2022 Assembly


Report from RENATE Training in Hungary


Thirty four RENATE members and three staff from a total of 17 countries across Europe, gathered together at the Mater Salvatoris Retreat and Conference Centre, Máriabesnyö, Hungary, to train on Advocacy and Campaigning, with a view to giving a voice to the voiceless.

Welcome Gate to the Mater Salvatoris House in Máriabesnyő, Hungary
Welcome Gate to the Mater Salvatoris House in Máriabesnyő

It was a week of prayer, activities and capacity building, comprising presentations, discussions and active engagement. The week provided participants with an opportunity to share best practise, familiarise ourselves with the local context and get to know one another as a community.
Following the annual meeting of the Working Board, which took place on Monday, the 7th of March, Core Group member of RENATE, Ivonne van de Kar delivered the two-day training programme on Advocacy and Campaigning.
Through discussions and analysis, participants gained an understanding of the definitions of both “Advocacy” and “Campaigning”, the distinctions between both terms and their direct application for specific uses.  Throughout the training, there was an emphasis on the importance of observing detailed structures when advocating and campaigning.
Following an opening analysis of the term “advocacy”, participants shared their understanding of the term and the specific advocacy work undertaken by the various organisations represented at the training.
The following are a synopsis of some of the key considerations shared:

  • Advocacy is really awareness-raising.
  • Lobbying is an ongoing activity…..never-ending!
  • Successful campaigns and advocacy activities, are always tailor-made and the tools and methods used will depend on the context and cultural setting.
  • It is imperative to define terms of engagement and analyse the ways in which one can generate the highest impact.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Communicate goals and limits clearly to donors/benefactors.
  • Accept that you may not realise all your goals at once.
  • Compromise- seek a win: win. Good lobbying requires a degree of consensus.
  • YOU are the expert and engender confidence in yourself by being self-confident. Decision makers are then more likely to be happy to use your knowledge and information.
  • Decision-makers also decide your influencing space.
  • It is very important to have a plan B, an alternative to choose from. Do not simply dump a problem on their desk.
  • Strategizing is very important. To be more efficient, one needs a clear strategy, which in turn prevents one from being distracted by the issues of the day.
  • Always ask yourself “why are we targeting this particular decision maker? Why are we carrying out this activity in the first place? Does it contribute to achieving our objective?”
  • “You have to know who is the Charlie!!”  Who has the power to effect change. Get to know them personally, as ultimately they will help in the implementation and delivery of actions.
  • Timing of Lobbying and Advocacy activities is a very important consideration.
  • Continuously evaluate how you are progressing as you lobby and advocate.
  • Be careful to follow through post-achieving your objective, in monitoring, keeping vigilant etc. just in case your objective is diminished at a later stage. People go their own way and forget to keep an eye on the objective once the law has been changed!
  • Build capacity amongst your people/network/organisation.
  • Celebrate the victories, however small!
  • Take care of your people! People get tired, as lobbying can take a very long time in some subject areas.
  • Never underestimate the “neutral” people…they remain to be convinced and once convinced, can be powerful allies.
  • Always keep an eye on the horizon….be aware that there may be others lobbying for the same purpose as your group, but they
  • may have differing data to yours and such conflict of information, may ultimately undermine the overall work.

Remember TS Elliot’s poem, The Four Quartets! Once you arrive at the end of a campaign or lobbying or advocacy initiative, you start all over again and see the initiative from a fresh perspective!
Click here to read more: Report from RENATE Training in Hungary, 7-12 March 2016
Report written by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

RENATE Board Meeting & Training on Advocacy & Campaigning in Hungary


A Training on Advocacy & Campaigning for the members of RENATE has now been organised and will take place in Máriabesnyő, Hungary, from 7th till 12th March 2016. The training will be led by Mrs. Ivonne van de Kar from the Netherlands. There will be 33 participants from sixteen European countries.

Mater Salvatoris House of Retreat and Centre of Conference
Mater Salvatoris House of Retreat and Centre of Conference

It is planned that during this time there will be an opportunity to experience the work of the Hungarian organisations working in the field of anti-trafficking and to learn from them of the challenges which they face and the actions being taken.
The members of RENATE are privileged to have the opportunity to become exposed to a new cultural reality.

Report from RENATE Training in Ireland


RENATE Members attend Training for Transformation and Board Meeting in Dublin

All Hallows College in Dublin
All Hallows College in Dublin

Members travelled from across 16 European countries to All Hallows College, Dublin, for this training programme and board meeting, from the 26th to the 30th of October, 2015.
Most enjoyed and gained much benefit from the three-day training. It was followed by input from various organisations located in Ireland and working to stop human trafficking:

  1. APT – Act to Prevent Trafficking
  2. RUHAMA – ngo supporting women affected by prostitution and trafficking
  3. ICI – The Immigrant Council of Ireland
  4. MECPATH – an initiative of the Mercy Congregation to Counter Child Prostitution and Trafficking in the Hospitality Sector
  5. CORI – Conference of Religious in Ireland
  6. AHTU – Anti Human Trafficking Unit in the Department of Justice, Irish Parliament.

Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE thanked both Aneta Grabowska, RENATE Website Manager and Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person for their work.
Board matters such as RENATE Structures, Constitution and Articles of Association were given due consideration, including discussion on the need to ensure East-West balance in terms of representation on the Core Group. Members of the Core Group all agreed to sit for a second term of office (3 years), with the exception of Patricia Mulhall, who steps down at this time from the Board and Core Group.

Sisters Dagmar Plum and Adina Balan updated the Board regarding arrangements for the next RENATE Training which will take place in Budapest, from the 6th-12th March 2016. Sr. Gabriella Legradi is leading the arrangements locally. The Theme for the training is: Advocacy and Campaigning.
Sr. Bohdana Bezakova shared her experiences from recent meetings with sisters in the Ukraine and her attempts to establish solid and supportive links with local communities there. [Full report on the RENATE website here:]. Bohdana spoke of how the local Greek Catholic communities and the Catholic Church in the UKRAINE are emphasising awareness-raising about human trafficking in order to empower and equip young people who are the most vulnerable. In light of the ongoing war in the region, of particular concern to Bohdana was her observation of the great need for trauma therapy.
Patricia Mulhall presented the final draft of the Mapping Exercise across 13 European countries. Everyone congratulated Patricia and all those who contributed to the exercise, which is a unique catalogue of the work that is being done by religious and ngos, including members of RENATE, to prevent human trafficking and exploitation. Practical details regarding the number of copies and dissemination are under way.
On one of the evenings after the training, Iva Kúšiková, SSpS, screened the ‘rough cut’ of the film on the work of RENATE. It is hoped that the film will be released early in 2016.

At St. Brigid's Well
At St. Brigid’s Well

A highlight of the week was the visit to Solas Bhríde Centre and Hermitages in the monastic home of St Brigid, Kildare The Brigidine sisters extended their hospitality to RENATE, and afforded the members the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of St. Brigid by leading a mini-pilgrimage to Brigid’s well where prayers were offered for the victims of human trafficking and exploitation. It was a sacred time together.
Members arrived at Saturday morning with the feeling that the week had passed by all too quickly and included a tremendous amount of work achieved in a short time.
Gratitude was expressed to Mary Mangan, SHJM, for making the arrangements for the week, with the assistance of Eilis Coe, RSC and Patricia Mulhall, CSB and to the members of APT who were at Dublin airport to meet and greet RENATE members.
Compiled by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

RENATE Training for Transformation & Board Meeting in Ireland


A RENATE Training for Transformation for the members of RENATE Working Board has now been organised and takes place in Dublin, Ireland, from 26th till 28th October 2015. The training is led by Mr. Frank Naughton and Ms. Maureen Sheehy from the Partners Training for Transformation. There are 23 participants from sixteen European countries.
The training will be followed by a short Working Board Meeting from 29th till 30th October, at which three staff members of RENATE will be present too. It is planned that during this time there will be an opportunity to experience the work of the Irish organisations working in the field of anti-trafficking and to learn from them of the challenges which they face and the actions being taken. The Working Board is privileged to have the opportunity to become exposed to a new cultural reality.

Report from RENATE Training in Spain


‘’Working together against human trafficking…’’
Thus, Sr. Imelda began with a welcome to the thirty two delegates gathered at the Congregation of the Adorer’s in Madrid, Spain, to begin RENATE training in Interventions and Integration of Victims of Trafficking in Human beings for Sexual Exploitation, 31st May – 5th June.
Reminded of RENATE Network joint mission, working together against human trafficking, Sr. Imelda gave an overview of the growth of RENATE from its beginnings, when it was officially launched in Trzebinia, Poland, September 2011.
Informed by Gospel values, Sr. Imelda referenced the consistent building up of activities of RENATE in establishing a pro-active network of members through Common Campaigns; Board meetings in Croatia, Versailles and Albania; Training events in critical areas such as the Social Teaching of the Church, Working with Social Media and training in Labour Trafficking in Albania, November 2014. Additionally, RENATE has been represented at various international gatherings such as ANDANTE in Latvia and at Katholikentag in Germany. RENATE has also found a place at EU meetings, such as the Civil Society Platform, uniting with groups working against human trafficking.
Building a network across Europe is becoming easier as a result of strategic alliances with UISG (Union of International Superiors General – Rome) under the umbrella of Talitha Kum.
Imelda shared a highlight of the past year (2015) when she spoke of the attendance of five young representatives at the Vatican Youth Conference against Trafficking. She stressed the influence that gathering had on them as they commit to making a difference in the lives of victims of human trafficking and exploitation.
In building such capacity, Sr. Imelda spoke of the latest and most significant undertaking by RENATE, namely an exercise in Mapping of Trafficking across Europe, with particular reference to RENATE, which is due to be launched in the Autumn and likely to be followed by the launch of the currently created RENATE film ‘Yes we can.’
Sr. Imelda emphasised the directive of the recent RENATE Working Board meeting in Albania (9 – 16March, 2015), that at all times it brings the voice of the victim to the fore and members are mindful in thoughts, deeds and actions, seeking to bring an end to human trafficking.
She thanked graciously, all those who came for the training event, all those who prepared for it, especially Amaranta Fundación de Solidaridad – the team that prepared the training programme for the week.
Imelda encouraged active engagement of the participants, and emphasised the importance of taking time to get to know each other better, to laugh, to learn and to make the most of the ‘sacred space’ created for the training in Madrid.
Click on the link below to access full report written by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person:
2015.06_RENATE Training Minutes – ES Madrid 31 May – 5 June 2015

