29072020 Nigeria2

In John’s gospel chapter 10:10, Jesus revealed that he came that we might have life and have it in abundance.  On the 10th of December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These rights include the right to life, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, social security, the right to own your things, and freedom of movement and association.

These and other rights included in the Declaration are meant to ensure that every human person, no matter the race or gender, in a free and just society, can live life to the full. The activities of heartless, greedy and ungodly men and women engaged in human trafficking for the purposes of sexual slavery, prostitution, organ harvest, forced labor, etc have made it very difficult for many children, young men and women who are victims of this evil to have the fullness of life promised by Jesus and promoted by the UN Declaration on human rights.

As missionary societies, the SMA and OLA are deeply committed to the “most abandoned”, a category in which these victims aptly belong. Our venerable founders Bishop Melchior de Marion Bressilac and Fr Augustine Planque worked and gave their lives for the cause of bringing the fullness of life promised by Jesus to all, especially Africans.

In 2018, the SMA and OLA decided to form a commission comprising of members of our two entities to join in the efforts to combat traffic in persons and its consequences in Nigeria. This Commission whose acronym is SORHT – SMA/OLA Response to Human Trafficking, has as members the following: Sr. Christabel Mashuka OLA, Sr. Gladys Osagie OLA, Sr. Monica Onwundi OLA, Sr. Valentina Adeyemo OLA, Fr. Claude Nikpi SMA, Fr. Cornel-Mario Abi SMA (replaced late Fr. Robert Obro SMA) and Fr. Osbert Egbe SMA.

Our focus as a commission, for now, is to encourage and collaborate with all our members to use our platforms as missionaries, faith leaders, pastors, teachers, administrators, and caregivers to carry out sensitization and awareness activities on the problem of human trafficking. When necessary, we will facilitate the rehabilitation of victims. While the members of the commission work in their different places of apostolate, the office location is in Uromi, Edo State, Nigeria. Fr Francis Rosario SMA and SR Anne Falola OLA represent the SMA and OLA General Councils in the commission.

                                                                                         ByFr Osbert Egbe, SMA