February 12th, 2013
07:25 PM ET

Bras offer lifeline to rescued slaves

Editor’s note: Watch “Mozambique or Bust” on CNN International: Friday, February 15 at 1630 GMT, Saturday Feb. 16 at 1400 GMT and 2130 GMT, and repeats Sunday until Wednesday.

Denver, Colorado (CNN) – Tashina was trafficked for sex when she was 15-years-old. Ofelia, when she was 12.

Tashina finds it helpful to talk about it. “We lived in darkness,” she said. For Ofelia, talking about the past is too painful. She just winds up crying.

But both women smile broadly as they talk about their future. A future filled with promise and hope, thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger half a world away from their home in Mozambique.

Kimba Langas is a college-educated, stay-at-home mom in suburban Denver, Colorado. She says she grew up in a middle class family with loving parents, never wanting for anything.

“I am fortunate,” Langas said. “I was born at the right time, in the right country, under the right circumstances, so I've had many privileges as a woman growing up in the United States. I've had just about every opportunity I could want.”

Her life could not be more different from those of Tashina and Ofelia. And yet, today these three women are connected in a most unusual way.

The story began when Langas got a call from Dave Terpstra, a former pastor at her church. He had just moved his wife and three children to Mozambique on a mission to help rehabilitate women who had been rescued from sex trafficking.

“The way people find themselves trafficked is normally out of desperation,” Terpstra said. “I think sometimes we have in our mind that somebody somewhere has a gun and they're stealing them away and selling them. But so often, people are taken advantage of simply because they're so vulnerable.”

Terpstra wanted to help them find jobs, a sustainable income that would make them less vulnerable and reduce their risk of being trafficked again.

He found his answer in the bustling used clothing markets of Mozambique.

They could sell bras, a luxury item that enables them to earn about three times the minimum wage.

Read how actress Mira Sorvino says everyone can play a role in fighting human trafficking

Together, Terpstra and Langas founded the charity Free the Girls. She collects donated bras in the United States and he delivers them to sex trafficking survivors to sell.

“Bras actually command the highest price per kilogram in the used clothing market over there,” Langas said. “And so for our girls, why not provide them inventory that they can not only make money off of, but make good money off of?”

They tested the program ahead of time and the girls were able to make three times the minimum wage selling the bras.

Langas created a Facebook page to ask people to send her their bras. She figured there were other women, like her, with a “bra graveyard.”

“I had probably five or six bras in the back of my drawer,” she said. “As women, we buy a bra, don't try it on, get it home, wear it once, it doesn't fit... so we all have these bras hanging around that we don't know what to do with.”

Her plea resonated with thousands of women across the U.S. and bras started pouring in. Her home was quickly overrun by boxes and bins of bras. She stored them in her basement and her garage. She stored some at her church.

Within just a few months, Langas had more than 20,000 bras – and a big problem. She could not afford the $6,500 it would cost to ship them all to Africa.

That’s when the story was featured on CNN, and everything changed.

“I got up early the next morning after the story aired and the first email that was waiting for me was from a man named Paul who has a shipping company in Chicago,” Kimba said. “He saw the story and reached out to offer us assistance with shipping the bras to Mozambique.”

Paul Jarzombek is director of operations at LR International. He says he was very moved by the story.

“I have a 12-year-old daughter myself and immediately that's what I thought of was my own daughter,” he said. “I was horrified, quite frankly, that these girls could be sold into this kind of slavery and probably like most Americans, sort of naive about the fact that these things happen so readily.”

His act of kindness led to another when a truck driver offered to put the bras in the back of his 18-wheeler and drive them from Denver to Chicago. Rick Youngquist had recently joined Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization that educates long-haul truck drivers about how to spot signs of human trafficking on the road.

“Now that I know what's going on out there, I can't just ignore it,” Youngquist said. “I mean, I think this human trafficking thing is just a horrendous thing.”

So Youngquist drove the bras, now totaling 34,000, to Chicago where Jarzombek loaded them into a shipping container and sent them on their way.

Langas cried as she watched his truck pull away. She thought about the thousands of women who helped make it happen.

“Sometimes we know why they were inspired to send to us and sometimes we don't,” she said. “So you can only imagine what compelled them to box up a bra and send it our way.”

She also thought about the young women on the other end, and the opportunity the bras represent for them.

Three months later, the bras arrived in Maputo, Mozambique's capital city.

A lifeline for Tashina and Ofelia - and a most unusual weapon in the war against modern-day slavery.

“I am happy, very happy, to know that I have a lot,” Tashina said, “a normal family. I am very happy.”

And she is quick to thank the people who made it possible.

"I just want to tell the people in America, they've given us the strength we needed. Thank you very much,” she said.