RENATE Training on Intervention and Integration of Victims of Trafficking, Spain


A RENATE Training on The Intervention & Integration of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings for the members has now been organized and will take place in Madrid, Spain, from Sunday, 31st May – till Friday, 5th June 2015. We expect 33 participants from twelve European countries.
Outline of RENATE Training in Spain
Speakers: Mrs. Helena Maleno Garzón, Sr. Marta González Manchon, Mrs. Angela Sánchez-Barbudo Virgil-Escalera, Mr. Antonio Rivas, Mr. Elvis Popaj. All trainers are experts in their field.

Report from RENATE Working Board Meeting in Albania


RENATE Working Board meeting in Durrës, Albania
9-16 March, 2015
RENATE Working Board Meeting in Albania, 9-16 March 2015
The reassuring words of Matthew 18:21 ‘’For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst,’’ set the tone for the yearly general meeting of the RENATE Working Board in Albania.
Because the Working Board gathers formally once a year, the meeting is of great importance not only as a time when Board members make time to get together, share knowledge and best practise concerning human trafficking and exploitation, but equally as a time of discernment for when Board members and staff reflect upon much that has been achieved over the last year, and to plan for all that is yet to be done in order to fulfil the mission, vision, goals and objectives of RENATE.
With 18 European countries represented around the table, the excellent facilitation provided by Patricia Mulhall, CSB, was essential to the 28 participant’s full participation and to ensuring a productive week together.
The work of the week included consideration of the following:

  • The RENATE Annual Report, 2014.
  • The audited accounts for RENATE, for the period 1st October 2013 to 30th September, 2014.
  • Discernment processes, with a view to informing future priorities.
  • Capacity building, with the specific intention of increasing membership from Eastern Europe.
  • How best to deploy existing resources, i.e. development of the WEB.
  • Communications, with an appeal to all members to engage, respond and be more proactive in communicating their local stories and initiatives.
  • RENATE Corporate Campaign, where the Board identified significant dates in the calendar for RENATE to make, e.g. International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking; St. Bakhita Day,  8th February and European Human Trafficking Day, 18th October.
  • Mapping Exercise, update and likely composition of the final report.
  • Support available through grant-aid from RENATE e.g. to assist local projects; improve English-language skills.
  • Katholikentag 2016 in Leipzig, Germany, where RENATE will take a stand to promote its work, as well as awareness raising.
  • Future trainings e.g. Madrid, Spain 31st May- 5th June, 2015; Dublin, Ireland 25th-31st October, 2015.

Delegates appreciated the thorough insight into the local situation in Albania, as conveyed by guest speakers Ep. George Frendo OP; Fr. Giovanni Peragine; Mrs. Edlira Gjoni; Mrs. Elona Gjebrea and Mrs. Marjana Meshi. Each of whom shared aspects of the following specific to their own individual responsibilities:

  • The rich Religions and Faith Traditions of Albania.
  • An overview of the Conference of Religious in Albania.
  • The cultural reality of Albania.
  • An overview of the human trafficking situation in Albania and Government policies to try to combat this.
  • The work of anti-trafficking at grass-roots level in Albania.

