Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Fight Human Trafficking in Tanzania

“Human trafficking and forced prostitution is an on-going crisis in cities throughout Tanzania,” his letter begins. “Sometimes it is happening across borders, but it also happens within a country’s boundaries — enslaving young people and forcing them to work in another region of the country. Internal trafficking is actually the more prevalent here in Tanzania.”


“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

Nelson Mandela

I do hope that you and your loved ones are well. Every day of every week, you are remembered in the prayers and Masses of the Missionaries of Africa. As each of us continues to adjust to the “new normal” of daily living while remaining vigilant in safeguarding our health — many of our Missionaries are reminding me of the ongoing needs of the poor. And while I am sending this letter to you hoping that you can help — I urge you to make sure that you are taking care of your own needs before sharing what you have with our missions.

Having said that — I want to tell you that recently I received a letter from Fr. Francis Kangwa — one of our missionaries in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Fr. Francis serves as the superior of the Missionaries of Africa working in that sector — so he is keenly aware of the urgent needs of the missions in the region. I want to respond to his letter as quickly as possible!

“Human trafficking and forced prostitution is an on-going crisis in cities throughout Tanzania,” his letter begins. “Sometimes it is happening across borders, but it also happens within a country’s boundaries — enslaving young people and forcing them to work in another region of the country. Internal trafficking is actually the more prevalent here in Tanzania.”

Participants at an Anti-Human Trafficking session

“Children from rural communities are often the most vulnerable to trafficking,” Fr. Francis continues. “Traffickers promise desperately poor families education and jobs for children who come to the cities. These traffickers also exploit girls in domestic servitude throughout the country and in sex trafficking, particularly in tourist hubs. Oftentimes, they target young girls from rural and impoverished villages, pay their parents a small fee, and exploit the girls in sex trafficking to businessmen.”

“Traffickers subject children to forced labor on farms in jobs such as cattle herders and laborers, in mines and quarries, on fishing vessels and as domestic workers.”

“To combat the problem, our Missionaries have begun meeting with local officials to make communities aware of the crisis of human trafficking. Our Office of Justice and Peace in Dar es Salaam is focusing on rescuing victims whenever possible — as well as identifying them and helping the victims relocate, get an education and learn the skills needed to find jobs. We are also training local folks on how to recognize those who may be victims of human trafficking and how to rescue them. We offer counseling and health care for the victims as well.”

Leaders of the Anti-Human Trafficking Program

“Our message is to let people know that it is never too late to do a good thing,” Fr. Francis concludes. “It is heartbreaking to see not only young adults who have been forced into labor and prostitution, but teenagers as well. It is sad — even appalling — to see the lives of children being destroyed. I am hoping that you can help us save a child’s life.”

Will you join us in fighting human trafficking? In your own community, you can encourage your local school district to include information about human trafficking in their curricula and to develop a plan for identifying and reporting suspected human trafficking. Perhaps you could consider becoming a mentor to a young person or someone in need. Traffickers often target young people who are going through a difficult time or who lack strong support systems.

Will you also make a donation to help Fr. Francis’ missions in Tanzania in their work to save the lives of children and families who are suffering from this crisis? While we are hoping to raise at least $28,000 for this and other projects in East Africa, please know that any amount you can send will be used to help alleviate the suffering of those in need. Thank you again for all that you do.

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development