Editor’s Note: Mira Sorvino is an Oscar-winning actress and goodwill ambassador to combat human trafficking for the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime which tackles human trafficking. She narrated CNN’s documentary “Mozambique or Bust” which first airs on CNN International on Friday at 1630 GMT and is repeated at various times through next week.
(CNN) - I am thrilled about the message from “Mozambique or Bust” - empowerment and hope, to both would-be abolitionists and those longing to escape a life of bondage.
This is the story of Kimba Langas and Pastor Dave, with no initial resources to speak of besides their ardent wish to help trafficking survivors, creating a non-profit that provides a way for girls rescued from sexual trafficking in Mozambique to build a sustainable livelihood for themselves.
It highlights the power of faith, ingenuity and the generosity of like-minded strangers who only needed to hear of the plan to pool their diverse resources and get involved.
That Kimba and Dave's brainchild of such an unlikely product, donated bras, could turn into a humanitarian gold mine in resale at the used clothing markets of Mozambique, proves anyone can make a difference with their heart, hands and mind in the fight against modern day slavery.
And the success the survivors enjoy selling the bras with the support of their NGO sends a signal to those still in slavery that if they can manage to get away, or accept others’ offers to help them escape, a dignified and self-empowering future is possible.
There is no reason that any of us should throw up our hands in despair at the overwhelming sadness of the plight of up to 30 million people living in bondage in the world today, thinking there is nothing we can do. There is everything we can do. It just requires passion, an assessment of our own personal skill set and some imagination.
There is enormous goodwill out there, just waiting to be partnered with a good plan and this film is the proof. When Kimba realized she had no money to send the thousands of donated bras to Mozambique, the owner of a shipping company heard about it via CNN. Lo and behold, the transatlantic leg of the delivery was supplied.
Then Truckers Against Trafficking volunteered with driving. Every step of the way, those impassioned to help found their own, incredibly powerful way of doing so.
Pastor Dave started the wave with his decision to move his family to Mozambique to help girls escaping from sexual trafficking and each person afterwards caught it, amplifying the energy and effects of this initial wish to be of service.
After all, isn’t that what we are all here on the planet to do, to help others, to leave this world a better place than we found it? Don’t we need to bequeath to our children a planet in which no one person is permitted to viciously exploit another in the name of profit, where all people are free to create their own destiny, and do their own good in turn?
Pastor Dave and Kimba thought so, and so do I. They are proof that this dream of abolitionism is just one step away from reality and that step is everyone’s to take.
I was very honored to contribute to this Freedom Project Documentary. I admire its vital and in some cases life-changing reporting. The light shown on the most grievous issues in the blight of modern day slavery, and the active solutions that succeed in fighting them, have done an incredible service to victims and survivors worldwide.
Studies have shown that wherever media attention is brought to human trafficking, the number of discoveries and rescues of victims, and arrests, indictments and convictions of traffickers rises significantly. The unflinching gaze on governments or individuals whose actions or inactions are allowing slavery to thrive have helped goad them to better their ways.
As the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Goodwill Ambassador to combat Human Trafficking, I have spent much of the past four years engaging with all aspects of the fight against human trafficking. I have interviewed scores of people whose lives have intersected with modern day slavery, and my heart has been broken and then put back together by meeting the incredibly brave and altruistic survivors of this hideous crime.
I have become a victims’ and survivors’ advocate both globally and at home in the U.S. and am not content with simple awareness-raising; I always try to spur people on to actions that truly help stop trafficking in its tracks.