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Sr. Imelda Poole
President of RENATE Network
Imelda Poole IBVM (Loreto) is a member of the English Province, who has been on mission in Albania for the last eleven years. IBVM was missioned by the Archbishop in Tirana to work in the field of anti- trafficking. This has led IBVM to work in the field of prevention, awareness raising, advocacy and direct action. Prior to this mission Imelda began ministry as a teacher in secondary education followed by a ministry in formation, spiritual direction, counselling and previous to moving to Albania, Imelda worked for 16 years in grass roots ministry on a council estate in the NE of England. Four years ago the NGO, Mary Ward Loreto(MWL) Foundation, was opened in Tirana. The aim is to focus on the work being developed against trafficking within the philosophy and charism of Mary Ward. Imelda is the President of this Foundation. The main values are Freedom, Justice and Sincerity. In the field of prevention, projects have been established which include a community centre for three Roma communities. Mary Ward Women’s project was established five year ago in 18 rural and informal areas of Albania, for human and economic empowerment with 3,000 women. This project is now managed by MWL. These two groups are the most vulnerable to being trafficked. An Albanian network called URAT works in the field of prevention and campaigning, this network meets at Mary Ward Loreto offices and engage activists in the field. The MWL youth and Men’s projects begun in the last two years works with 1000 youth and men in many regions of Albania. In direct action we have recently opened an education centre for the victims of trafficking, in partnership with the NGO, Different and Equal, who are dedicated to this work. The work in Albania is possible because of the passion of the MWL staff and co- workers. Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation (RENATE) is a European network of religious and co-workers who work in all fields against trafficking in 27 countries of Europe. Imelda is The President of RENATE.