th the Religious Sisters of Charity are joining sisters worldwide in a prayer marathon for International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. This day is St. Josephine Bakhita’s Feastday, the patron saint of those who have been trafficked. Our sisters will not only pray, but will also taken to the air waves on radio and television in Zambia and Nigeria to raise awareness. Organized by Talitha Kum, the marathon begins in Oceania and moves across the globe ending in North America. To follow this prayer tune in here. Along with the prayer wave, there will be photos and videos of sisters supporting survivors, and working to end trafficking through awareness, prevention, survivor support, partnerships and protection.
This is how real it is for us. One of our sisters had a niece who was trafficked. Sr. Kayula Lesa RSC in Zambia intervened and thankfully the girl was rescued. Our sisters in Zambia continue to speak to young people and others in schools and parishes. In Nigeria, Sr. Justina Nelson has also intervened in the rescue, prosecution and rehabilitation of several young people, organized marches and spoken at numerous schools in collaboration with others.
As RSC’s we are engaged in advocacy efforts in each of our countries ensuring legislation to protect victims and engaging the police and government agencies. In each of the countries our sisters collaborate with coalitions and organizations. In Ireland Sr. Eilis Coe has been featured on radio interviews, and a leader in the European coalition, RENATE, as well as APT in Ireland. The Sisters in the Irish Province join in prayer daily and celebrate a special Evening Prayer on days of significance for human trafficking.
Sr. Kayula sits on a government committee to give input on the reality of trafficking in persons relative to the TIP report and is writing a book. In the UK Sr. Pat Kenny works with TRAC as they advocate for the Nordic model on behalf of those who have been prostituted and exploited. Sr. Augustina Offor in her leadership with JDPC did a needs assessment of the human trafficking situation in Oyo State. In the US our sisters are part of US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking and submitted a short video of our sisters with a message that women, economy, and human trafficking are interconnected. Sr. Margaret Farrell works with homeless and trafficked youth in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. Each area of our congregation belongs to the local Talitha Kum coalition.
Our Australian Sisters of Charity are engaged in combatting human trafficking. Sr Colleen Jackson, Coordinator for Talitha Kum Oceania has worked with ACRATH (Australia) and ANZTK (New Zealand) to produce a 10 minute video for the prayer marathon. Through their Foundation, the Sisters have partnered with the Salvation Army to provide safe accommodation for trafficked persons and ongoing services to ensure their dignity and independence.
Please join us Feb. 8th on YouTube for this Global Prayer Marathon! Even if you can tune in for a few minutes in your time zone, your prayer will make a difference.
Join us here: https://youtu.be/aU7bTKqPbWY
See below the work of our Sisters across the globe to raise awareness against human trafficking: