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10 December 2019

Somchai. Enslaved at sea

Stories of rebirth

“My name is Somchai and I am 40 years old, many of which were lived with my family in a shantytown in Thailand. My life has not been easy. I could no study because my parents were very poor, I had no papers, and I was - and still am - suffering from schizophrenia. I earned my living by collecting and selling waste.

When I had the opportunity to board a fishing boat I accepted the proposal, I was tired of so much poverty. I dreamt of travelling around the world. Unfortunately, I found myself in a worse situation than before: we ate very little and never rested. I never even received the promised pay. After several months I was abandoned on an island in Indonesia where I was trapped for six years. I did not understand their language, I suffered a lot. I tried to escape for a long time, but it was only thanks to the help of Caritas and then Talitha Kum that I was able to regain my freedom and return to Thailand to my parents. 

The nuns helped me obtain the documents I never had and followed my case, allowing me to obtain compensation for the damage suffered by the owners of the vessel. With the money I built a new house where today I live with my parents. I have resumed my old job and the sisters of Talitha Kum continue to support me to live with dignity, despite my illness.” (TK Thailand)

Photo credit: © Lisa Kristine

THE NETWORK
IN THE WORLD

Talitha Kum, the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons, is present in 89 countries on five continents. According to the information of the 2021 Census, Talitha Kum is made up of:

50 inter-congregational networks that coordinate the efforts against trafficking at the national-local level;

10 networks that promote joint coordination of different countries at the regional level. These include so-called "contact countries" formed by Network reference groups working in the region. In other cases they are in the process of forming the national network;

2 continental coordination that bring together the national and regional coordinations present within a continent; an

the international coordination based in Rome at the International Union of Superiors.

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“When spider webs unite,
they can tie up a lion”

(Ethiopian proverb)