(n.) the state of being free.
Liberty is a social enterprise founded by A21 that hires survivors of human trafficking to restore dignity, provide financial stability, and disrupt the demand of slavery. Currently, Liberty produces handmade scarves.
Every purchase of a liberty scarf gives the hope of recovery, independence, and freedom to survivors. By knitting scarves, they are fighting slavery. By purchasing one, you are too.
has taught me
to value myself
and my work."
Founded in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2014, the story of Liberty began with three words–
One young survivor wanted to make a career for herself, but felt she did not have any skills. When our team asked her what she could do, she exclaimed, “I can knit.” From that same day, we told her to get busy knitting because we would figure out the rest. She not only became the basis of the idea for Liberty, but she began teaching other employees her skills as well.
With a clear understanding of their past, Liberty hires survivors and works with them as they begin to thrive in a life of independence.
Currently, Liberty produces homemade scarves. We provide an opportunity for you to disrupt the demand of slavery.
By making these scarves, our survivors are fighting slavery. By purchasing one, you are fighting too. You also help provide community, vocational skills, and income for the survivors in our care.
Like so many women in this world, Valerie was a single mom, trying to make a living to provide for her son. With salaries so low in Bulgaria, she began looking for positions in other countries. A friend told her of an opportunity in the UK where she could go work as a nanny and make three times the money she would make back home. Hoping to save money for her son’s future, she traveled to the UK only to be locked up and become a domestic slave, forced to work and endure violence.
After a nightmare experience, Valerie was rescued and returned home to Bulgaria. Knowing that her most urgent need was to take care of her son, we knew that Liberty could be a part of her story of recovery. Valerie timidly began knitting her first scarf, wondering what exactly this opportunity would mean. Soon, Valerie became a confident leader on the Liberty team. Calm, kind, and hardworking, now Valerie is our trainer for other survivors entering the program.
Working with Liberty helped Valerie let go of fear.
Julia* grew up picking mushrooms and fruit in a small village in the countryside of Bulgaria. She loved this pastime and enjoyed doing it alongside her family—but she saw that everyone around her in the village was struggling. Julia* wanted something more for her life.
When she was offered an opportunity to pick mushrooms in the Netherlands for higher pay, she accepted. She was excited to do what she loved, with job security, and a hope for a better future.
But when she arrived, Julia* discovered that she had been deceived. She was thrown into a house crammed with other foreigners and forced to work from dawn to dusk for little or no pay. She had been trafficked for her labor, enslaved, and trapped. But, after some time, Julia* bravely escaped out of a window and ran to safety.
With the assistance of A21, she was safely repatriated home to Bulgaria. Since coming into our care, she has completed our aftercare program and found employment through our social enterprise, Liberty.
After all of the trauma and abuse she experienced, Julia* has continued to recover step by step. She’s had a safe environment to work in, community to support her, and time to heal. Now, after two stable years of employment, with Liberty on her résumé, Julia* is able to bravely take steps toward a life of full independence.
1. By knitting scarves, survivors are fighting slavery. By purchasing one, so are you. Join @A21 + #Liberty and shop for good this holiday season: A21.org/liberty
2. Buy a scarf, change a life. Join @A21 + #Liberty this holiday season: A21.org/liberty
3. It's so much more than a scarf. Give the gift of hope to survivors of #humantrafficking through #Liberty today: A21.org/liberty @A21
4. #Liberty scarves are made by survivors of #humantrafficking who are now free. Your purchase supports them and helps others: A21.org/liberty @A21
5. Healing. Restoration. And a hopeful future–one scarf at a time. Join the story of freedom this Christmas by purchasing a #Liberty scarf: A21.org/liberty @A21