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Nuns teach girls to avoid trafficking

Educating young girls about the dangers of seeking work abroad

Nuns teach girls to avoid trafficking
Young girls in the human trafficking awareness program in the convent of Good Shepherd nuns, Loikaw

Published: March 11, 2011 01:58 AM GMT

Updated: March 10, 2011 03:10 AM GMT

Nuns from the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd congregation in Loikaw, eastern Myanmar, give human trafficking awareness to young girls by sharing real experiences and showing videos.A group of 45 youngsters who are from grade 6 to 10 and staying in the convent of Good Shepherd nuns attended the program from February 27 to March 4 in Loikaw. Besides human trafficking, nuns shared teaching about moral values, roles and value of women, global warming and ecology during the six day program. These girls will more aware of the danger of human trafficking and they will have the habit of not trusting others, even their relatives, according to Sr. Maria GorettiLwin, superior of Good Shepherd convent in Loikaw.In Loikaw Diocese, we have seen that many young girls go abroad but they don’t know exactly how much they will have to pay, whether the agents are trusted or not and how to contact the INGOs or other association if they encounter difficulties, recalled Sr. Lwin.Poverty is the main root cause and being too honest, simple and trusting of other people is the weakness of our people in Loikaw Diocese, according to Sr. Lwin.Sr. Lwin said they cannot tell young girls not to go abroad as they are eager to find money so they shared with them knowledge of human trafficking and how to act if some problems arise.Sr. Lwin said:  “We can’t ignore the big problem as human trafficking is occurring around our neighbors and even relatives work as brokers and persuade young girls to go abroad.”Another Good Shepherd nun, Sr. Regina HtooHtoo, shared her experience of meeting 15 young girls on a bus when she went to Yangon last February. She talked with them and found out they were on their way to work in Malaysia. “So I brought them to our convent in Yangon and explained about the awareness of human trafficking and showed them a video.” Last she heard was that 13 girls have gone abroad already and two girls came back to their village. Sr. Htoo recalled that when she went to Malaysia two months ago, she met another group of Myanmar young girls and they seemed disappointed. She let them share their difficulties and experiences with her as she listened. One of the young girls gave feedback to her that they feel something in their mind and actually they are thirsty for love. Good Shepherd nuns frequently talk about human trafficking at the youth training sessions and women’s association retreat. Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd congregation was started in 1835 in France by Saint Mary EuphrasiaPelletier. She espoused the principle that “a person is more precious than the whole world.” The order was introduced to Myanmar in 1866 and currently around 40 nuns are serving in five dioceses in Myanmar. Worldwide, more than 5,000 Good Shepherd nuns serve in 71 countries. MY13566.1644


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