Wells of Hope for the Middle East region
Wells of Hope is the latest project to be unveiled by Talitha Kum – an international network against trafficking in human persons.In 2009 the International Union of Superiors’ General (UISG) in Rome founded the organization to serve as a platform for collaboration, cooperation and exchange of information. Among the goals of Talitha Kum is the development and improvement of anti-trafficking activities carried out by consecrated persons in the various countries of the world, across the five continents.
Since 2016, the focus has moved towards the Middle East, a region that has become a battlefield for wars, violence, exploitation and human trafficking. These countries have become a breeding ground for this lucrative business, with recruitment, transit and export of trafficked individuals occurring within the region. Unfortunately, the Middle East, the crossroad of civilisations, has become an expert in the civilisation of death and of exploitation. People have become commodities in local, regional and international markets.
Pope Francis says to us: “Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ; it is a crime against humanity.” He adds, “It is a form of modern slavery, a clear violation of human rights, a heinous, cruel and brutal crime.” The words of Pope Francis challenged us, made us mindful of our responsibility towards our poorest brothers and sisters, and led to the development of the Wells of Hope project.
- To promote cooperation and alliance between Christian and Muslim women as part of a joint effort against this culture of death, specifically, that of human trafficking.
- We will work in collaboration with local, regional and international agents of all religious backgrounds.
- To create action plans for the prevention, protection, assistance and rehabilitation of people at risk of trafficking.
- We hope to strengthen relationships between Christian and Muslim women in order to encourage joint action and promote mutual trust.
- This project is targeted at Middle Eastern countries including: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and the Emirates.
- The first phase of this project takes place over ten months, where we will work together to identify and collect data, establish action plans and methods for use in each country to provide protection and assistance to victims.
- Identify human resources in each country.
- Arrange training sessions to develop the skills of those who will work in this fundamental humanitarian camp.
- Create a space for dialogue, reflection and action to restore the human dignity of these people and reduce the exploitation of the most vulnerable women and children.
The Women’s Assembly of Major Superiors in Lebanon supports this project. Consecrated persons, civil, and government authorities will collaborate in this undertaking. As consecrated women, we use our skills and abilities to defend and protect victims of this global issue which concerns all religions and nationalities.
We will work tirelessly to allow our Middle East to re-establish its role in connecting civilisations where human and religious values are lived and respected. We entrust our project to the all Merciful God, following in the footsteps of our Mother and the Holy Catholic Church, who seek to embrace God’s children of all races and religions.
We rely heavily on your prayers to ensure that our Middle East becomes a source of hope for the poor, the vulnerable, those who are deprived of love, of hope, and for every individual who lives in exploitation and slavery.
Sr Marie Claude Naddaf
Coordinator of the Middle Eastern network.