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Date Released: June 11,2011
First TALITHA KUM Coordination Meeting in Rome, Italy

ROME - The First Talitha Kum Coordination Meeting was held in Rome on May 30 to June 1st, 2011.
After two years in the mission of counter trafficking, the Talithakum members felt the need to come together, keep in touch with each other and assess the journey so far undertaken on behalf of the victims and the more vulnerable sectors of trafficking in persons.

Participants in the Coordination Meeting are the Coordinators of the Talithakum Member Network or her delegated Sister. (cfr. List of Participants)

The Coordination Meeting hopes to give space and time to the participants for:
1. Reflection on shared experiences, best practices and difficulties encountered in the mission against human trafficking in view of mutual support, encouragement and concrete mutual assistance
2. Assessment of the realization of the initial Plan of Action of Talithakum
3. A well defined strategies of action in view of:
3.1 Consolidation of Talitha Kum as the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Person (towards a more effective networking, referrals and assistance in the more delicate aspect of rescue, protection and assistance of victims and vulnerable persons)
3.2 A more effective management of the Network.

The Process Flow:
The meeting started with the Reports of the Network members presenting the mission carried out in the field of counter trafficking these past two years, giving evidence to the networksÔÇÖ points of strengths and weaknesses. Sr. Estrella Castalone, FMA as Coordinator of Talitha Kum also gave her report on the status of the Network.
She presented Talitha Kum accomplishments namely:
1. Additional member networks:
1.1 AMRAT South Asia
1.2 Mans deins le man West Africa
1.3 Red Kawsay Bolivarian countries
2. The Counter Trafficking Campaign in South Africa on the occasion of the Soccer World Cup when Talitha Kum undertook:
2.1 Preparatory workshop in Johannesburg,
2.2 Issuance of 4 open letters to the public
2.3 Press conference in Rome on May 6, 2010, official launch of the Campaign marking the start of initiatives carried out by religious women all over the world from May 6- July 2010
3. Design and Launch of Talitha Kum web site in 5 languages
4. Participation in the International Conference on the Female Face of Migration organizedŁ by Caritas Internationalis.
5. Participation as a speaker at the USA Embassy to the Holy See Conference on Building Bridges of Freedom: Public-Private Partnership to End Modern Day SlaveryŁ Rome, May 18, 2011
6. Counter Trafficking Formation courses held in:
6.1 Senegal (for religious women of West Africa)
6.2 India (for religious women of South Asia)
6.3 Peru (for religious women of Bolivarian countries)
6.4 Kenya (for religious women of East Africa)
These inputs were object of reflection and discernment in group work and discussions aimed at answering the questions:
How can I improve my sense of ownership of Talitha Kum?
How do we improve the management of Talitha Kum?

After three days of serious work of reflection, discernment and discussion on the concepts of ownershipŁand management of the network, the Sisters came up to a consensus with two important concluding documents:
1. New Directive of Management which will consist of the Coordinator and a Board to help her in the management of the Network.
COORDINATOR: Estrella Castalone, FMA
Africa: Patricia Ebegbulem, SSL
America: Gabriella Bottani, Comboni Sister
Asia: Maria Victoria Sta. Ana, FMA
Europe: Dagmar Plum, MMS
Rome: Nicole Rivard. SND
Rome: Claudio Barriga, SJ

2. Guidelines for Action covering the areas of:
2.1 Visibility to make Talitha Kum visibleŁ first and foremost to all Religious Congregations within each National Conference of Religious
2.2 Service to share what ever service we provide on behalf of the victims of trafficking in persons and in the prevention actions in an improved and updated Content Management System of the network website
2.3 Networking to expand linkages and partnership in the identification of actual collaborators

Like the disciples of Emmaus, the participants went back each to her own country with hearts burning alive with hope, certain that the Network is ready to take on longer and surer strides in the mission of bringing Christ compassionate love to those whose lives have been affected by this modern day slavery.
There is one conviction that all the Sisters of Talitha Kum share:
Talitha Kum is not only the name of our Network but most particularly the guiding spirituality that animates our commitment to counter act trafficking in persons.
We make our own Talitha Kum!, the words of Jesus (Luke 8:55) to the girl whom he raised from the dead, that we may continue to nurture our hope and desire that shall raise every woman, man and child from the harrowing experiences of modern day slavery and restore them to the dignity of the children of God which is rightly theirs.

Sr. Estrella Castalone, FMA
Published: 09/06/2011

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