6th Sunday in Ordinary time – 12th February 2017

THE MEDAILLE TRUST

The Medaille Trust is a UK Catholic charity that works to eradicate human trafficking and to offer support to those who have been trafficked. Founded ten years ago by Sister Ann Therese of the Order of St Joseph of Annecy, the charity is named after the founder of her order, Fr Jean Pierre Medaille.

It is impossible to fully comprehend the horrors that trafficked people experience and many of them never recover. An extreme example is of a man who was held captive in enforced labour for 30 years, and no less harrowing are the stories of girls locked up and bought and sold across Europe.

The EU requires countries to fund a 45-day recovery and reflection period for victims of human trafficking.  During this time a victim cannot be removed from the UK.  However, the 45-day period is often not enough to help victims overcome the trauma they have experienced so the average stay in a Medaille safe house is 100 days.  Some stay for two years.

As well as caring for the victims, the Medaille Trust is committed to promoting the eradication of human trafficking by raising awareness of modern day slavery. Pope Francis has said: “Every citizen of every country must be made aware of human trafficking and join the fight against it.”

The Trust has an active programme of education and awareness training that reaches out to schools, churches, community groups and other interested parties.  A teaching pack was provided to 453 Catholic secondary schools in 2015.

The Medaille Trust also works with Police Forces, the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority, the Border Force, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency.

Today’s retiring collection at the end of Mass is for the work of the Medaille Trust. The charity has low overheads and almost all the money it raises goes directly to supporting victims in their safe houses. In this country, the work of the Medaille Trust is strongly supported by Cardinal Nichols and most dioceses now have a Diocesan Representative who coordinates a growing number of Medaille volunteers and supporters.

To learn more about the Medaille Trust or about human trafficking please take a copy of the Medaille magazine from the porch or contact your Medaille Diocesan Representative: Anthony Brown at a.brown@medaille-trust.org.uk or  (01200) 422811.

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