FIRST REGIONAL MEETING OF TALITHA KUM IN NORTH AFRICA
Talitha Kum celebrated from September 14-16, its first regional conference in the North African region. The meeting was held in Notre Dame de la Paix, Sidi Ali Rabat, Morocco, with the participation of different religious congregations, priests, and lay people working against trafficking in Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, and Senegal.
Sr. Franceline Hien, Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa, and part of the network, recounts the highlights of the meeting:
“There were around 26 participants from Tunisia, Senegal, Algeria and Morocco. And two formators, Sister Abby Avelino MM, the international coordinator of Talitha Kum and Sister Yvonne Clémence Bambara RSG, the regional coordinator of Talitha Kum in Africa. As well as representatives of the Moroccan government, HCR and IOM, who presented to us their national and organizational plans, as well as the fundamental measures put in place to assist and protect victims of human trafficking.
For some years now, Father Albert Kondemodre, a Missionary of Africa sent on mission to Tunisia, benefited from Talitha Kum leadership training. Since then, his struggle has been to officially integrate North Africa into Talitha Kum Network, given the fact that North Africa is increasingly becoming a migration basin, as it is the gateway to Europe, where many of them dream of making it their destination. We were about 12 religious congregations and a few lay people who took part in the training. The objectives of this training were to get to know each other better and discover the Talitha kum Network, its vision, mission and core values, so as to be able to adapt them to our North African context. "Unity is strength" (an African proverb).
Sister Yvonne helped us to understand the context of human trafficking (what it is and what it isn't), a very complex phenomenon that today affects every nation. Sr Abby also helped us to discover Talitha kum's role at international level, its mission is to encourage the formation of new networks and to ensure member training and good communication between its members.
On the third day, the morning was dedicated to a visit to the migrants who regularly come to the cathedral parish to receive help with food, clothing and referrals for their multiple needs. We took the time to chat with each of them and share breakfast with them. A volunteer briefly shared with us how they came together in the parish. How they are organized to support each other while leaving each one free to pursue his or her dream of the crossing.
During our meeting, we began to draw up our project, namely to find a name for our Talitha Kum network in the Maghreb, a vision, a mission, five values, a few concrete activities and an action plan. Not having enough time, we've decided to continue this process online, to make our "Talitha Kum North Africa" network more concrete and active.”
Sr Franceline Hien/ Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa/ Algiers
September 28th, 2023