8 February 2019
Culmination of First Training Course for Leaders
Culmination of First Training Course for Leaders against Human Trafficking
As the second round of the First Training Course for the Leaders of Talitha Kum comes to a conclusion, we take the opportunity to evaluate the incredible impact these sessions have had on those involved.
Over 20 different nations have been represented, either by leaders of the various international networks, or through experts instructing these leaders on topics including emotional intelligence, leadership, project management, effective communication, and protecting children and vulnerable people. These network leaders are inspirational men and women who continuously risk their lives in hopes of creating a better future for men, women, and children around the world, but in order to effectively complete their work, they must come together and obtain a similar understanding of these topics regardless of the language barriers and cultural differences.
For instance, Professor Joanna Okulska, PhD, emphasized the importance of self-awareness, or being in touch with one’s own emotional state, before expecting to be able to have a positive effect on the emotions of others, especially those who have suffered significant trauma. The leaders of Talitha Kum have been called in their faith to dedicate their lives to the mission of eradicating human trafficking, and they willingly make the necessary sacrifices. This lifestyle, though, requires an equal dedication to self-reflection and evaluation, and the assistance of those equipped to help them be at their best and continue working adamantly for a better world.
Additionally, Fr. Lord Winner elaborated on the realities of institutionalized thinking and revealed that the best projects directly involve those they are meant to assist. Networks like Talitha Kum exist because there are groups of people who want to make a difference in this world, but they must navigate the business world to do so, and not all of the nations in our world are able to see past the financial figures and statistics. Talitha Kum leaders expose the realities of the human beings who are too often converted into numbers on pages, and through the implementation of specifically designed projects, allow their voices to be heard on a global scale.
One particularly important highlight of this training was a meeting with Pope Francis following his general audience on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Not only a remarkable leader and symbol for the Catholic faith, but also a powerful advocate for victims and survivors of trafficking, Pope Francis is a uniquely devoted world leader. The opportunity to meet him and hear his personal gratitude for the work that Talitha Kum has achieved and continues to strive toward was astounding and very personally fulfilling for the participants.
As an American student, this experience has been particularly motivational for me because I have absorbed the cultural variables and witnessed the ability of representatives from around the world to stand together and actually make progress on a critical issue in today’s society. People in the United States tell me that I am brave for joining this fight, but I know that the truly brave ones are the men and women who have welcomed me into their training over the last two weeks. The ones who are in the field fighting against the evil that is trafficking as well as the restrictions of their individual nations. I only hope that I can return home with the knowledge and appreciation for collaboration that I have gained and apply it to my education and career in an effort to eliminate human trafficking.