Europe 2017 HIGHLIGHTS
Deneen and I had a fantastic and very productive time over five weeks and four countries. We shared our knowledge and expertise but we also learned quite a lot as well. Looking forward to returning next year!
- Oradea, Romania: Training over 60 doctors and nurses who work in the public schools about sexual exploitation of youth and what they can do about it.
- Berlin, Germany: Deneen and I leading a two-day learning retreat for Pink Door Berlin staff and volunteers.
- Chisinau, Moldova: Spending a full day listening and pouring into a leader of an organization in crisis.
- Oradea, Romania: I discussed “How to talk about sex”, and Deneen gave a workshop about being “Extraordinary Healers” with 30 local social workers.
- Chisinau, Moldova: Deneen leading social work students through “Case Management 101 for Counter-trafficking Organizations” and then “Extraordinary Healers for Traumatized People”.
- Berlin, Germany: European Freedom Network (EFN) Conference where we got to meet people doing wonderful work all over Europe.
- EFN Conference: I got to speak to a packed audience about “Trauma and the Brain” and lead the formation of the Health Action Group.
- Every location: rich fellowship, cross-cultural connections, delicious food, and learning a lot!
What we learned (several of many points):
- Learning about online sextortion from Abolishion
- How European organizations are challenged to help the continuous influx of refugees in order to prevent even worse things happening to them such as being trafficked for work, sex or both.
- That Europe needs as much help in addressing all aspects of human trafficking – including and especially the area of health and wellness for survivors from beginning through re-integration.
Important note: Traveling to/from and within Europe can be expensive. What I want you, and especially my donors, to know is that I work very hard to cut costs whenever possible. During five full weeks on the road, we did NOT PAY for even one night accommodation. Deneen and I stayed in people’s homes or apartments the entire time, which also reduced the cost of feeding ourselves. This demonstrates the generosity of my partners in Europe and says much about how valuable my time is to them. Some of our travel was reimbursed and sometimes we received a stipend for our work. This greatly helped offset the total cost of the trip.
Here are a couple of statements from my European partners about why it is important for Relentless to continue work in Europe.
“The commitment and dedication with which Dr. Katherine Welch and her Relentless team has for fighting injustice is tenacious. Her years of hands on experience in this topic make her the perfect person to practically equip and train others on issues of trauma, health and self care. She is an valuable resource for us at Pink Door Berlin. She advised us on good practices before we opened our shelter and after care program, and continues her training with us on pertinent topics. She is always up-to-date on the latest methods of healing practices and makes herself available for us when we face difficult situations with participants and staff-care. Her desire for equipping organizations in excellence has greatly benefitted Europe in our fight against human trafficking. And she is a blast to hang out with, which is also a important part of healing.”
Rhonda Philips, Director, Pink Door Berlin
“Dr. Katherine Welch from Relentless is a wealth of cutting edge knowledge when it comes to the physical treatment of survivors of human trafficking. She has been involved in training our staff and volunteers in the areas of working with clients who have sexually transmitted diseases and trauma. She has also helped our team to be comfortable with language and methods to discuss healthy sexual practices with those who have suffered trauma in this area. Katherine has paved the way for us to create discussion and relationship with local medical practitioners as well as upskill them in the needs of survivors and how they may present in their environment. I would highly recommend Katherine to any organisation wanting to provide holistic care and services to survivors of human trafficking and those caught in forced prostitution.” Leanne Rhodes, CEO, Abolishion