Generous supporters are helping a Catholic anti-trafficking group to continue its programs and advocacy, despite the organisation losing $125,000 in federal funding in June. Source: Melbourne Catholic.
Following the funding blow, ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) launched a national fundraising campaign and has been overwhelmed with the response.
ACRATH’s executive officer Christine Carolan said the organisation is grateful for the support and the generosity of people, especially religious groups, who responded so willingly to the appeal.
“This appeal not only makes it possible for us to continue our work, but it inspires us work to eliminate human trafficking and slavery in our world. So many people emailed us during the appeal with encouraging messages, urging us to keep going and to continue the fight against human trafficking and forced marriage,” Ms Carolan said.
ACRATH President Sr Noelene Simmons SM said: “While the federal Government grant has been an important part of our funding, our supporters have always been our major contributors. But this time we had to go to them and ask them to give us more, and they did. We also received many donations from people who had not given to ACRATH before who passionately wanted this work to continue.”
Ms Carolan said the fundraising would also provide support for the dozens of ACRATH volunteers across the country, some of whom provide companionship to trafficked women. ACRATH volunteers donated more than 8000 hours of time in the past year, conservatively valued at $238,189.
“More and more Australians are discovering that modern day slavery happens in this country today and often under our very eyes,” Ms Carolan said.
“Young girls are forced to marry; workers are brought into the country and forced to work in slave-like conditions and people who are not paid a living wage produce much of what we eat, buy and use.
“This fundraising support allows us to keep working on these issues. We can’t stop until modern day slavery is wiped out.”
Community and Church donate to keep anti-trafficking group going (Melbourne Catholic)