18 October 2021
Testimony of Sr. Maria Luisa Puglisi, AASC – Regional representative of Europe
I am Luisa, a member of the Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, I am Italian and I currently live in Madrid. I met the Adoration Sisters in Rome when I was studying at the University. The subject of human trafficking for me was a subject of study that later became a life experience with so many women, it was a long road. From the beginning as a member in the Congregation, I have lived in communities sharing life with women victims of trafficking, so it is choice of life in a specific charism, which is born to accompany women victims of prostitution, trafficking and other forms of exclusion and exploitation.
What does it mean to you to work against human trafficking in a European context? What do you consider to be the main challenges and opportunities?
We live in Europe, many countries of origin, transit and destination, so it is important to coordinate, to work in a network, and to analyze the social, economic, and political causes of this phenomenon, which is no longer only in some countries. A European network is a great opportunity, because it allows us to collaborate, exchange experiences, knowledge, strategies in all of the European countries.
Please, share with us some experiences with survivors of human trafficking and people in vulnerable situations
Throughout the years there have been many experiences. One comes to mind, a woman who had suffered so much because she was sold by her own family but after being rescued, she was later able to study, start a family, get married, have children, and feel integrated in a new country, a new culture, a new language. I consider it a great personal effort on her part, of resilience, of experiencing that death does not have the last word ... in short, hope against all hope. She was able to trust again in herself, in life. How many times have I heard women say "I feel dirty", and little by little raise their heads, and look straight ahead without fear!
What are the life lessons this service has taught you, and what does it mean to you to be a part of Talitha Kum?
Some might be the art of patience, of listening, of trust; to feel part of a great family. How much one can learn by sitting at a table of six, seven, or even eight nationalities and sometimes two or three continents! You have to network; you can't do this alone.
A conclusive message
As our Foundress Saint Maria Micaela used to say, "The world is a tabernacle for me"