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Embracing Light in the Darkness: My Experience at the Talitha Kum 15-Year Anniversary Event

Nasreen Sheikh At Vatican with Talitha Kum.

Recently, I had the incredible honor of attending the Talitha Kum 15-year anniversary event in Rome, Italy, as a speaker. This event was dedicated to ending human trafficking, and it was a truly moving experience.

What is Talitha Kum?

Talitha Kum is the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Human Trafficking. It was formally established in 2009 by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) to combat human trafficking and exploitation. Talitha Kum connects networks at the national, regional, and continental levels, all working together to support victims, survivors, and those at risk.

Each Talitha Kum network operates in its own unique way within its country or region. The International Coordination at UISG helps these networks by providing training, sharing resources, and facilitating the exchange of information and experiences. This network of sister-led organizations is inspired by the ministry of Christ and committed to community work and collaboration, following the example of the Triune God.

What makes Talitha Kum so strong is its grassroots approach. These networks are closely connected to the people they serve, ensuring they can provide immediate and effective support to victims and survivors of trafficking, their families, and those at risk.

My Experience at the Event

Nasreen Sheikh with Delia Buckley Gallagher on Stage.

Attending this event was a deep learning experience for me. From the moment I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by everyone. As a survivor, I felt incredibly supported and embraced by their kindness. The dedication and compassion of everyone working to shed light on the darkness of human trafficking were truly inspiring.

Notable Attendees

Nasreen Sheikh with Kevin Hyland and Mary Mugo. 

The event featured many influential figures who are making a difference in the fight against human trafficking:

- Sister Abby Avelino: The International Coordinator of Talitha Kum, whose leadership has expanded the network’s global impact.

- Delia Buckley Gallagher: Vatican journalist and moderator of the ceremony, who holds a very sacred place for victims, survivors, and people working at the grassroots.

- Pope Francis: Although not physically present, he sent a message emphasizing global solidarity and the crucial role of women in this mission.

- Kevin Hyland: The former UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner, who advocates for stronger measures to end human trafficking. Sharing the stage with him was a moment of peace, feeling that I am not alone in this fight.

Nasreen Sheikh with Chiara Porro in Green and two incredible Talitha Kum sisters from India and Bangladesh.

- Chiara Porro: The Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, actively involved in supporting human rights and anti-slavery initiatives. Sharing a stage with her and receiving standing ovations felt like globally women are uniting to end modern slavery which gave me so much hope. 

- Representatives from International Organizations: Various UN, NGO, and faith-based representatives attended, highlighting the broad coalition working to end trafficking.

Finding Inspiration

This event deeply inspired me, especially seeing how faith can unite us to address such a serious global issue. The shared commitment among these women of different faiths showed the power of collective action rooted in spirituality and compassion.

Inspired by this gathering, I am now thinking about a new initiative: a global day of prayer to end human trafficking, led by women of faith. I see a great opportunity to connect Catholic nuns with Tibetan nuns, creating a powerful, united front. This day would not only raise awareness but also demonstrate the strength and unity of women across different faiths in this fight.

A Heartfelt Thank You

Nasreen Sheikh in Front of Courtial International next to St.Peter's Basilica.

I want to publicly thank all the people involved in Talitha Kum for their incredible efforts over the years. Your work to bring light into the darkest corners of human trafficking is truly inspiring. You have welcomed survivors like me with open arms and shown the world what it means to fight for justice with compassion and faith.

In conclusion, my experience at the Talitha Kum 15-year anniversary event has strengthened my belief in the power of faith and unity. Together, we can create a world where human trafficking is a thing of the past, and everyone can live with dignity and hope.

Thank you, Talitha Kum, for lighting the way.

Nasreen Sheikh



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