In the last two months, CHTEA has trained representatives of 2 Commissions from the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  1. The Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism 

Led by the KCCB Deputy Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Lucas Ong’esa Manwa, the Commission (in collaboration with AGIAMONDO) brought together over 30 priests, representing all Dioceses in Kenya to a physical Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 16th – 19th November 2020 at the Roussel House, Donum Die, Karen, Nairobi.

CHTEA was invited to deliver a counter human trafficking training session on the first day where participants benefited from deep insights in to the subject. The priests were deeply touched by the plight of trafficked victims and began to appreciate more about the role of the Church. Even though most priests got to be in such a training for the first time, a majority of them testified that it was possible that human trafficking was happening in their backyards for lack of capacity and appropriate skills. Towards the end, the Priests got very keen to get started at the Diocesan level. It was such an amazing opportunity for the priests to engage with such soul searching content on human trafficking.

  1. The Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Sea Fearers

The training was the culmination of a concerted effort by the Catholic Church in general to strengthen counter human trafficking efforts in Kenya. Through a number of initiatives such as the Santa Marta Group Conference in 2019/20 and the growing coalition of the Religious Against Human Trafficking (RAHT), the Church is continuously getting the human trafficking concern into the center of her core priorities.

The Commission brought together participants from all the 25 Dioceses. It particularly targeted Coordinators of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC), the Refugees and the Catholic Men and Women Associations.

Even though the October 2020 training marked a good start, it only offered the bare minimum of a body knowledge that the entire Church requires in order to engage in a more robust and efficient manner to combat human trafficking.

This particular training was undertaken during a period of restrictions by the Ministry of Health due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this respect therefore, the trainers and their trainees were only able to interact virtually (through Zoom virtual platform) hence, there was limited ability to engage in more teaching ways such as role plays or use of other teaching aids. The trainers were also not able to clearly measure the level of concentration and understanding on the part of trainees. Online trainings have never been easy to evaluate hence, the trainees’ oral feedback was the only means through which both the convener (KCCB) and the trainers could rely on.

A short video clip was projected showing three trafficked Karamoja girls from Uganda being transported through crowded streets of Nairobi to their point of delivery. A method of question and answer was also used to pick on the participants’ areas of concern and inadequacy. Towards the end of the training programme, participants were invited to provide feedback on their own observations or gaps identified during the sessions. One key feedback entailed the request by a Priest participant that such a training is essential for Priests at large as they were the key custodians of the Christian community.

Above: A section of the priests who attended the counter human trafficking training at Roussel House, Nairobi.

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