2022 Assembly


Sister Imelda Poole IBVM receives waves of positive engagement against human trafficking in visit to Loreto College, Manchester, UK.


Sister Imelda Poole, former president of RENATE Network, presented to students and staff last week in a visit to Loreto Sixth Form College in Manchester, England. She was herself inspired and amazed at the positivity of the college’s response to what she shared about the fight against human trafficking in Europe. Her recount of the experience is a great example of how impactful awareness-raising efforts can be, for any of RENATE’s members hoping to reach out to educational institutions in similar ways.

I was in the college for two working school days on Monday and Tuesday, September 18 and 19. It was truly the most amazing and inspirational two days in school which I have ever experienced. The students were wonderful. I had the privilege of many coming for a chat after each session and some even volunteering to work with us. I met Albanian students living with relatives and taking advantage of an English education. We hope to meet up in the summer. A trainee psychologist from Albania hopes to volunteer in the Mary Ward Loreto Advice and service centre in Tirana where her family live. During the lunch time 10 RE/ Theology teachers with the three school chaplains,  invited me for a buffet lunch to understand more. I felt very humbled by such commitment to this mission.

I also used two films: one at the beginning called: ‘ An Economy without trafficking and secondly during the presentation I used the Albanian BBC film. I invited the students to move into silence after each film and to reflect on how they were feeling and what insight or what struck them from the film. They then went into buzz groups and shared something of what they heard to the whole hall. Thank God there were always the few brave enough to speak. It was indeed a very moving time for me. I felt very grateful for the opportunity. Before lunch I made a quick visit to the chapel in the centre of the college and surrounded by the art, drama and crafts department. A wonderful venue. Actually the head of Theology was in full stream leading an Assembly with 50 Students on Mary Ward and justice, although he had no knowledge I would be visiting at that time he had included me in the Assembly so out of the blue I found myself raising awareness for 10 minutes to another group of students. All pretty amazing experience for me. I feel very grateful.” – Sr Imelda Poole

The college’s head of RE reached out to Sister Imelda following her visit to express gratitude and share the extent of the impact she had made in mobilising many to engage and fight to end Human Trafficking.

“I just wanted to say thank you so so much for coming to Loreto last week and presenting to our students. We have had such positive feedback and I know our students will remember it for many years to come. I’ve looked at class numbers and over the two days you reached over 1625 students! We would love to keep working with you in the fight to end Human Trafficking. In Advent we would love to send cards of hope, I could plan a lesson if you could perhaps provide some real-life stories for students to hear. We will also of course be fundraising for you but if you need anything else, please do get in contact!! You are truly inspirational! Thank you again for the excellent information you provided.”

The powerpoint used in Sister Imelda’s presentation can be downloaded here.

Awareness Raising and Preventive work Against Trafficking in People – Croatia


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Update from Sr. Victoria Šimić

On the very first day of the 2023/2024 school year, the students from 6th to 8th grade (ages 12 to 14) in the school in Posavski Podgajci, had the opportunity to reflect on the topic of human trafficking. The school was visited by a former employee of the school, L. Šimić, who taught English for several generations and as a nun, has been involved in preventive work against human trafficking for years.

Even at the beginning of the meeting, the students demonstrated basic knowledge about the various forms of exploitation of victims of human trafficking, like the illegal sale of organs, forced begging or drug selling, labor exploitation and the like.

Through work in five groups, each of which received a different quote from a victim of human trafficking, students had the opportunity to learn even more deeply about this issue through concrete, true examples. Most students conscientiously and responsibly participated in the group work and answered the questions related to each quote, and after working in a group, they presented their answers to the whole group.

Each student also received a leaflet with some additional information about human trafficking, such as the World Anti-Trafficking Day July 30 and the European Anti-Trafficking Day October 18th. The leaflet also contains a few thoughts on “How to stay safe on the Internet?”. It brings an interpretation of “The Blue Heart” campaign – an international anti-trafficking program launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Students can also read on the leaflet what human trafficking is, and some estimates at the world level about the victims themselves. On the back of the leaflet there is some information about Saint Bakhita, and a Prayer to her.

In the end, the children were encouraged to obey their parents and teachers, in order to first protect themselves from this serious crime, since today there are tens of millions of people around the world who are victims of human trafficking, even a third of whom are children.

For those who wanted to do more for the victims, Sr. Victoria, who led the meeting, encouraged them to pray the Prayer to Saint Bakhita.

Later, the conversation on the topic of human trafficking continued in a pleasant atmosphere in the Staff room with the teachers of the School in Posavski Podgajci.