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Arise marks St Bakhita's Day

Last week, Arise's staff across India, Nigeria, Albania and the Philippines marked the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was trafficked in 1877 in Darfur. She survived and became a Canossian sister, and was posthumously canonized in 2000.

Adopted as the patron saint of trafficking survivors, her feast day is marked by anti-trafficking advocates every February. Thousands of Catholic sisters are engaged in trafficking prevention and rehabilitation work around the world. Arise's global staff, who regularly work with sisters, marked the day with partners and in schools, where St Bakhita's story was told, incorporated into modern awareness sessions about trafficking threats.

Anxhela Bruci, Arise's Albania Coordinator, recounted the following:

'The URAT anti-trafficking Network in Albania came together at Famullia e Shen Dominikut in Albania to honour St. Bakhita’s Day. Over 50 community members, youth, representatives from various religious congregations, and frontline anti-trafficking organisations participated in a diverse interfaith programme, which aimed to raise awareness of human trafficking and give more information to community members about its most recent evolving forms.

The story of St. Bakhita is one of triumph over hardships and continuous injustice. St. Bakhita was a young woman from South Sudan, who endured the atrocities of slavery before finding freedom and becoming a symbol of hope for victims of human trafficking across the world. Her journey is a ray of light, guiding us as we seek to break down the barriers and challenges in our fight against modern slavery and human trafficking.

​​The event provided a forum to listen, dream and act, reflecting on this year’s theme of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking honouring St. Bakhita Day. Participants engaged in meaningful discussions about the realities of human trafficking and the importance of upholding human dignity. Through the programme, participants reaffirmed their commitment to combating human trafficking and supporting survivors.

The presence of community members, youth, frontline organisations, and religious congregations was a testament to the widespread support for the cause. They all united together with a shared purpose: to honour St. Bakhita, keep in our thoughts the hardships and challenges victims of human trafficking are faced with, and unite forces to fight against human trafficking. This unity of purpose was a driving force behind this event's success.'

See the global team photos below:

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