Sr. IsaBelle Couillard, Sister of Charity of Montreal, is the Talitha Kum regional representative of North America
I am Sister Isabelle, a Sister of Charity of Montreal "Grey Sister" (sgm.qc.ca) since 1990. I was born in Montreal, Canada.
Since 2016 I have been a community - accompanying consultant at various community bodies on social issues, such as human trafficking and the defense of the rights of asylum seekers. I also worked for ten years at Accueil Bonneau (www.accueilbonneau.com). I am currently president of CATHII - Action Committee against Domestic and International Human Trafficking (www.cathii.org).
What are some of your hopes in your new role as regional representative of North America?
As Talitha Kum's representative in North America, I intend to contribute myself and that of CATHII regarding reflection and action against human trafficking. With Talitha Kum, I consider broadening my horizons and creating international relationships to respond to the urgency of human trafficking that crosses all geographical, ethical, human rights borders.
I like to use art to raise awareness of social issues and above all to create social networks in order to eliminate forms of isolation and individualism.
What is the discourse around human trafficking in North America?
I realize that, in North America, most people argue that there is no human trafficking here. It is trivialized with the insidious and hypnotizing discourse of traffickers. For example, victims of prostitution are sex workers and migrant workers who come voluntarily to work in Canada so they have no right to complain about their working conditions. Conditions that Americans would not accept for themselves.
International human trafficking is too complex and too distant to think that we could have an impact to stop these forms of modern slavery. We need to work to change these wrong and demotivating discourses.
What does being part of Talitha Kum mean to you?
For Saint Margaret of Youville, founder of my community and "Mother of Universal Charity" and according to Saint John Paul II, we must be where our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ are abandoned and without resources. The great network that is Talitha Kum restores our brothers and sisters with dignity and calls on all people of good will and authorities to end human trafficking, one act at a time and one legislation at a time.
March 27, 2023