News from the Networks: Talitha Kum Wells of Hope - Middle East
In her annual report, Sr. Marie Claude Naddaf, RGS, coordinator of the Regional Wells of Hope network present in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, shared with Talitha Kum about the reality of trafficking and the work of the network in the region.
Organ trafficking, forced early marriages, domestic violence, sexual exploitation and begging are few of the many crimes that together make up the world’s third largest multidimensional organized crime against humanity: Trafficking in Persons or Human Trafficking.
The annual report of Talitha Kum Middle East - Wells of Hope thoroughly explores the organization's mission, the outreach of its anti-trafficking project and their efforts in aiding a stigma-free reintegration of survivors. Their goal is to ensure that survivors become integrated members of the community, equipped with valuable expertise and abilities.
Wells of Hope, operates in a setting where economic and social insecurity prevail, with challenges like high unemployment rates, currency devaluation, poverty, and various other socio-economic problems. This context creates a conducive environment for the occurrence of human trafficking. One of their primary goals is to intensify its endeavours in preventing, safeguarding, and aiding victims of trafficking. This objective will be achieved through the implementation of preventive strategies, outreach initiatives, comprehensive victim protection and assistance, effective trafficking reporting mechanisms, and the creation of tailored educational programs.
The network in Lebanon has devised a project to combat this form of exploitation, comprising the following components:
a) Awareness Sessions: tailored to focus on women, girls and children, educating them about the nature of human trafficking, its consequences and the prevention methods. The sessions are conducted in areas that are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, such as Palestinian camps, suburbs of Beirut, as well as technical institutes and schools across different regions. These sessions also include a specialized curriculum suitable for various age groups. For children aged 6 to 11, the curriculum begins with teaching self-defense skills. The classes for adolescents aged 12 to 17, focus on teaching them about the challenges of youth marriage and how to safeguard themselves against abuse, particularly in the realm of social media. Lastly, the adults are educated on how to protect themselves by complying with the local laws and regulations.
b) Individual counseling: one-on-one counseling sessions conducted by social workers are specifically designed to address the social and psychological needs of women. They receive guidance and support with focus on referring them to vocational training opportunities.
c) Enhancing teamwork skills: activities and programs that promote teamwork, collaborative work and effective group dynamics.
d) Professional Vocational training: vocational training programs enabling women to pursue professional careers by equipping them with appropriate and necessary skills and knowledge required for their respective occupations. This will empower them to establish themselves as professionals.
Wells of Hope is characterized by the collaboration between Christian and Muslim women in their fight against trafficking; a great example of networking, dialogue and integration of diverse approaches towards a common goal: protecting people's dignity.
14 July 2023