Albania Mission Against
Human Trafficking

MARY WARD LORETO is planting hope with a human rights approach to combating modern day slavery. This challenging mission is implemented through works of justice, education, grass roots action and systemic change. The aim is to eradicate poverty, the prime cause for human trafficking.

Mary Ward Loreto Latest Happenings

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On the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30th of July 2018, the URAT network together with the office of the National Coordinator for Combatting Human Trafficking  and Bridges, a network of organisations dedicated to the fight against trafficking in human beings, brought the UN Giftbox to Albania, for the 3rd year running. The UN Giftbox is a global initiative of the United Nations in the fight against human trafficking.

The campaign took place at Lancua, in Vlora, with the participation of Minister Rovena Voda, National Co-ordinator of the fight against trafficking. Also present were Mr. Artemis Dralo, Deputy Prime Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, as well as representatives of the URAT network, local anti-trafficking institutions and national and international organisations.

The Giftbox information was translated into Albanian language by the URAT network in Albania, in order to expose fraudulent promises used by traffickers of human beings, as well as exposing the inhumane conditions of trafficking and its consequences. A unique and eye-catching feature of the campaign is the life-sized Giftbox itself, which effectively draws attention and informs the public.

The overall purpose of the campaign is to sensitize people to the risks of trafficking, help vulnerable communities protect themselves from traffickers, and help survivors of trafficking receive the necessary information for re-integration into society.

The Giftbox campaign ran for three days in Vlora, from July 30th to August 1st from 18:00-23:00 daily. On the second day of the Campaign,  two victims of human trafficking were rescued thanks to the direct work of #vatra and 873 people signed the statement #thuajjotrafikimit#Joinedaproach#Bashkemundemi #unitedresponseagainsttrafficking

Overall, this year’s campaign was another fantastic success, thanks to the collaboration and cooperation of each of the agencies who work so hard together toward achieving the common goal of combatting human trafficking and exploitation.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/MaryWardLoreto/

 

Mary Ward Loreto has been part of a programme developed by ICITAP who arranged a training on Sex Crimes Investigation in the USA for a group of representatives of Albanian State Police, a social worker, and a psychologist. Arveda Baholli, a social worker of MWL Women ACT Center, attended the training. She was part of the expert team who developed a course on a “Victim-Centered Multi-Agency Approach to the Investigation and Management of Sex Crime” at the Albanian State Police Security Academy, sharing the knowledge and good practices with students – future police officers.

The topics covered by MWL were “the role of the social worker in addressing the victim’s needs and supporting the police work” and “social services for victims of sexual assault”. On the last day of the course, a short session on “Stress Management” was presented by the social worker and another psychologist of the group.

An English police representative was part of the team as well, who introduced the British Police methodology. This training course had an inter-institutional approach, focusing on the victim, management, and investigation of sex crimes. The outline of the 2 sessions included presentations, group discussions, and small group planning.

During the 5-day course, all trainers gave positive inputs and showed a willingness to achieve best practices. According to evaluation of the training, it was found to be very helpful and valuable for the daily work of the investigators.

 

MWL Foundation launched a very important initiative this month: the opening of the kiosk for craft products. The development of this initiative has been in part by Mary Ward Loreto Women’s Project and the rural women from Tropoje. The shop was opened on May 12th to tourists that have visited and seen the women’s products. Our women are happy and hopeful for this opportunity to sell their crafts and see the fruits of their labor. They work every day and put their creativity into the work to give the clients a high quality product that they will love.

It is more than a craft, it is a story of women’s empowerment.

Come and see their beautiful work! We are planting hope together!

Thank you for being part of this venture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sister Imelda Poole was made Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition to her service to end modern slavery. 

On 9 June 2018, Sr Imelda Poole, IBVM was made Member of the Order of the British Empire in The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018, for her achievements and services to end modern slavery.

She receives this honor as the President of Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation (RENATE) and President of Mary Ward Loreto Foundation (Albanian Mission Against Human Trafficking).

