By Frederick Peters, KADUNA.

NEWDAILYNIGERIA: Talitha Kum International has embarked on a one day prayer and awareness campaign against all forms of trafficking in human persons in Nigeria, with the theme ‘ Journeying In Dignity’

The group under Our Lady of Apostles, (OLA) Missionary Sisters, Kakuri, Kaduna, visited St Peter’s Catholic Church, Sabo tasha, on Wednesday where it created awareness amongst the youths, boys and girls on the ills of  human trafficking, often described as ‘modern Day Slavery’

Speaking the Coordinator, Rev. Sr. Monica Onwunali, OLA, said the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking is an annual event celebrating the feast of St. Josephine Bahkita,  a Sudanese nun who as a child had the traumatic experience of being a victim  of human trafficking.

Photos of the celebration at the School & St Peters, Sabo, Tasha Kaduna on Wednesday.

 She stressed the need for an increased awareness among the risk groups, making them conscious of the fact that they need to protect themselves against all forms of trafficking and to inform others.

According to her, this is the 9th edition of the annual international day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking,  ” since Pope Francis has asked us to celebrate today, the feast Of St Bahkitha, St Josephine Bahkita who was a slave girl and she was made a Nun and she became the Patron of those who are trafficked, because she experienced trafficking, she was trafficked, sold and re-sold,

” Today, we have come to St Peter’s, Sabo, tasha, to meet the youths, the young women, girls and boys, who we feel are vulnerable to trafficking and we  come to pray with them, we’ve come to create awareness to them and as you can see, we made our committments and after speaking to them, we are expecting them to also be involved in creating awareness to other youths, those they know and those they’ll meet, so we can put a stop, because trafficking is still going on in our midst,”

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She further lamented how the youths are still being trafficked, ” I think only few days the Minister of External Affairs, said, he wept, when he saw the situation of Nigerian youths in Libya, so we are joining hands together praying and creating awareness to say, we know they have to travel, hence, this year’s theme, “journey in dignity” 

“we  didn’t say they shouldn’t go out; but make sure you go out in a dignified and honorable way, with your VISA, and then you’ll not be a slave, so you’ll not be used as an object, when you go out there, that’s why we are here today” she reiterated.

Similarly, the Parish Priest, St Peters Sabo, Kaduna, Rev.Fr Reginald Nwachukwu, SMA, while describing the human trafficking awareness to the youths of his parish, said ” I think it’s a beautiful experience, that’s why when she told me , I said, why not, come and I invited her to come and the youths responded, 

” it is very interesting and I am sure this awareness will open their eyes to what is happening and what has been happening, some of them, don’t know or if they know they just heard stories, but now atleast they’ve heard first hand information of people involved in human trafficking, they now ask questions , they can now spread the news of what they have heard, then they can go out and tell others on the need to be aware themselves”

He further assured that, as a parish there’s the need to step down the message, after today”  for me, I think this is just the beginning, because it is just the youths, it’s not even 2 percent of the parish that they have spoken to, so we need to have  a much wider awareness of parishioners” he added.

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In the same vein, one of the participants, Mrs Loveth Ochai, said ” the awareness taught us alot today that when we want to journey, we should journey in dignity and should not be deceived by what people tell us , we should shine our eyes and make sure that we get good information before journeying , we should not just listen to the sweet mouth of people around us telling us that there are opportunities outside Nigeria,”

She also said people should be very sure of the job being promised, outside the country and be very careful of what one is going there to do, ” we should also get concrete evidence before journeying and also really journey in dignity, I really appreciate this the program and I thank God for being part of it,” She further called on fellow youths out there that whatever they are going out to do, let them do it the right way.

Another participant, Francis Chinedu, says,” I feel so happy and cool, because it taught me a lot of things inorder for me to save life and to be aware of some journies I need to make,  I need to be bold and confident so that someone would not come and deceive me to follow him into a journey I know nothing about, so I need to get the right information and make sure that the journey is legit and I know why am going for the journey” he stressed.

Adding that, after this awareness ” I will go out and make sure I win souls, I will make sure I save souls and make  sure I spread the news to others in order for me to protect people from going astray and from death” he stressed.

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On her part, Miss Precious Anthony, , while appreciating the program, shared an experience, how her sister and others left home, with a man who promised them job in Edo and Benue ” when I went back to the village I heard that my Sister has gone and for  long now, like 3years, some of them( girls)came back last Christmas that they gave them work, but they’re not opening up and we know, so if they really had a real job, they are supposed to go back” And inquiring of her sister, they said, “maybe she will come back” she added.

The 9th International Day of Prayer and awareness against human trafficking in Kaduna started with a prayer at St  Anne’s nursery and primary school, Kakuri, and climaxed with the visit to the youths,at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Sabo Tasha, Kaduna, among others.


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