Anti-trafficking network offers virtual tour of nuns helping survivors

ROME — The Global Network of Religious Women Combating Human Trafficking is offering a virtual tour of its work helping survivors to mark World Day Against Human Trafficking.

Anti-trafficking network Talitha Kum was posting the “Nuns Healing Hearts” photo exhibit on its website,, beginning July 30, the United Nations’ anti-trafficking awareness day. trafficking in human beings.

The exhibition of more than two dozen images, taken by American photographer Lisa Kristine, illustrates the stories of women and men once trapped by traffickers and the nuns working alongside them, dedicated to their healing and also working in vulnerable communities, seeking to prevent further victims. .

The photos were to be accompanied by testimonials and seven short videos on human trafficking.

Comboni Sister Gabriella Bottani, Talitha Kum’s international coordinator, said in a July 29 press release that the network wanted to “expand its presence in the virtual space to tell the story of our experience with people injured by trafficking. and do so with respect and care. .”

The theme chosen by the United Nations for the world day is “The use and abuse of technology”, which draws attention to the way in which traffickers also recruit victims, exploit them and offer their services online.

Bottani said he wants to use those same online tools for good, giving victims a voice and raising awareness of this violent reality that undermines human dignity.

“We hope that many people will visit (the online exhibition) and use it as a prevention and awareness tool,” she said.

The network also asked people to use social media to share the virtual tour, “post a story about care against human trafficking” and use the hashtags: #ThePowerofCare #TalithaKum #CareAgainstTrafficking.

Kristine spent 18 months “on the front lines” in Thailand, Italy, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States documenting the work of the Talitha Kum Network sisters. The show then went on tour, stopping at UN headquarters in New York, Tokyo and Rome. The virtual tour is supported by the Galileo Foundation, the Global Solidarity Fund and the International Union of Superiors General.

The “Nuns Healing Hearts” exhibit was first opened at the Vatican with Pope Francis in 2019 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Talitha Kum, who coordinates 55 networks in 92 countries around the world.

Thanks to the work of women and men religious and secular experts, the network reached 336,958 people in 2021. Of these, 258,549 benefited from prevention activities, 19,993 were victims and survivors supported by the network and 58,416 people participated in networking, training and capacity building activities. construction activities.

About Walter J. Leslie

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