On my way home from Maceió, I was patiently waiting for my luggage at the national airport in Sao Paulo, before heading to the international airport for my flight to Montreal. Suddenly, to my utter surprise, I saw a wooden cage, moving along the conveyor belt. Inside sat an imprisoned woman.
A sign, in Portuguese, attached to the cage read: “HUMAN TRAFFICKING - Help Brazil avoid the trap.” You can imagine that I took this photo while thinking of each of you…and this awareness campaign was also found in the women’s bathroom. Written on a mirror in large letters, as if with red lipstick, were the words: “I was a victim. Help Brazil avoid the trap.”
Once I arrived at the international airport of Sao Paolo, I saw a single poster warning that human trafficking and sex tourism are criminal activities.
I realized that this was an innovative way of setting up an awareness campaign at the national airport, for the women from the poor areas of Brazil. 70% of Maceió’s population is poverty stricken and live in proximity to many kilometres of beaches - a dream spot for both tourists and predators.
During the night flight, I was comforted by looking at the photos of 11 young girls, ages 10 to 16, who had been pulled away from street prostitution, through the efforts of the THALITTA PROJECT. This project is sponsored jointly by the SISTERS OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY AND THE SISTERS OF THE HOLY NAMES OF JESUS AND MARY.
And I began to dream: “Being in solidarity with others is at times the only way of being happy.” Am I not right?
Do not let go!
Trafficking is an international issue.
Sister Lise Gagnon s.n.j.m.