Behind each design and every action we make as a brand, there is a story to tell. This year, we want to tell you the stories of four women who have inspired us and who will be impacted by each and every one of your purchases through charity partner, YouCanFreeUs.
The first story is about Waterlily*
Born in Bangladesh, Waterlily never grew up with her mother as she passed away whilst in childbirth, then at just four years old, her father also passed away. Having lost both of her parents, she was left in the care of her grandmother and paternal uncle. From as early as she can remember her uncle started to sexually abuse her on a daily basis.
At the age of 13 she was married to a man, in his 50s who already had four wives. Even with a new life, things didn’t change and her husband abused her, sexually, physically and mentally and in every other way you could unfortunately imagine. It took all of her strength to escape this abusive marriage and go back to her grandmother, but things didn’t get any better for Waterlily.
Soon after going back to her grandmother’s home, she was sold to a pimp by her grandmother and taken to Pune, a city in Maharashtra, India and then proceeded to be sold off into a brothel in the cities red-light district. After a few months, the area and said brothel was raided by police and Waterlily was rescued being brought to YouCanFreeUs to start her new life.
As soon as she joined the care home, she received the love and care she had been longing for her whole life, but always had a feeling of skepticism and distrust. Over days, weeks and months, her mind was rewired in to knowing that she was worthy of love and that she had a future, a positive one coming to her.
Through YouCanFreeUs she has been able to get an education that she wouldn’t have received at any other point of her young life, as well as receiving vocational training. She is now trained in tailoring as well as the different fabrics used. All of this has given her a new lease on life, knowing that her next step is the desire to have a family of her own, after looking after the children in the YouCanFreeUs family.
At the beginning of 2017, YouCanFreeUs introduced her to a bachelor who was the same age as her and had become an orphan at a young age just like her. Over chaperoned dates, they got to know each other and just 10 months later they got married, ready to start their brand new lives together. In December 2017, they were given a surprise ‘Haldi’, a traditional Indian marriage function, consisting of a two day celebration including her YouCanFreeUs family, filled with music, dancing and laughter.
*name changed due keep anonymity