The success of this project has led Free the Girls to look outside Mozambique, even beyond Africa. They now have plans to start operations in El Salvador, Kenya, Mexico and Uganda later this year.

See how you could help

After this story was first published the Mozambique Embassy in the U.S. issued a statement which read: "We commend CNN International for raising awareness of this malaise which affects thousands of people and including our own Mozambican people.

"The Government of Mozambique is working in a comprehensive legislation and law enforcement, in accordance with international agreements and protocols, to prevent these actions to occur and bring to justice all perpetrators of these acts."


soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Kenyan

    Why is it that despite all the aid being poured in the continent is roughly the same, sure there are some countries better than others, but even then why is the same mess still around. I mean its been at least 50 years since independence and still little hope. I think its time we ignore the continent and let them rise out of the ashes on their own.

    February 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • Seyedibar

      Their penchant for slavery is directly proportionate to how Christian the nation is. Mozambique is 60% Catholic and Mormon, and biblical passages are often used to justify slavery and the subservience of women, just as it was once done here in the USA. Human rights watch groups have also seen the slave trade ramp up steeply in Uganda where they are undergoing a huge revival of christian tradition

      February 13, 2013 at 6:36 am | Reply
      • Miguel

        This is false and scurrilous.

        February 13, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • rose

        Wake up and smell the incense, Miguel.

        February 13, 2013 at 11:53 am |
      • bannister

        Seyedibar – That is absolute nonsense. The slavery in Africa today is almost 100% MUSLIM. Do a Google search for the words Muslim Modern Day Slave Trade and you'll find all the information you need.

        Instead of blaming Christians you should thank them – it is Christian relief organizations that are doing the hard work in the trenches to counteract the slave trade. And it you read the CNN story, you'll see it's white American Christians who founded this "Free The Girls" bra organization to end slavery.

        February 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • Lvmylife

        Why don't we do a little more research before we "interpret" religious beliefs for the CNN world!

        February 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
      • Mary

        You are fos

        February 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • RM

        Not a shred of truth in your numbers and the relationship of christian populations in Africa to the slave trade. In fact its quite the opposite. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/03/world/mauritania.slaverys.last.stronghold/index.html frequently even today, christian african populations and african muslim populations are enslaved to Arab/Berber muslims. conquest and racism is not restricted to one religon over another. Do a wickipedia search on modern slavery and you'll see that power and wealth are the driving force behind slave trade. your twisted agenda is exposed!

        February 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • Obam

        Why do hostile globalist elite support Israel as a Jewish ethnostate with Jewish only immigration, but vigorously undermine white majority Europe and America with mass 3rd world immigration?

        One question for gullible whites:

        Why do you support hostile Jews like puppies, even when it costs trillions in debt, Jewish stranglehold on our banks, media, espionage, and maims millions of white soldiers' in useless wars?

        While East Asia is 99% yellow, Africa is 99% Black, white people are being annihilated.

        February 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • IanWoo

        bannister, why search for "Muslim" Modern Day Slave Trade? If you include the word "Muslim", don't you know that's going to affect your search results?

        ALSO, unfortunately, you can't really tell anyone to "google it" anymore. Google is very different from how it used to be. When I search using the same terms as you do, I will get different results.

        If you want to learn anything beyond trivia, it's going to actually take some effort.

        February 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • adh1729

        Obam: the answer to your questions is, the USA underwent a hostile takeover over a century ago. USA is now the land of debris, and the home of the slave. Democracy in the USA is an illusion.

        February 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • Joe

        Expalin mauritania then dumazz. one in ever five people there is in bondage.

        February 13, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • Jim Weix

        Interesting. Slavery was blacks owning blacks long before the white population caught on to the idea.

        February 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
      • Sue Perlative

        Look at the history of slavery. It was muslim traders (kidnappers) who kidnapped people from Africa and brought them to america to be slaves. And slavery is thriving in muslim countries today.

        BTW, this gives new meaning to the word "support"

        February 14, 2013 at 12:16 am |
      • Love From Africa

        Kenyan, which aid are you talking about, Bras? I am not against people helping other people, but should we celebrate every little thing as far as it is coming from the Lovely westerners to the impoverished Africans? That my friend is the reason most African countries never moved forward. But do not worry, We are doing it ourselves now.
        Africa needed partners right from the start but what we got was masters and now Aid givers (used bras celebrated by CNN like......It is a western Political game, but we are almost over it.).
        Like I said do not bother, we will get there.
        Since Africa countries started building partners outside the West, we've known fewer wars, GDP is averaging 5.0%, light rail trains are being built in many cities, so many developmental projects (count how many the West is involved in).
        Hate China, but they are our partners (though to be watched).
        That my good Friend, Kenyan, is what everyone needs to move forward and what aid never brings

        February 14, 2013 at 5:10 am |
      • Annalisa

        What a bunch of hogwash. You obviously do not study statistics. When Christianity rises in a country so does the wealth.Brazil is a current example of this. Did you notice who started this mission? You are an ignorant fool.

