Uniting Britain and 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.

Imelda Poole IBVM (President MWL)
Imelda Poole IBVM (President MWL)

It seems appropriate that this introduction is being written on March 8th, the day when we remember human rights for women all over the world. This morning nearly all of the MWL staff were engaged in women’s rights events, even the men! The march was led by many women but also men took a leadership role, working for human rights for all.  Together we can make such a difference.
Since the last newsletter there has been an explosion of activity led by the staff of MWL in their work to eliminate human trafficking. It is important therefore to thank them for their dedicated passion and commitment to this mission of transforming society through the transformation of the most vulnerable in this place. The varied articles in the newsletter express the breadth of the action and the challenge which the field presents in a country where statutory systems are still not functioning and where the level of dire poverty grows every day.  The law is weak leaving many people redeemed helpless even when they desire to fend for themselves. What is to be done to make a real difference?  Networking is always the answer and speaking out together as one voice.
Since writing the last introduction there has been a real shift in the numbers of networks to which we now belong and partnerships into which we have been invited. This week we hosted a group of social workers, of which MWL is an associate partner, from Madrid, Florence, Portugal, Shkoder, Elbasan and Tirana. All are working together to research the level of excellence of social work in their various cities and to see how, together, we can make a difference through dialogue and training, cross borders.
Soon MWL will be hosting a fund-raising training involving workers in the field of anti-trafficking from all over Albania and also cross borders into East Europe where members of the RENATE network struggle for funding to implement the various grass roots work in the field of Anti Human trafficking. As we speak one of the MWL staff, who is a social worker, is in USA working with a group of Albanian police to be trained in coping with sex crime in this country, courtesy of ISITAP based at the US Embassy. Every way has to be sought to implement best practice.

As I marched in the cold and the rain this morning, sharing my umbrella with a Roma woman from Shkoder, I was cheered by her sense of humour and good spirit despite the weather. Together we can indeed make a difference. 

Imelda Poole IBVM (President MWL)