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Letter for the General Superiors From Talitha Kum Anti-Trafficking Youth Ambassadors

With a grateful heart I say thank you to everyone specially to the Talitha Kum International for involving the youth and training us to become Talitha Kum Anti-Trafficking Youth Ambassadors. It has been an inspiring journey so far. It all began with a training in September 2021. With the goal to educate the young people about human trafficking, to raise awareness, to help one another and to prevent it. My name is Joy Ezekiel, I am a proud member of Talitha Kum Anti-Trafficking Youth Ambassador, I am a student and I am also a survivor of Human Trafficking. I have lived it and I have witnessed it. I can say It’s Hell and a Nightmare! But today I am giving a testimony. I’ve been on my mission of raising awareness, prevention and spreading hope. Till I met Sister Gabriella Bottani, Talitha Kum Coordinator, through Sister Rita Giaretta, an Ursuline Sister with whom I currently share/live with, here in Rome at the Magnificent house, a path of fraternity and mission, who introduced me to her. Then I joined the Talitha Kum Anti-Trafficking Youth Ambassador team. I am so happy to be part of this call/mission, working and collaborating with Talitha Kum International and with Talitha Kum Anti-Trafficking Youth Ambassadors like me. When I joined Talitha Kum, I knew very little about this line of activities. But there was a question that Sister Gabriella Bottani asked me the day I began my journey with the Talitha Kum International, which has now become part of my life: “Joy what do you want to do together with the Talitha Kum sisters?” I replied: “I was a victim of trafficking, my past life was hell…” As I was still talking, Sister Gabriella stopped me and said a word to me that struck me: “Joy you have to learn on how not to always share your testimonies by defining/introducing yourself by your past and the horror you went through. There are other ways to do it: Do not allow your past to define you, but rather define yourself by who you are today, what you do, your goal and your future plans. Amplify your speech by talking about what’s Trafficking and how it’s affecting our world and daily life, then balance your past with your present and how you want to fight it. So Joy I ask you, aside from your past life, WHO ARE YOU and what do you want to do together with the Talitha Kum Sisters?”. I felt cold all over me, I was speechless, I couldn’t find an answer. I reflected on her words and ever since, I have improved on myself, with the help of my colleagues at Talitha Kum International, Sister Mayra Cuellar Mdb and Marion Paparella, beautiful young colleagues that have been so supportive. We work as a great team and share ideals together. Words alone can’t describe but I can say we are Friends and Family! I have done so many thing with the Sisters and other Youths that I didn’t even imagine I could do or say. Today I am glad to say, I am a proud member of Talitha Kum Anti-Trafficking Youth Ambassador. Not just for the title, but for the Mission. So far, we, young people, have come up with many ideas to better raise awareness on the issue of Human Trafficking among uninformed and at-risk persons by using various forms of communication, both in-person and online: we go to churches and schools, speak with both children and young adults, organizing online events. Involving new members, posting videos and pictures on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, etc.), organizing prayers, designing and printing flyers, TK T-shirts to distribute, and so much other work in progress. Despite our busy schedules, balancing school and work, we commit ourselves to collaborate and working with sisters. Ever since the journey began, it has been a non-stop activity! Now I am empowered, I am strong! On behalf of the Youth Ambassadors I thank you for this great opportunity which has helped us a lot, in our lives, in our education, and in our daily activities. Together with Talitha Kum International, we continue in this journey of transformation.

Joy Ezekiel

Talitha Kum Anti-Trafficking Youth Ambassadors