        February 16, 2013 at 7:09 am |
      • EducatedFemaleMuslimAndProud

        Bannister::::

        Muslim? Thank the Christians? Why must we always bring religion into everything? If only ignorance was bliss, you'd quite possibly be the happiest person in the world. Not only did you bring religion into this, but you brought race. It has nothing to do with being white, black, brown, yellow, purple – the slave trade still exists in all races and religions. So please don't go preaching your "Holier than thou", because you are not fooling anyone. Human trafficking happens here right here in America, everyday. It happens everywhere, so blaming this on Muslims is very inaccurate. As a former Christian and convert to Islam, I am Muslim and proud. Please educate yourself on what is really happening in the world, what you see on television is not that of the Muslim religion, it is of extremist – which as you should know come in every religion and race. What you and so many others don't see is that those who truly follow the word of Allah and the Qu'ran are peaceful, it is a religion of love and kindness. Did you know that in order to truly believe in Islam, we must believe in Jesus in fact, we hold Jesus with the same regards of Muhammad – a messenger of Allah (God). It shouldn't be about religion or race, it should only be about helping those in need!

        February 17, 2013 at 3:33 am |
      • aa

        muslims and christians should both be wiped out and the world will be a thousand times better

        February 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Versamok

      I take when you say "they" your not African. However you will be excused for your ignorance. If you want to understand how "AId" works in non-western countries ( I refuse to use the term developing... 3rd world etc), you should read the book "DEAD AID" by Moyo

      February 13, 2013 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • Judge Dredd

        Millions donated to Haiti and yet that country is still crap. Millions donated to Ethiopia and that country is still crap. The quote "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" says it all. We keep giving and giving and they only just reach out and never learn how to do anything on their own. Usually their corrupt government steps in first and takes the best parts while leaving little to none for the rest.

        You can also pin point this to unnecessary breeding tactics. Sure most people have he ability to bear children but should they? Too many people out there breeding and not having the means to take care of them. Celebs are almost as bad. They use their ability to give birth (which over 3 billion women can do) and show off aka Beyonce who I still believe never gave birth. Start sterilizing and soon this problem will go away.

        BTW did you know GW Bush almost tripled the amount of money/aid sent to Africa when he was president? Kanye sure was wrong.

        February 13, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • Doug

        How is Ethiopia still "crap"? The country has one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world since 2004.

        February 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • dingding

        Lots of Ethiopians, Eritrians, and Somalians drive all the taxi cabs. They had displaced the Mexicans, In New York most are Iraqi's.

        February 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • Reality Check

        The simple fact is that long term aid doesn't work. It only makes things worse.

        If there's a natural disaster, by all means we should help them. If it's a systemic, cultural issue that's causing their problems ( which is very often the case ) we should stay out of it. As they say, you can't fix stupid.

        February 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • boh1066

        you can't fix stupid? seriously? that's what you think. that an entire continent is filled with stupid people and that's why there is trouble. how about this scenario boy-o....white colonials leave causing a vacuum to develop where leadership is concerned. having no idea how to govern b/c they were treated as property for years, unrest develops. those who can garner power fastest 'win'. that's not stupidity, it's humanity's instinct to survive. maybe things wouldn't be quite so desperate for quite so many, if colonialism never existed. but you won't listen. like you said, "you can't fix stupid." thank you for proving it.

        February 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • doughnuts

        boh1066, look on Google for "average IQs by country", and look for all the countries with averages below 80.

        February 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Love From Africa

        No.....No, The problem here is most of you guys are ignorant on the happenings around the world...When it comes to Africa, I hate to hear Americans or Westerners (most of whom sometimes live on state benefits) analyse Africa.
        Every country has a journey and Africa 20 years ago is not Africa of today just as the next decade will be.
        I hate when CNN and its likes celebrate charity to bring the people they proclaim to help to nobody in the eyes of the world.
        I am not part of those who pray you to stop your western Africa news style...NO.You know why? We are now educated and most of us cannot be used anymore. At the end of the day, it is your people (most right here) who will lose out from what the world really is

        February 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
      • Robert

        Give a man a fish he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will spend every weekend at the lake drinking beer.

        February 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Ted

      If Christians and europeans were to leave africa today you would See a change for the better. Europeans have destroyed africa and they continue to sück its blood. while pretending to help!
      .
      A trick they have been performing for ages.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • Mary

        BS.

        February 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • Blah

        I'm with Mary and i'm calling BS on this one as well. Either you are so completely underinformed that you are just exposing your ignorant feelings for the world to see or you are a hired internet troll. I'm not sure which and i'm not sure that it matters.

