NEWS FROM THE NETWORK: KENYA
Drawing from her work during the past year, Sister Laura Llanes FdCC, the coordinator of the RAHT (Religious Against Human Trafficking) - Kenya, the Kenyan Talitha Kum network, shares with us an experience of accompanying and caring for victims of human trafficking during their healing journey:
On December 14th, 2022, twenty-four (24) survivors of human trafficking had an opportunity to meet at Tumaini center in Kenya. They shared their experiences and how far they have come in the process of self-rediscovery as well as the process of healing.
As a network focused on the human rights-based approach to survivor support and engagement, RAHT – Kenya, provides a platform for the Survivors of human trafficking to transfer the experience of their journey towards reintegration, and development in their livelihoods and community.
The activity was a learning experience for them all as they collectively challenged themselves and put more emphasis on the recovery and reintegration processes by growing the support mechanisms and implementing a survivor-friendly approach.
The key objective of the event was to create an avenue of comparative learning, mutual understanding, and sharing of common issues that are faced by the survivors. It was also a moment to exchange candid ways of enhancing mechanisms and best practices that would encourage them to take control of their lives and follow them with a sense of agency, empowerment, and ownership.
The introductory session was devoted to the identity of the network and its work against human trafficking; starting with an eye-opening and story-sharing activity. The session aimed at learning the different experiences of the attendees before leaving, arriving in the destination countries, and returning to Kenya. The session was emotional as the majority of the stories shared were traumatizing and some even shed tears as they narrated their ordeals. After the story-sharing session, the facilitator took the team through a self-reflection on how far they’ve come in their healing and social integration process. The session involved moments of silence and acknowledgment that they are all beautiful and their stories matter. After the reflection, the team undertook a prayer aimed at healing and restoration. The third session was on empowerment and how to sustainably empower themselves through the integration process. The facilitator gave the team tips on developing sustainable businesses that will help them in the process of self-stability. One of the members shared a business idea on how the rest can prepare cockroach-killing house-friendly mix-up pesticides. The team showed interest and agreed to undertake the process and learn as well.
The participants thanked the RAHT team for the support they’ve provided so far. They were grateful for the attention provided to their needs and hoped that it will be reciprocated in the coming year. The participants agreed to have a meeting in the coming year and hoped that they will be supported in the planning process as well.
Thanks to the organizing project team Sr Jackie Mwongeli, IBVM, Mr Edmund Juma and Mr Wilson Kyalo.
By Sr. Laura Llanes, FdCC , Coordinator of RAHT – Kenya
Jenuary 12, 2023