This site uses analytics cookies to collect aggregate data and third-party cookies to improve the user experience.
Read the Complete Privacy Information.




Talitha Kum: 15 years of igniting the flame of freedom

Opening address of sr. Mary Barron, ola, UISG President at the 2nd Talitha Kum General Assembly

"Esteemed Members, Distinguished Guests, and the Tireless and Valiant Talitha Kum family As the President of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), it is my profound honour to be here before you today as you gather in Assembly to celebrate a milestone of courage, compassion, and unwavering commitment—the 15th anniversary of Talitha Kum.


As we stand at this juncture, we reflect on a journey that has been illuminated by unwavering commitment and tireless efforts to combat human trafficking and support its survivors. I would like to invite us all to take a moment to call to mind the people with whom our paths have crossed in the context of Talitha Kum, the context of action together against human - trafficking. Perhaps it is a survivor of trafficking, or someone still struggling under the trauma of what they have endured, or perhaps it is someone or a small group of committed people who advocate for change in legislation; or perhaps we think of those who help to rescue people who have endured or are enduring this modern slavery that is human trafficking; or perhaps it is someone or a little group who work tirelessly to help survivors to stand up and take their place in society with dignity... or a little group who work tirelessly to raise awareness of the insidious and hidden nature of human trafficking... let us just call to mind someone and hold them in our hearts with gratitude.  


All of these little commitments all over the globe add up to a sustained fight against human trafficking, a struggle that somehow embodies the principles of a theology of liberation. Human trafficking, a grave violation of human rights, is a scourge that plagues our world, stripping individuals of their dignity, freedom, and fundamental rights. It is a modern form of slavery that demands a bold and compassionate response. In our collective efforts to combat this heinous crime, we are not merely engaging in social activism; we are bringing to life a theology of liberation that champions the intrinsic worth of every human being. The theology of liberation, deeply rooted in Christian thought, calls us to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and to work tirelessly for their emancipation. It is a call to action, a call to transform society by freeing those shackled by the chains of exploitation. By actively participating in the global movement against human trafficking, we are answering this divine call.  Pope Francis, in his messages and addresses, has consistently highlighted the moral imperative to fight against the trafficking of human beings. He urges us to open our eyes to the suffering of the victims and to act with courage and determination to end their plight. His words serve as a powerful reminder that our faith is not passive but demands active engagement in the pursuit of justice and the restoration of human dignity. As we join hands in this noble cause, we are not only responding to a moral duty but also enacting the very essence of the theology of liberation.

We are participating in the sacred work of Our actions against human trafficking are concrete expressions of our commitment to a world where every individual can live a life marked by respect, honour, and liberty. Let us continue to be inspired by the strength and resilience of survivors, and let us honour their journey by committing ourselves to the eradication of human trafficking.


Together, we can make a difference, and together, we can bring the theology of liberation to life.  And it is in this togetherness that Talitha Kum has emerged as a force for Good, a force for liberation. In the spirit of our shared mission, we have witnessed the extraordinary growth of this network, which has become a global force against the scourge of human trafficking. Fifteen years ago, Talitha Kum arose as a beacon of hope, a testament to what can be achieved when compassion and action converge. This network, spanning across continents and cultures, has not only raised awareness but has also fostered a global community dedicated to the protection of human dignity. 

For fifteen years, Talitha Kum has been the hands and feet of hope, reaching out to the most vulnerable, offering solace, and igniting the flame of freedom where there was once the darkness of despair.  As we look back, we are inspired by the resilience of those who have been touched by the darkness of exploitation yet have emerged with the light of hope. We honour the advocates, the volunteers, the supporters, and every individual who has contributed to the fabric of this extraordinary network. The journey has been long, and the battles hard-fought, but the victories—each life reclaimed, each story of survival—are testaments to the power of faith in action.


As UISG, we have seen the embodiment of our values in the work of Talitha Kum, and we stand in solidarity with every effort to heal, empower, and uplift. Today, we do not merely celebrate the years that have passed; we celebrate the lives touched, the chains broken, and the future we are building together. 
Let us continue to echo the call of 'Naha Kum'—`Little girl, I say to you, arise!'—for it is a call to action, a call to life, and a call to the promise of a world without slavery. 
Today, as we begin this Assembly and celebrate this significant anniversary, let us rekindle our collective resolve to continue this crucial work. Let us forge ahead with renewed vigour, knowing that each step we take is a stride towards a world free of slavery. May all the deliberations that take place during this time together in Assembly, enable us to identify the key priorities that will guide the commitments in this area into the future. Let the next fifteen years be marked by even greater achievements, as we strive not only to liberate the oppressed but to dismantle the very systems that perpetuate injustice. Thank you for being the change-makers, the guardians of hope, and for believing in the power of Talitha Kum'—`Little girl, I say to you, arise!' In a spirit of Synodality, it is together, we rise.  


On behalf of UISG, I extend our heartfelt congratulations to Talitha Kum. May the next fifteen years be even more impactful, as we strive side by side for justice, dignity, and the sanctity of every human life. Thank you, and may our collective efforts be blessed. Wishing you every success for a fruitful and enjoyable Assembly."


May 20th, 2024