(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.
From a small village in the countryside, Julia grew up picking mushrooms and fruits. It was a favorite pastime of hers, that she enjoyed doing with her grandma. After graduating high school, Julia realized there were not many opportunities for success in her village. Everyone around her seemed to be struggling and she wanted something more. Some friends of hers learned from someone visiting their village that there was an opportunity to pick mushrooms in the Netherlands that paid a significant amount. To get paid for something she enjoyed doing, she decided to accept. When she arrived to the Netherlands, Julia was thrown into a house, crammed with other Bulgarians and Romanians, and forced to work from sun up to sundown.
After some time, Julia dared what no one else would do. She escaped out of a window and ran down the street to safety. Assisted by A21 to return to Bulgaria, Julia struggled to get back on her feet. She dealt with fear and self-doubt. Upon completion of the A21 aftercare program, Liberty provided a safety net for her. She was able to work in a safe environment, stay connected to A21 staff, and recover at her own pace.
Now, after two stable years of employment, she is able to put Liberty on her resume, as she takes a daring and brave step into a world of opportunities.
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