        February 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • tom LI

        To blah – I can get paid to troll....? Where? Who's hiring?

        February 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • doughnuts

        Colonialism was the best thing to ever happen to Africa.
        The end of Colonialism is one of the reasons why most of the continent is such a mess.

        February 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • musings

        You seem not to have heard of the long historic role that Arab traders played in the slave trade, even before they were converted to Islam in the 700's or thereabout. Their trade routes are very old in Africa, and they were at it during the Roman Empire as well – maybe back in Egyptian eras. So getting rid of Europeans and Christians will not change the situation for the black people if they are still trafficked by someone.

        February 13, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • Joe

        If every european left africa there would be no one to keep the lights on and the cell phones working.

        Spend some time there, like longer than a week, and you will know this is true.

        February 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
      • Love From Africa

        No.....No, The problem here is most of you guys are ignorant on the happenings around the world...When it comes to Africa, I hate to hear Americans or Westerners (most of whom sometimes live on state benefits) analyse Africa.
        Every country has a journey and Africa 20 years ago is not Africa of today just as the next decade will be.
        I hate when CNN and its likes celebrate charity to bring the people they proclaim to help to nobody in the eyes of the world.
        I am not part of those who pray you to stop your western Africa news style...NO.You know why? We are now educated and most of us cannot be used anymore. At the end of the day, it is your people (most right here) who will lose out from what the world really is

        February 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • Brian

        @Love for Africa. I am an American and I agree with you 100%. The majority of Americans can tell you what Taylor Swift wore to the Grammy's, yet most don't even know that North Korea just detonated it's 3rd Nuclear bomb. Even US intelligence don't know if this wal a plutonium bomb, as the first two, or if they have stepped up to a lighter weight uranium Bomb. I feel it's safe to say that as many as 75% of Americans have no idea how the rest of the world feels about them. They seem to believe the world owes the USA a big hug and a giant Teddy Bear. Most are materialistic pigs. Please keepin mind there are still plenty of us who are aware that many of the countries we"help", donot want it from us. People from other countries are just as innovative as the US. Some of us agree with you 100%.

        February 14, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • peridot2

      Simple: a complete lack of natural resources.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
      • thatguydownsouth

        Africa is a major source of ALL natural resources.

        February 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • musings

        One of the problems in Africa is that they are driven out of certain places by drought and fertile lands turning to desert, something which created the Sahara and continues to make it grow bigger. Also, in spite of this, modern ways allow the population to grow and put pressure on resources. A lot of Africans are having trouble, but more are actually doing well than ever before.

        February 13, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Love From Africa

        No.....No, The problem here is most of you guys are ignorant on the happenings around the world...When it comes to Africa, I hate to hear Americans or Westerners (most of whom sometimes live on state benefits) analyse Africa.
        Every country has a journey and Africa 20 years ago is not Africa of today just as the next decade will be.
        I hate when CNN and its likes celebrate charity to bring the people they proclaim to help to nobody in the eyes of the world.
        I am not part of those who pray you to stop your western Africa news style...NO.You know why? We are now educated and most of us cannot be used anymore. At the end of the day, it is your people (most right here) who will lose out from what the world really is

        February 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • Brian

        Thatguydownsouth- has is correct. Africa, South America, both have most of the worlds raw materials on hand. Fact is, we import many of these resources for our own use. One item comes to mind, The Rubber Tree. It is not domestically grown in the US. Many people who post here are basing their accusations and comments on 100% false information.

        February 14, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • African Princess

      Stop the judgement and tell your Western Governments to STOP African Corrupt leaders and Parties!!
      FYI – By collecting your used bras, we will save your tax money by reducing your landfill ... so, thank us for that, actually!

      February 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • brad

        Do you parasites on the world have no pride???? Africans are an evolutionary dead end and it is more humane to let you all die off.

        February 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • African Princess

        I see you haven't read your history ... no comment.

        February 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • peridot2

        Seriously, you think we threw those bras into the landfills brand new and unworn? We donate them to Goodwill or our friends who can wear them. Now we gladly send them to Africa instead. We don't throw them away. How wasteful do you think Americans are? No way did we waste them before, but we're glad to help others.

