It has been reported that about 50 million people were victims of modern day slavery in any given day in 2021, and trafficking remains one of the most lucrative criminal industries in the world. While most people realize the perversity of trafficking, many feel helpless in being able to make a difference in stopping this pervasive evil. However, the daunting nature of the task of overturning the industry hasn’t discouraged everyone from getting involved. A number of individuals and organizations set out to stop trafficking and other processes that take advantage of others. Amongst these is a network of nuns looking to make a difference.
The Sisterhood in Service
There are 650,000 nuns in 190 countries around the world, and they don’t always don the traditional black and white garb that most people think of. Chances are, you’ve likely crossed close paths with a nun and didn’t even know it. Some of them are founders of health care systems, some board members, and others business owners, but they together serve as a crisis response team, running toward disastrous situations to bring aid to those in need. 24/7, these brave women are hard at work helping refugees rebuild their lives, providing life saving healthcare to poverty stricken locations, and supporting victims of sexual exploitation.
Building Ties Through Sisters Rising Worldwide
As one of the nuns serving alongside her fellow sisters, Irene O’Neill realized that while they all were passionately making a difference in thousands of lives, the nuns in various parts of the globe were not as connected with one another as they could have been. With 1,900 different orders of sisters serving worldwide, each order was somewhat distanced from the other. “So we built a platform,” O’Neill says. Hence, in 2017, Sisters Rising Worldwide was born.
Sisters Rising Worldwide is the most prolific movement of, by, and for women in the history of the world. Run by a network of nuns across the globe, the organization seeks to connect sisters with one another, share their work, and seek funds that can help them fight to eradicate the root causes of poverty. Whether the root cause be transportation, water, or other needed resources, the goal is to meet the needs of those suffering from systemic inequalities around the world. “Trafficking is a big problem,” O’Neill explains. Thus, the group prioritizes finding ways to reach the women affected by the destructive industry. By studying the trafficking industry, SRW has not only been able to give direct service to survivors, but also use education and awareness to prevent others from being trafficked before it is too late.
Sisters Rising Worldwide has recently seen drastic growth. In between the years 2021 and 2022, the platform doubled in size. O’Neill hopes to continue this growth and connect all serving nuns through SRW. “I’ve always known that we as sisters could change the trajectory of the world,” she says. As Sisters Rising Worldwide continues to put resources toward fighting inequality through practical means, O’Neill’s organization stands to play a big part in bringing about systemic equality for women everywhere.
To support the mission of Sisters Rising Worldwide and keep up with their work, visit their website.