Clogher Diocesan Mothers’ Union marked the ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Against Women’ with a Prayer Vigil, held in Garvary Parish Church on Tuesday, November 27.

The Rector, Canon Betty Thompson welcomed everyone. The Mothers’ Union Chaplain, Rev Charles Eames introduced the Hymns and the organist was Diane Simpson. The Opening Prayers were read by Diocesan President, Irene Boyd.

The Bible Readings were read by Ann Rowley, Ivy Edwards, Freda Beacom and Freda Burleigh. Valerie McMorris introduced and welcomed the speaker, Mervyn Smyth from the Group ‘Ardstraw Against Trafficking.’ Mervyn made a very interesting presentation, highlighting, what is happening in this area.

The group formed in 2013 to make people aware of human trafficking and to provide a voice for victims of human trafficking. Victims have no identity and have their passports taken from them. All present were made aware that those involved in trafficking make a lot of money.

In Northern Ireland £30million is spent on prostitution; victims can be as young as six months. Children can be born into slavery. Also, there is an increasing use of Air bnb for this crime. He urged all present to contact Crime Stoppers if they had any concerns about what was happening within their own area.

The prayers of intercession were read by Barbara Mason, Kathleen Kettyles and Sadie Curran.

In conclusion, Irene Boyd thanked Mervyn for his presentation and highlighted the fact that Mothers’ Union care deeply for violence against women. The large amount of gifts brought to the meeting for Women’s Aid, showed that Mothers’ Union members are generous loving people. Irene encouraged the members to pray for change. Dr. Margaret Knox thanked Mervyn and presented him with a gift. Rachel Gataora from Women’s Aid thanked the Members present for all their generosity in donating so many gifts to Women’s Aid. These items will be given to women, who have to leave their homes in a hurry.

Refreshments were served by members of Garvary Mothers’ Union.