        February 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • lazurite

      Kenyan – true, but that doesn't mean we cannot be compassionate to those in the meantime. If an act as simple as donating unwanted bras will help a 12-year old get out of trafficking, then I support it.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • BobPitt

      Sorry!!! After looking at the picture for a moment I thought someone had cleaned under my bed

      February 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • ebenezer

      i second you on that great statement. Here in America, and most other "white" countries, the weather (climate) viz winter seasons, summer (scorching) is unfavorable that they have to result to artificial means of agricultural production. And what do Africa blessed with natural resources do, abuse it and continue to hope for miracles.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
      • Love From Africa

        No.....No, The problem here is most of you guys are ignorant on the happenings around the world...When it comes to Africa, I hate to hear Americans or Westerners (most of whom sometimes live on state benefits) analyse Africa.
        Every country has a journey and Africa 20 years ago is not Africa of today just as the next decade will be.
        I hate when CNN and its likes celebrate charity to bring the people they proclaim to help to nobody in the eyes of the world.
        I am not part of those who pray you to stop your western Africa news style...NO.You know why? We are now educated and most of us cannot be used anymore. At the end of the day, it is your people (most right here) who will lose out from what the world really is

        February 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • helicohunter

      Many governments of African countries are unstable and corrupt. Some aid money lines pockets and some just doesn't reach everyone in need. War destroys a lot of the progress made previously. Much aid goes towards food and basic infrastructure like roads, water, and electricity. Social services for people like these girls are virtually non-existent. That's why non-governmental agencies are needed to fill the gaps. Kudos to Langas and others like her who find a simple need which turns out to have a big effect.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Love From Africa

      No.....No, The problem here is most of you guys are ignorant on the happenings around the world...When it comes to Africa, I hate to hear Americans or Westerners (most of whom sometimes live on state benefits) analyse Africa.
      Every country has a journey and Africa 20 years ago is not Africa of today just as the next decade will be.
      I hate when CNN and its likes celebrate charity to bring the people they proclaim to help to nobody in the eyes of the world.
      I am not part of those who pray you to stop your western Africa news style...NO.You know why? We are now educated and most of us cannot be used anymore. At the end of the day, it is your people (most right here) who will lose out from what the world really is

      February 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • wm

      That would be extremely short sighted. China is heavily investing in Africa in order to secure future access to their natural resources – we should pay attention.

      February 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Love From Africa

      Kenyan, which aid are you talking about, Bras? I am not against people helping other people, but should we celebrate every little thing as far as it is coming from the Lovely westerners to the impoverished Africans? That my friend is the reason most African countries never moved forward. But do not worry, We are doing it ourselves now.
      Africa needed partners right from the start but what we got was masters and now Aid givers (used bras celebrated by CNN like......It is a western Political game, but we are almost over it.).
      Like I said do not bother, we will get there.
      Since Africa countries started building partners outside the West, we've known fewer wars, GDP is averaging 5.0%, light rail trains are being built in many cities, so many developmental projects (count how many the West is involved in).
      Hate China, but they are our partners (though to be watched).
      That my good Friend, Kenyan, is what everyone needs to move forward and what aid never brings.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:08 am | Reply
    • Brian

      If we were to do that, half of the world population would perish....why do you have a problem with OTHERS donating their own property to someone. I'd be my left arm if I offered you a Cartier watch or sun glasses, you would gratefully accept? Well, to these women, this apparel is of the same value to them. You probably feel the same about homeless Vets I would imagine.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:24 am | Reply
    • CA Liberal

      Africa had a tribal society and a functioning social system until Europe "discovered" it about 500 years ago. The slave trade and colonization began destroying it right away. The Arabs helped the slave trade by doing most of the village raiding and selling the slaves to the Europeans. Europe kept the Africans in colonial servitude until after WW I. Yes its been 50 years, but these people have not been able to reform their society yet. We need to help them but they are the ones who have to do it.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • John

      It seems like many of you do not have a clue about how much Africa has progressed. Mozambique–the subject of this story–emerged from decades of war, sponsored in large part by South Africa during the apartheid regime. Today, the economy is much improved, streets are being re-built, and there is a burgeoning and gas industry. One dark story does not mean the entire continent is hopeless! Africa in fact has been one of the best places to invest over the past 2 decades. I am an American living in Africa, and I can say without reservation that more countries are on their way up than on their way down. Don't be cynical–foreign aid has made a big difference!

      February 16, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • jems

      just as Debra responded I am taken by surprise that a mother can earn $6092 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you look at this web link wOw92.ℂOℳ

      February 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  2. MD

    How refreshing to read a news story about people who really love other people.
    I cannot imagine anyone cold enough to not appreciate the effort these people are making.

    February 13, 2013 at 2:54 am | Reply
    • clevercandi

      I've been reading some of the comments and I was thinking the same thing.

      Kudos to all who are involved in this worthwhile project!

      February 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  3. Isak Westraad

    Reblogged this on Westraad Missions and commented:
    So glad to hear this is happening in our country, i know how horrible the trade is here in Mozambique!

    February 13, 2013 at 2:55 am | Reply
  4. Marmotte

    Fantastic story. Shoes, though not as easy to pack and ship, are good, too. I worked for a company that did business in Africa and we used to get letters from kids asking for shoes – they must have gotten our company's address from our business cards or brochures left there from our representatives.