At this year’s working Board, there were new members from Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania and Malta who brought new perspectives to bear, which created an interesting dynamic .
Each day’s work was underpinned by Mass at the beginning of each day and Theological Reflections, based on the daily theme/topic, drawing the formal business of the day to a close.
The highlight of the week was undoubtedly the Field Trips to witness first-hand the mission of anti-trafficking in Albania, through Mary Ward Loreto and the Roma Projects; Different and Equal Project; and sharing time with members of the local women’s group at Shkoder/Hot I Ri project.
Through these projects, the enormity of the challenge to try to combat human trafficking was reduced to realistic possibilities and where the phrase ‘’No longer slaves but brothers and sisters’’ came alive.
Believing that God will ask each of us ‘’What did you do for your brother/sister?’’ (Gen 4; 9-10), the work of the week through formal meetings, prayers, liturgies, various exchanges and quiet reflection ensured that each participant returns to her own country strengthened in her commitment to the social teachings of the church in which the work against human trafficking is considered the mission of God.
Clearly enormous work was undertaken by Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE and her team at Mary Ward Loreto, Albania. No request seemed too much to ask. The team were true ambassadors for Albania, as they worked conscientiously to ensure the success of the Board meeting in their country.
Justa del Sol_Memorias de Albania_ES
Anne Kelleher
RENATE Communications Person

Report from RENATE Training in Romania 2nd – 7th November 2014


A week-long training programme on Labour Trafficking & Migration took place in Romania from 2nd to 7th November 2014, funded by the RENATE sponsors.
This was part of RENATE’s ongoing commitment to research, skills and information-sharing throughout the Network, in support of its vision to work to end Human Trafficking and exploitation.
Forty members of RENATE – religious and their co-workers – gathered at the Carmelite Monastery Conference and Retreat Centre, Snagov, near Bucharest to learn about the issue as well as to reflect and strengthen the bonds that support the Network.
Sr. Imelda Poole, President of RENATE presented an image of the Nautilus during her introductory remarks, as a comparable example of how RENATE continues to evolve. Just as the Nautilus continues to grow by means of growing a new shell on the back of previous shells, so too does RENATE develop. Deepening, evolving and building upon the foundations and previous work of others.
A comprehensive programme was prepared, covering the following;

  1. Migration & Forced Labour across Europe.
  2. Labour Exploitation/ Trafficking for Forced labour.
  3. Profile of Victims of Trafficking; E.U. Estimated Figures and Statistics.
  4. Identification of Victims of Trafficking- Formal & Informal; Pro-active Identification.
  5. Trans-national Mechanisms of Identification & Referral; Exchange of Sensitive Information.
  6. Social Inclusion & Re-integration of Victims of Trafficking; Personalised Care Intervention.
  7. Victims of Trafficking / Witness co-ordination programme.
  8. Multi-disciplinary and Multi-agency Co-operation.
  9. Prevention Initiatives.
  10. Trafficking for Forced Labour with a Focus on Identification, Referral, Protection & Assistance provided to Victims of Trafficking; Co-operation.
  11. Meeting with Victims of Trafficking at the Reaching Out shelter.

In addition to training in the above areas, stimulating learning took place at the hour-long ‘Market Place’ meetings each evening. Each ‘Market station’ provided opportunities for members to share resources, skills and knowledge of work at local level with each other. This time meant that best practices were shared in work done to combat human trafficking and care for victims.

The specific presentations provided by the trainers, are accessible on the members area of the RENATE website, with the substance of the training and interactions forming the body of the Report.
Mass was celebrated at the start of each day. The Liturgy was prepared by Sr. Gabriela Korn.
Daily Theological Reflections, available on the Members’ area of the RENATE website, were led by Sr. Juliet Ory.
For the Reaching Out Shelter, the members travelled to meet with Mrs. Jana Matei, Director of the programme. Along with a ‘cultural’ tour of Bucharest, this was one of the special highlights of the training programme. Members met Mrs. Jana Matei and young women victims of trafficking who are being re-habilitated at the ‘shelter.’  Mrs. Matei’s commitment and care for these young women is striking. Clearly, her positive encouragement and support of them has empowering impact as they are gradually finding their confidence and recovering their self-esteem.

Each working day commenced with Theological Reflections, prepared by Sr. Juliet Ory. This focus for the work of RENATE followed the methodology of ‘The Pastoral Cycle.’ Through these reflections, members were invited to “… bring a faith perspective to the realities we look at in order to work for social justice.” (Rev. Fr. James Hug, SJ) Members reflected on the perennial questions “What are we doing?” and “What more can we do for systemic justice for victims of human trafficking?”
Specific presentations, provided by the trainers, are accessible on the Members’ area of the RENATE website, a general overview follows.
Read more here:
Report on RENATE Training in Romania_1st December 2014_website

RENATE Training on Labour Trafficking & Migration, Romania


Training on Labour Trafficking & Migration for RENATE members has now been organized and will take place in Bucharest, Romania, from Sunday, 2nd November – till Friday, 7th November 2014. We expect 35 participants from fifteen European countries.
Speakers: Mrs. Gina Maria Stoian, Mrs. Iana Matei, Sr. Juliet Ory FCJ, Mr. Florinel Stelian Ionescu. All trainers are experts in their field.