Catholic Junior College students and their beneficiaries from Al-aqsho orphanage in Batam. Catholic Junior College students and their beneficiaries from Al-aqsho orphanage in Batam.

Catholic Junior College (CJC) students recently held an exhibition on human trafficking.

Partnering with EmancipAsia, a local non-governmental organisation, the exhibition was displayed at the school foyer from June 27-July 15 and was an initiative of 21 CJC students to raise awareness of the issue.

It aimed to underscore the relevance of human trafficking to Singapore and also sought to encourage the CJC community to play a part in ending it.

In May, a student-initiated service learning project saw CJC students travelling to Batam to aid orphans and exploited women.

The project was organised out of concern for the issue of human trafficking in Batam and Singapore and also gave students an opportunity to grow in character and uphold the school’s values of truth and love, in service to God and the wider community.

The three-day trip, starting on May 21, involved visits to the Al-Aqsho orphanage and a non-governmental organisation, Yayasan Dunia Viva Wanita  (World Foundation for Women).

At the Al-Aqsho orphanage run by caretaker Ibu Muslimah, the volunteers interacted with 30 sheltered children through activities such as arts and crafts, games, and song and dance. Students held an exhibition that aimed to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking. It was held in the school foyer from June 27-July 15.Students held an exhibition that aimed to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking. It was held in the school foyer from June 27-July 15.

In striving to make a lasting difference, the volunteers also donated shirts, detergent and money to the orphanage and even decorated the orphanage with mural paintings.

The second beneficiary, Yayasan Dunia Viva Wanita, is a foundation dedicated to protecting women and children from human trafficking.

Its Catholic founder is Ms Bridget Tan, a humanitarian and migrant worker activist. Students had the opportunity to interview formerly trafficked women and Ms Tan on human trafficking.

They also learnt about the severity and pervasiveness of human trafficking in the ASEAN region and particularly in Singapore.

With encouragement from Ms Tan, they promised to raise awareness of human trafficking in Singapore.

By Michael Tan

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