    February 13, 2013 at 5:35 am | Reply
    • 123elle

      Boy, that breaks my heart. Little kids asking for shoes- something I so took for granted - not just for myself, but for my kid. Shoe shopping was just a fun day for us, choosing the right styles and sizes, and clothes to match them. We weren't rich by U.S. standards but those kids in Africa (who really need shoes to protect their feet from ghastly dangers) would be stunned to see how easy and carefree it was to obtain shoes. I would like to help provide shoes for those kids. And as to those people provoking on this board with their heartless comments, you know you are not really that evil. Why don't you let some compassion grow in your hearts for the innocent?

      February 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  5. Judge Dredd

    Stop sending money to these countries. We are only making the problem worse. Like this one bum, poeple would give him food and he just kept coming back for more and more like a dog. People stopped giving and he died. Now the neighborhood doesn't smell anymore. Success!

    February 13, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • peridot2

      Judge Dredd thus proves he failed to read the article, or that he failed to comprehend its meaning.

      No one is sending money to this country, lackwit. We are sending *bras.*

      February 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
      • Reality Check

        The only functional difference is that bras are harder for corrupt government officials to take and deposit in their bank accounts.

        February 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • JW

      I agree; how short-sighted. We aren't giving these women "fish." We are giving them "fishing rods" so that they may provide for themselves.

      It's always so interesting to hear someone who doesn't realize how much they have been given as a result of when and to whom they were born. Absent the exposure or experience to empathize with others from different backgrounds, they so freely prescribe what is best for those persons.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • Kauscott

        Okay that's just hateful and disgusting. I posted about acknowledging and offering help locally not cutting off help to others.

        February 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  6. hommie12

    What women in this part of Africa would these bras fit. Seem to be a bit too big.

    February 13, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • BobPitt

      They are not American women..!! they will be a bit small..

      February 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  7. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    I love seeing people work together to make the world a better place.
    too bad we aren't setting up a shop there, where they make their own bras and expand the business, and stability, from there

    February 13, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • peridot2

      Make them from what? mud and parasites? There are no natural resources for these women. This is working, don't interfere with something that's working.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
      • Reality Check

        Africa has some of the richest natural resources in the world.

        February 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Most the time I like whats attached to the bra's

    February 13, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • dingding

      Kevin that is funny. Likewise, people like what is hidden under your underwear.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
      • peridot2

        It's not funny and the only one who likes what's in Kevin's underwear is Kevin. Go play with your sockpuppet, Kevin.

        February 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  9. vpk

    front page breaking news???

    February 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • wolf

      Yes, it is.
      Good people are more important than bad people.
      we mix it up way too much, and put th emphasis on all the wrong things.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • thatguydownsouth

      Its a slow news day when theyre talking about African aid.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • peridot2

      The world revolves around Vpk and what he thinks is important. Evident this doesn't include poor women in Africa.

      February 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  10. Frustrated

    Serioulsy, I am frustrated with missionarys, caring poeple etc going to other countries and do oh so much for them. Why dont these poeple focus on whats happening here, finding ways to help the poeple of our country?! It doesnt make sense to me at all.

    February 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • Blah

      I don't disagree with you. I'm not fooled into believing that Peace Corps volunteers are genuinely in these places to make a life long difference. After knowing many volunteers I find that many use the chance to "help" for selfish reasons. It may range from soul searching to the need to convert others to their religion but once they have fulfilled their selfish needs, they stop "helping" and go back from which they came. If they did care about helping, they would never leave and would not only care about helping people learn to farm etc. but also teaching the need to protect their culture and belief system. If it was truly about helping, they would walk down the street in their own country and help at the local soup kitchen and try to get the homeless back on their feet.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • JeniB

      There are people working here in the U.S. too. Many missionaries. It's not a decision to flippantly make (to move to another country). These people have left their "comfortable" lifestyles to love the broken hearted, the poor, the orphans, etc. It makes no sense to be frustrated with people who have a different calling than you yourself have. Like I said, there's plenty of missionaries here in the U.S. being missionaries here, in the U.S. There's also people from other countries who come here to be missionaries. Luke 4:24 in the Bible says that "no prophet is accepted in his hometown." I'm proud of these people who lay their lives down for their "friends". They are truly the hands and feet for many who can't do this amazing deed. I'm not able to go to another country to do the work that they are doing, but I am able to help out financially and with prayers. It's not a lost cause.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  11. Nicolette

    Nice but who is going to teach these countries to fend for themselves? They may need our white republicans to teach them! :D

    February 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  12. townwhispers

    She went in search of love but found death instead •Story of widow killed by her lover for money ritual
    visit:

    http://thetownwhispers.blogspot.co.uk/

    February 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  13. Stephen

    My wife would have no use for this nonsense. She burned her bras long ago .. in Berkeley in the 60's, in fact, and has enjoyed the freedom of being a liberated woman ever since this. Those babies swing free & proud and we both love it.

