TESTIMONY OF SR. ANNAH NYADOMBO, HLMC – COORDINATOR OF TALITHA KUM ZIMBABWE
I’m Sr. Annah (Theresa) Nyadombo a member of the Congregation of the Handmaids of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (HLMC) commonly called Carmelite Sisters. We are a Zimbabwean established congregation funded by the late Bishop Donald Lamont.
What does it mean to you to work against human trafficking?
Work against human trafficking for my means to prevent all harms, abuse, deception, empty promises, promoting holistic human development free from sexual exploitation, coercion, forced prostitution, drug and substance abuse.
To serve and save lives in danger, working with victims and survivors of trafficking, advocating for good laws that response to the needs of survivors; and to protect people, especially migrants, to stop bad practices for making profit through killings of children, adults and harvesting body parts.
In your opinion, which are the main challenges in your context?
I can list several challenges in my context, and in my consideration among the most important is the lack of resources that would allow us to carry out trafficking prevention activities and protect victims and survivors of trafficking in persons by promoting laws that help protect the community.
Please can you share with us some experiences during your work and accompaniment to victims and survivors of trafficking?
I have assisted survivors of trafficking (women and girls) who had gone to Kuwait (Middle East). Through the assistance of the Government the survivors were able to come back in the country. As they returned a lot of work was to be done:
- Need for Counselling and therapy (40 women and girls) of them who were psychologically damaged
- Need to provide essentials especially sanitary wear 50 women were helped.
- Need to pay fees for the children of the victims to access education (30 children were supported).
- Need for life skills sewing, cooking and computer literacy (30 children were supported).
I would like to share an appreciation letter from one of the survivors:
I write this letter to you to thank you for always extending your hand to assist me whenever I need assistance. Recently you helped me financially and I managed to buy catering equipment to enlarge my business from cake baking to catering. You have always been there willing to assist and see my business grow and for that, I deeply thank you.
Yours Faithfully SM
What are the things you’ve learnt and carry in your heart in this anti-human trafficking work?
I have learnt to carry in my heart every day:
That I need to pray for the safety of all.
That it is not one man’s job but that we all need to do our part.
That trafficking is a reality in this world in families, communities, countries, and world-wide.
That there are people suffering each day, who are unable to help themselves, locked in and cannot free themselves.
That there are men, women and children trafficked every day in the world.
That we all need to prevent, protect, participate, have good policies and partner through networking to address some of the ills in order to free victims.
That the perpetrators are dangerous and therefore I should be more careful when I am working with victims.
That I need to be pro-active to develop materials, e.g.: posters, flyers and banners to raise awareness that trafficking is there.
That my role as a coordinator of Talitha Kum is also to be able to involve other congregations, Faith-based Organizations, individuals, Law enforcing Agents, Communication and networks importantly.
What’s being part of Talitha Kum mean to you?
Being part of Talitha Kum to me means:
- Space of formation and networking as a member of Talitha Kum of the knowledge of the Network.
- To know, understand, and promote the vision, objectives and mission of Talitha Kum as a religious.
- It means I belong to international network in the world and together we are supposed to work to prevent, protect, participate, pray, partner, advocate and prosecution.
Please give a final message to Talitha Kum
Talitha Kum Network can change the world through prayers, actions, networking, leadership and to inform that human trafficking is real.
Let us all be alert, to SEE, JUDGE and Act. We need to be vigilant because every minute trafficking is growing due to poverty, socio-economic status in the country.
Human Trafficking is life threatening; it brings fear and hurts.
We need to heal the victims through counselling, meditation and pastoral care, accompaniment, and empowering victims.
Capacity building is also important to help victims to be self-reliant by developing life skills.
There’s need to educate and form more and more religious sisters, priests and lay people.
Let us trust God, he is with us in this work. If all countries could work together the rate of trafficking will be reduced.