Saturday, March 26, 2011
Donate Your Bras and Fight Human Trafficking
Can the old bras in the back of your underwear drawer help fight modern day slavery? Free The Girls says, “YES!” Free The Girls, a new cause-focused company centered around fighting human trafficking, is asking ladies to gather up their gently used bras—and ask friends, family, co-workers and local businesses to do the same.
So clean out your bra drawer and bring your gently used bras to the Broadway United Methodist Church in Maryville on Wednesday, March 30. The UMW Follies will be doing the collection at the front of the church from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Or, please contact Aryn Faughnan at arynf04 (at) gmail (dot) com if you cannot make the event. Faughnan is also looking for someone in Knoxville to organize a collection!
The Broadway UMC is located at 309 East Broadway Avenue, Maryville, TN 37804.
You can also mail your bras directly to:
Free The Girls LLC
8200 S. Quebec St. #A3-137
Centennial, CO 80112
“The bras are sent directly to a safehouse in Mozambique for women who have been rescued out of slavery,” says Kimba Langas, Co-Founder of Free The Girls. “The girls are given the bras as starting inventory for their own micro-business selling the bras. So something that has given us “support” can provide support to other women in need. It’s all about creating opportunities.”
Why bras? In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, a bra is considered a luxury item and status symbol. Normally, women living in the bush do not wear bras, so as soon as they move to the city they seek out a bra as an expression of their newfound cosmopolitanism. But the bras have value on another level as well. The incident of rape is epidemic there (in fact, it’s been said that in South Africa one in three men have admitted to raping a woman). Some women claim that those who wear bras get raped less, because the would-be rapist assumes that if she has a bra on, she must have lived in the city for a while and is more well-connected - whereas a girl fresh from the countryside is a much higher target to be taken advantage of. Free The Girls believes that helps explain why used bras command top-dollar in the used-clothing market in Mozambique—as much as $2.00 per bra, which is a full day’s minimum wage there. Langas adds, “Most of the women at the safehouse are in school, are mothers, and are HIV/AIDS-positive, so holding down a regular job is very difficult for them. They can sell the bras on their own time and make good money doing so."
For more information, visit www.freethegirls.com or find them on Facebook.
Thank you to Sarah and Candace for inspiring this post and to Aryn for all her hard work!