    February 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • Tom Lyon

      Bras are not meant to oppress women. They were invented by a woman so she wouldn't have to wear a corset.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Jerome Horowitz

      My wife tried that, but they kept banging into her knees......

      February 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      She can probably put those fun bags in her pants pockets now. That is nothing to be proud of.

      February 13, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  14. Good one

    Fantastic. Now they can finally get all the Iingerie they need at work for free. Save their p1mps on cash.

    Me? Oh, I'll keep burning bras. Wasn't that supposed to be the thing that helps women be more free?

    I just can't keep this stuff straight anymore. I guess I'll just check out some more online p0rn. At least I know that it is s3x-slave free...

    February 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Reply
    • peridot2

      Today's First Prize for Lack of Reading Comprehension goes to Good one. Read the article again, lackwit.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  15. Kauscott

    What about the victims of human trafficking in the United States? What will we do for them? Can we at least acknowledge them?

    February 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • NYC_Disaster

      You know that there are agencies here in the US that deal with human trafficking as well? Some people act like we don't have 300 million people in this country and they can go anywhere in the world to help others.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  16. brad

    Why not help the poor and disenfranchised right here in America? ... Africa will always be a cesspool of filth. We keep pouring money into it, and nothing changes.... besides, they have their phone, email, and dating site scams they use on the stupid gullible white people.

    February 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • mature

      Africa is not a cesspool of filth. You should really learn how to talk. This comment Shows your lack of proper etiquette and hometraining.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:36 am | Reply
  17. Jerome Horowitz

    An uplifting story......

    February 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  18. scott bleyle

    kin of like a softer "Blood Diamonds" isn't it ?

    February 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  19. Scott

    God Bless each and every person involved in this!

    Scott

    February 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  20. ebenezer

    for me, a wouldnt blame any religious group much but to our political leaders who don't care much about the nations' interest but their self interetss. Most developed countries like America, France to mention but few have prosper because they consider national affairs first priority over any individual group interest.

    February 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  21. JeniB

    This makes me so happy to read this. What a blessing! Heidi & Rolland Baker are another missionary couple who've been living in Maputo, Mozambique for over the last decade. They pour their lives and love into the abandoned children of Maputo. These kids own country haven't cared for them, it's about time someone did (without taking advantage of them). There's a movie called, 'Nefarious', that is a real eye-opener about this trade. These women/children/men who are loved, and it's Jesus who is stirring the hearts of them. May His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    February 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  22. rick

    muslims disgust me. i think i just left a muhammed in the toilet.

    February 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  23. TheRationale

    Pure charity, like this drive, does nothing to stop the problem. The success of these people is entirely dependent on donation, so they have no way of sustaining the business themselves. It's the simple "give a man a fish / teach a man to fish" problem. In fact you run the risk of creating a mindset that assumes help like this will parachute in. If you do not give people the opportunity to help themselves, you're just keeping the cycle going. It's the age old "give a man a fish" vs "teach a man to fish." And it's not that you don't want to help people, it's that you want to actually fix the problem.

    February 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • jn

      If you read the article and watch the video, you'll see that only the first box of bras are donated to each woman's starting business. After that the organization provides them at a reasonable fee to help cover the organizations costs and also to make the women build a more sustainable business for themselves. If we can give giant subsidies to our US companies and still call them "job creators" and praise them for their profits, I don't see how selling a box of used bras at a very low cost is somehow weakening the claim that she is doing this for herself. This is not "giving them a fish"; it's giving them a fishing pole and some bait to get started.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  24. coyote

    I just don't know how someone can be freed by the worst piece of human clothing ever invented by man.

    February 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • peridot2

      The brassiere was invented by a woman, lackwit. Look it up and learn something new today.

      February 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  25. Stephen

    A panty drive would be much more successful. Our church sold donated panties and raised enough money to buy computers for everyone. Crotchless panties were a particularly big seller!

    February 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  26. BB

    Very sad at the lack of compassion and the amount of crudeness. Have none of you ever needed a hand up?

    February 13, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Stephen

      No, but I've been booted up a few times ... does that count?

      February 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  27. musings

    So now what about the Girls Who Make Bras? What if they could hook up with the Girls Who Sell Bras and eliminate the Middle Girl (who bought too much at Victoria's Secret)?

    February 13, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  28. pjp1113

    Seriously, who CARES what religion people are that sell girls into slavery?! The fact that these victims are human beings being forced into the most degrading and disgusting existence imaginable is all that matters. Instead of arguing about what religion is at fault on here, why not donate your time or money to help reduce or end this barbaric practice? It seems that proving you're right to complete strangers is more important to you. Sad.