Sister Imelda Poole is a British religious sister who for nearly 10 years has led the RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation) network fighting modern slavery across 28 countries in Europe. Through her outstanding leadership, the organisation has made a significant difference in improving religious sisters’ support to victims of human trafficking and strengthened the religious orders’ cooperation with law enforcement to bring perpetrators to justice. She has brought great credit to the UK, and made a significant contribution to the Prime Minister’s objective of eradicating modern slavery. This contribution is in addition to a lifetime of service in support of the most marginalised people in society including Manchester, Glasgow and Middlesbrough in the UK.

On learning of her award Sister Imelda Poole said:

“This is an honour which I accept on behalf of the Female Religious and coworkers who are contributing, through the mission of many international networks such as RENATE, to combating modern day slavery and on behalf of the dedicated staff of Mary Ward Loreto in Albania who are passionate in this same cause. May this award expose even further the terrible crime of human trafficking which, as Pope Francis has declared, is a crime against humanity itself.”

On the announcement of the award, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Sally Axworthy, said:

“I am delighted to learn that Sr. Imelda Poole has been awarded this honour by Her Majesty The Queen.

It is well-deserved recognition of Sr. Imelda’s outstanding service in combatting human trafficking and modern slavery, through the European religious sisters’ anti-trafficking network RENATE which she leads, and through and Talitha Kum, the religious sisters’ worldwide anti-trafficking network.

 Sister Imelda is a key ally in Her Majesty’s Government’s campaign to eradicate modern slavery. It is wonderful to see such a distinguished friend of this Embassy honoured in this way.”

 

Media Coverage:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-queens-birthday-honours-sister-imelda-poole

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/world/news/2018-06/queen-elizabeth-mbe-poole-modern-slavery.html

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/9221/religious-sister-made-mbe-for-her-work-to-end-modern-slavery

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inspiring-people-queens-birthday-honours-12669273

 

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Sister Imelda Poole, a British Loreto nun (IBVM), has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honours 2018, for her achievements and services to end modern slavery.

Posted by Vatican News on Sunday, 10 June 2018

 

 

Patty Stein: MWL Development Officer

I am from the United States, a recent graduate from the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner!) with a degree in Nonprofit Organization Management, and one of the most recent additions to the MWL Foundation Team as the Development Officer.

I moved to Tirana in February after graduating in December and am living here with my sister, her Albanian husband, and their 3 kids.

It has been a whirlwind of a few months here at MWL and I’d love to share with you why I love working for this foundation, what I’ve been up to, and where we are headed.

As the Development Officer at MWL, my job is to communicate what we do as an organization and ease the tension of funding so that the staff can focus on their projects and doing what they do best.

With this team as my lifeguards, I have jumped into the deep end and been completely submerged in the work we do all across Albania. I’ve visited communities of our Women’s project, attended the Education Conference in Shkodra, been involved in meetings, networking events, and was able to attend the staff training week in April.

To say the least, the work that MWL is doing is extraordinary.

I’m blown away by the passion and the drive that the staff possess and bring to work every day.

We recently wrapped up another 6 months in our work year and one of my first tasks was to put together our 6 month report. It is now available on our website, here . Please take the time to have a look and see not only where we have been but also where we are going and what dreams we have for our programs.

This is the part where I come in. As you can see from our 6 month report, our projects are needed; to best serve the people of Albania and fight human trafficking, they need to be allowed to stretch and grow.

In order for this to happen, we need to grow our funder base and seek out more funding opportunities. Until now, these ventures have been difficult to achieve simply because of how much work there is to do and how busy the existing staff already is. Since bringing me aboard, I’ve been able to give some relief to the staff, allowing them to focus on their projects while I focus on how we will fund them.

I have been eagerly putting together a new fundraising plan with a fresh perspective on where we are headed and where we hope to be in the coming year.

As we said in our 6 month report, this 5th anniversary year is a very exciting time to get involved with Mary Ward Loreto Foundation. We are reaching more people than ever and we have big plans for the coming year.

Can you help us reach our goals?

Have questions about the coming year and how you can get involved?

Reach out to me directly and let’s talk about how we are “Seeking Truth, Doing Justice” and “Referring all things to God” as Mary Ward once said and how you can be a part of what we hope is our best year yet.

 

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