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The importance of networking to combat human trafficking


The second Talitha Kum Training Course for leaders started on March 2020. The 2020/21 edition was in collaboration with the Pontifical University Antonianum (Rome) and The University Tangaza College (Nairobi). The course aims to develop future international leaders giving them essential skills to promote collaboration to prevent human trafficking and to support survivors of human trafficking and their families. 36 participants from 22 different countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. 
Despite the difficulties caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, the Training Course had to change the methodology and continued on-line. Originally the course included two weeks in Kenya and two in Rome.
“The online training curse challenged us, at the same time was a great learning opportunity for Talitha Kum”, said Sr. Gabriella Bottani, International Coordinator of Talitha Kum network, “when the coordination team of the course had to change the program of the course due the Covid-19. I was impressed by the positive response of the participants and their commitment. Only a sister drop out".
“In the beginning of the pandemic, there was hopelessness and helplessness, but with the course sessions, it has helped me overcome these circumstances…I became hopeful and become more optimistic and I knew that there is something we can do”, said Sr Gigi M. Tupas, IJM, from Philippines.
“When COVID-19 pandemic broke out, I thought the course won’t continue. The bouts of uncertainties created some feelings of doubts. Nonetheless the course continued”, continues Sr. Laura p Llanes, FdCC, from Kenya. “The session on management of Emotions by Prof Joanna helped a lot. It came just in time when pandemic was at its height.  My level of resiliency was finishing”.
Certainly, the outbreak of the pandemic changed all the plans as Sr. Birgitta Gremm, MSola, one of the participants, confirmed: “I have been deeply touched be the way the team, who prepared and acted out the course, found means and ways to continue the course… to learn how to use zoom and to be able in this way with many parts of the world at once was for me a very special experience”.
Actually, the outbreak of the pandemic and its inevitable consequences have strengthened the sense of belonging to a global community, just as Talitha Kum has always sought to develop among its networks around the world. We can said that the pandemic reveals how fundamental; as Sr. Laura says “an African proverb states “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. This course helped me understand that to be part of Talitha Kum Network means working together, support and motivation”. Also Sr. Birgitta underlines this message telling about a story she decided to share: “One aspect of the course is the interconnectedness with so many various people and countries. It reminds me of the recent published Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis “Fratelli Tutti” which speaks of brother – sisterhood among all humanity and how we are called to take care for one another. When we listen to and see our participants from all over the world we come closer to one another and our respect and understanding of one another can grow”.
And this is also an important attitude to combat human trafficking, as Sr. Gigi said “The course taught me that every person has a stake. That in order to address the issue of human trafficking most effectively, we have to come together and be intentional in collaborating and networking in our local, regional, and global spaces”.
The course will conclude March 5th 2021 with the online event Strengthening human capacity against human trafficking in the Covid era; the keynote speaker will be Mrs. Pauline Aweto (PhD in Philosophy), Writer and Women Rights Activist, Programme Leader Croydon University Centre and member of the CCARHT - Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking. The event is public and everyone can join it.