Last week, November 3-8 2019, the RENATE Working Board held their Annual General Meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania. This gathering included presentations from RENATE members working in various industries and in anti-trafficking work across Europe that all play a role in ending human trafficking.
The RENATE network spans 31 member states in Europe, making it a vital backbone network to ending trafficking.
For more information visit renate-europe.net.
On Sunday, the people of Kallmet came together to celebrate their culture in a bright a colorful display. On September 15th, children, young people, women, men and local businesses came together to celebrate the Feast of Kallmet Wine. Also, on this day, the local people celebrate the feast of Saint Eufemia. Kallmet is very famous for grapes, wine, olives, and a very rich culture.
This celebration was made possible due to the need to keep local traditions alive through the engagement of local people, schools, and the local government. Mary Ward Loreto Foundation is implementing this project in the framework of the ReLoad Project funded by EU in partnership with the Municipality of Lezhe and UNDP, aiming to promote the touristic potential of the communities of Lezha.
In June, MWL realized a very important collaboration with the prestigious Hilton Garden Inn in Tirana with hotel staff on trafficking of human beings.
This training was carried out with a framework of awareness, identification and referral of potential trafficking and exploitation cases in the hotel industry and tourism.
Trainings like this are of great importance due to the fact that the hotel industry and hotels are the second most common site for sex trafficking.
20 staff participated from various key departments of the hotel, such as security, reception, sanitary care, and managerial staff.
The training focused on group discussions with staff on various cases of exploitation and trafficking in the hotel premises. This helped raise the awareness and vigilance of staff of each department to identify potential cases and refer those cases.
According to the participants’ evaluations, the training gave them a new understanding of the latest global and local statistics of trafficking, exploitation, and modern slavery.
The participants learned about cases of identification and reporting of sexual exploitation in hotels. In these cases, cooperation of all hotel departments for case identification is essential.
Participants shared their experiences from previous work, understanding that trafficking is a phenomenon that occurs in the hotel industry of tourism in Albania. Hilton Garden Inn has adopted many barriers and procedures to prevent sexual exploitation. The staff can now be even more vigilant in identifying signs of a potential case by collaborating with each other and referring to management, following the internal protocol of the company.
Aferdita Gjoni, represented MWL as a partner organization with ADANTE, at their study days which took place in Snagov-Rumania with the topic “Women in church make the difference” .
52 women from 13 European countries attended these study days. Many very important viewpoints of Women in Church were shared by Prof. Tina Beattie, from the University Catherine of Siena, UK, Boroka Beke – Pastor of reformed Church in Rumania , Regina Hyder , Institute of Mainz and others.
The Study days were very interesting and focused mainly on the church as the imagined space in which we live – the church as our spiritual home. The participants reflected on what change women might make to this home , if we were recognised as “homemakers” where everyone brought their perspectives of what they do in their respective countries .
Other speakers brought initiatives from their countries of what they are doing to build new strategies for women inclusion such as Voices of Faith, a global initiative that works to empower women and to advocate for their presence in leadership and decision making roles in the Catholic Church. To achieve this there is the need to rebuild the power structures and address gender inequality within the church. www.overcomingsilence .com
It was very inspiring to hear from Regina Hyder about the difference women can make in church and where she mentioned Mary Ward as a lady who broke the role models and struggled to give more education and power to women .
Many workshops took place focusing on different perspectives of sharing the role of women’s creativity, spirituality and blessings.
The General Assembly took place after these study days and the new leadership team was elected to lead ANDANTE for the next three years.
The three priorities chosen to be followed up by ANDANTE for the next three years are ‘’Preservation and Creation’’, ‘’Violence Against Women’’ and ‘’Empowerment of Women through Education and Mutual Support’’.
RENATE President Imelda Poole, Sr Maria Luisa Puglisi AASC, director of the Fundación Amaranta, and RENATE Communications Person, Anne Kelleher, were amongst approximately 200 delegates gathered at Fraterna Domus, in Sacrofino, near Rome to look concretely, pastorally and practically at the Church’s implementation of the POHT, favouring a deep appropriation and our working better in concert. It was a time of open and deep sharing and reflecting on how best to implement the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking document, produced by the Vatican 17 January 2019.
(POHT) The POHT is the fruit of consultation with international Catholic organizations, religious congregations and Bishops’ Conference from all regions of the world. The document was approved by the Holy Father and has been signed by the two Under-Secretaries of the Migrants & Refugees Section.
The Conference planners and sponsors, chaired by the Migrant and Refugees Section, included Caritas Internationalis, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the International Catholic Migration Commission, Talitha Kum, the Santa Marta Group, and the Apostolate of the Sea. Each of these organisations played significant roles throughout the three days of the conference.
In terms of process, seven thematic sessions corresponding with the major topics treated in the POHT, were considered over the three days. Each of the seven sessions was introduced by two speakers, 15-minuteseach, providing background to the topic and questions for the discussion of 60 minutes. The themes were as follows:
Everyone agreed that at the end of the three days, we gained a greater appreciation of the Church’s teaching and ministry in terms of strengths, weaknesses, policy options as well as enhanced coordination worldwide.
We also had a deeper appreciation for our understanding of ‘Church’ not as an institution but more so as a communion of souls together, working together to ensure the dignity of the human person and in honour of the Gospel.
It was a hugely valuable time of reflection and hard work, underpinned by mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s contributions. We had great possibilities to build and forge links and understandings, which will support us in our future work together towards the implementation of the POHT over time.
By 11 April, we had collectively devised 500+ recommendations, which will be further refined and condensed before taking them further in terms of implementation at local parish and community levels.
The highlight of the work was the Papal audience on 11 April, where Pope Francis not only affirmed us in our work but encouraged us to ‘’…persevere in the mission – often risky and anonymous, but precisely because of this , irrefutable proof of your selfless generosity.’’ view more.
Full report and recommendations will be available in the coming weeks.
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.