    February 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  29. Confused_But_now_Enligtnened

    I tok a while for me to figure outwhy 'bras save lives'

    At first I thought that wearing a bra would make them look less appealing cause they dont have their boobs hanging out and it makes it easier to live in society.....But just to sell,whatever

    February 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  30. The Bra Recyclers

    We are so excited to see that others have joined the BRAvolution! There are thousands of girls and women right here in the US that need bras. We have been fortunate enough to provide bras to over 60 shelters or transitional programs in the US. Most of us don't realize how fortunate we are to have multiple bras to select from. When women are leaving a domestic violence situation they do not think about taking a bra with them, they leave with whatever they have on and see safety.

    I congratulate Kimba on her efforts.

    The Bra Recyclers

    February 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Reply
    • acter

      That's a really great thing - it never occured to me!

      February 14, 2013 at 3:52 am | Reply
  31. Kevin

    Pretty Bra's gonna end up confiscated and sold or exploited some how.

    February 13, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  32. Dan

    What messed up country are we helping out this time?

    February 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  33. toronto girl

    @Obam

    Quit blaming Jews for your things that have gone wrong in your life. You've been posting that disgusting statement all over CNN. They should ban you for life.

    February 14, 2013 at 12:59 am | Reply
  34. acter

    Wow, it's amazing how everyone goes right to blaming different religious traditions, anbld no one says "hey, this is a good thing... these women are gettingt the opportunity to make a better life for themselves, with help from other people who have more than they need. But the women are still the ones standing in the heat, selling the items, so they aren't just taking handouts".

    That's just sad. This is a good story about people doing something that helped other people.

    February 14, 2013 at 3:51 am | Reply
  35. anomybc

    I love that even when someone reports on a positive story the comments are still hateful and negative. Nice job guys :)

    February 14, 2013 at 9:56 am | Reply
  36. sally

    Wow! Amazing and touching story.
    Sally
    Acct rep. at http://www.wwwhowtoautoinsurance.com

    February 14, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply
  37. Africa Feeds The World

    Oh well... what can i say? The super heroes of the West are here to save Africa again.
    Nothing goes for nothing, no 'gift' is free. Bras or no bras Africa will survive.
    If the West loved Africa so much why do they aid and abet all the evil that happens here?
    The main aim of the West or outsiders is always to exploit Africa and impose their culture on the people which, unfortunately, we let them do.
    We have our own problems in Africa and so does the rest of the world. The super powers have put in certain mechanisms to ensure that Africa will not develop because if Africa develops the West will be impoverished. I believe that the negative publicity that CNN and the likes give to Africa is an attack on psychology, like a psychological war; the Westerners are then believed to be perfect and Africans are termed 'third-world', poor and helpless, dangerous, desease-ridden all through.
    The West intrudes into the African territory and change our ways in the name of 'colonization'. Africa had a working system before the advent of the West. This story is almost never told.
    AFRICA will develop from the inside we dont need hand-me-downs from foreigners.

    February 15, 2013 at 7:38 am | Reply
  38. Phayo

    For really they need to show the whole world that they are donating Bras !!!!!!!!!!

    February 15, 2013 at 10:01 am | Reply
  39. mmp

    I think it is wonderful that people are trying to help these young girls! I appreciate their compassion and kindness. My only concern is that it is not sustainable. If they taught them a skill that they could continue to use without needing more shipments of donations, they would have a better chance of providing for themselves and less vulnerable to victimization. Education is the key to freedom.

    February 15, 2013 at 10:06 am | Reply
  40. Dennis

    Bra is a lifeline then why not send the remaing dress also it might help a lot.

    February 16, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply
  41. jems

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    February 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  42. Gussie

    As a highly educated American woman with a lifetime of interest and experience with the cultures of the world, I find the ignorance among 99% of the comments above so ignorant and absent of logic and real knowledge to wonder how anyone in he USA expects that you can get by on your patriotism based on falsehoods for another 20 years. Knowledge and sophistication and "following the dollar" produce the people who will own children now under 20 before you're gone. Your children are next unless you solve these problems which your sacred and political organizations created in the past 100 years.

    February 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  43. Andy

    how is this charity?. its a scam. Africans have to pay double for it. thats why i never donate anything cause these people are scammers and should be arrested.

    February 17, 2013 at 4:09 am | Reply
  44. alumette

    bras ? please.....about money ? pitch the stupid bras and give money. Do you see these women wear bras ? too confining and uncomfortable. Ridiculous.

    February 17, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
  45. maytj

    Reblogged this on htpolicy and commented:
    Bras being used to combat human trafficking in Mozambique.

    February 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
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