During Comboni’s time Africa was still suffering from one of the worst evils ever imagined. Millions of Africans were being uprooted from their land and environment and taken to far away places, treated like merchandise.
Comboni made every effort to involve the European nations in his struggle against slavery. As he could not achieve the desired results, he decided to set his Plan in motion to ransom men, women and children from that miserable situation.

From his Writings:
“Among the many evils which torment the poor people of Central Africa, one of the worst is the evil that I myself have seen practised among the people who live along the White Nile - the violent or clandestine abduction of poor human beings, who have as precious a soul and as noble a heart as we do, and especially the abduction of children, boys and girls.
This awfully moral and inhuman aberration is partly [] the result of the depraved greed of the strongest and the most powerful, who only wants to improve his own wealth through the slave trade.
As I write these things, there are hundreds and thousands of victims who, due to war and merchants’ greed, are torn away from their country, exposed to all kinds of evils and condemned to see their parents no more nor the land where they were born, but to sigh all their life under the most cruel bond of slavery.”
Letter to the Society of Cologne, 1867, Writing n. 1816.