Donate, receive a bag, support survivors. Through donating to Better Alternatives for Girls' Survival, you are helping us stitch a path to women's freedom.
Our goal is to open up the Western market to bags and other textiles produced by a group of female survivors of human trafficking working at a non-profit organization in Kolkata, India called Destiny Reflection. Better Alternatives for Girls’ Survival (BAGS) will act as their Western distributor. When you donate, you will receive a bag or other hand-made textiles produced by these women. A large percentage of donations above and beyond the cost of the bags will be returned to Destiny Reflection to provide them with the financial capacity to hire more survivors and grow their business.
Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is the world’s most horrific human rights atrocity. In Kolkata alone, there are approximately 60,000 sex workers, the majority of whom have been trafficked. This problem has been exacerbated in Kolkata due to its close proximity to the porous borders of Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan, through which approximately 10,000 girls are trafficked every year.
The root cause of human trafficking in India and its neighboring countries is gender inequality. Due to few employment and educational opportunities for females in rural India and surrounding nations, women and girls from villages willingly choose to leave their homes to pursue promises of employment in cities; such promises often prove false. Alternatively, females are knowingly sold to traffickers by their families. Regardless, these women and girls end up enslaved in Kolkata’s brothels. If they are lucky to be rescued or escape, organizations like Destiny Reflection are there to provide these women and girls with rehabilitation, skills training and dignified employment.
Destiny Reflection's goals are essential to women's empowerment. Due to the stigma and ostracization associated with prostitution in India, other employment opportunities are hard to come by and families of formerly trafficked women rarely welcome them back into their homes. Dignified employment opportunities, such as those provided by Destiny Reflection, are essential to supporting the rehabilitation and independence of survivors. Without such options, they are highly vulnerable to re-trafficking or may willingly choose to re-enter prostitution due to a lack of other avenues.
Through purchasing products produced by the women working at Destiny Reflection, Western consumers can play an active role in supporting human trafficking survivors on their journey to opportunity, independence and freedom.
In addition to supporting a good cause, all products made at Destiny Reflection are top quality, hand-made, and fair trade. Many of the rewards available as part of this campaign are also environmentally sustainable. The products are made from upcycled saris that have been donated to Destiny Reflection by Kolkata locals; the saris are cut and stitched into the unique, beautiful accessories that are available through this campaign.
We are currently working with two key products:a sari purse, which you will receive when you donate $25, and a yoga mat bag, which you will receive when you donate $40. When you donate, we will contact you to determine your color preference for each product.
Thank you for your support. You are helping to stitch a path to women’s freedom!
Please note: Due to Destiny Reflection's current capacity to stitch and the time it takes to ship products from India, it will take between 3 and 6 months for all product-based rewards to be received.
Through donating to BAGS, you will be supporting human trafficking survivors in two unique ways:
1) Each and every donation provides a women with work when she makes a bag. This encourages personal growth and independence.
2) All additional funds received will be reinvested in Destiny Reflection to provide them with the funds needed to hire more survivors, or to assist them with buying property or other capital. This will assist Destiny Reflection with growing their business.
Our Tipping Point:
Our tipping point amounts to approximately 125 bags worth of donations, the minimum order quantity we need to purchase from Destiny Reflection in order make the costs of shipping the bags from India economically feasible. More donations means more bags will need to be stitched. This will further reduce our shipping costs.
How reaching our full goal will enable us to do so much more than our Tipping Point:
Our full goal amounts too approximately 500 bags worth of donations. This number of bags will greatly reduce our shipping costs, enabling us to provide Destiny Reflection with increased profits to support them in the fight against human trafficking and their rehabilitation of survivors. Additionally, donations amounting to such large numbers of products will provide Destiny Reflection with confidence that their products will successfully sell in the Western marketplace.