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.