2022 Assembly

Honouring St. Bakhita’s day in the Netherlands, February 2017.


RENATE member, Ivonne van de Kar, founder of Zusterwerk, (Sisterworks Foundation) (English version), a new Foundation in the Netherlands that continued the work of the Religious Against Trafficking, was especially active in organising awareness-raising activities and events in the Netherlands, to honour the International Day of Awareness and Prayer against Human Trafficking on the feast of St. Bakhita, 8th February.
On the eve of St. Bakhita’s day, in Tilburg, 75 Sisters of Charity, Mother of Mercy attended Vespers and on the 8th of February, 35 people attended Vespers at the ecclesia Ecumenical church in Breda, a municipality in the southern part of the Netherlands.
In Breda, Ivonne conducted a workshop on Human Trafficking, having first screened the documentary film Called to Give Voice to the Voiceless, commissioned by RENATE. 
Later in the month, on the 22nd February, a women’s Faith group, Barach, gathered together in prayer for a Bakhita Vesper. After Vespers, Ivonne again led a workshop on Human Trafficking, which was attended by the 25 women members of Barach.
Ivonne’s ministry continues through March and April, when she is scheduled to give talks about Human Trafficking and the documentary film Called to Give Voice to the Voiceless, to different Missionaries of Africa communities of ‘White Sisters’ and ‘White Fathers,’ in four of their congregational houses in The Netherlands. In May, she will give a talk at the ANDANTE Study week on the collaboration between NGO’s and police in the fight against Human Trafficking.
Zusterwerk was first presented to 12 congregations in the Netherlands in September 2016, with the launch of its website and is poised to be a significant resource to faith-based communities throughout the country.
Prior to starting the Sisterworks Foundation, Ivonne spent almost 25 years working for the Dutch Foundation of Religious against Human Trafficking, SRTV. This organisation came to an end in late 2015 but the work was not yet finished. The Sisterworks Foundation was founded with the support of many congregations to continue in the work of anti-Trafficking.
For more information, please see (English version).
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.