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Freeing the Girls of Mozambique

(NECN/CNN: Nkepile Mabuse) - It's taken years for her to realize just how bad it was.

"I was in a dark, dark place. It's not like you think you have a choice."

A time when Tachinia felt so numb, she didn't see a way out.

"Every minute was the worst. Only, when you're in that situation, you can't always see that."

Trafficked for sex when she was just 15, a world she couldn't leave, it quickly became the only life she knew.

"They do horrible things to you and then not give you money and… never pay."
"Slave, did I feel like a slave? At the time you don't feel."

She says she was beaten to an inch of her life and often thought about escaping, but she didn't have the courage to actually do it until one day, when her young daughter asked her a question.

"'Mom, you did joko joko?' which means you, you were having sex and doing this game... I understood from this point that she understands and what kind of a mother will she think I am? Will she think this is okay?

She says her escape was a miracle, but staying off the streets has taken a lot less, thanks to one man with a big idea and an even bigger heart.

Dave Terpstra was living in the United States when he first learned about the sex trafficking problem in Mozambique.

"So often we find out about a problem in the world and you know, we see it on the news or, you know, somebody tells us about it or we read it in a magazine and, you know, it makes us upset and we want to do something and, you know, but what do you do?"

For Dave, it meant packing up his family and moving to Mozambique.

He wanted to help victims of sex trafficking find jobs so they could support themselves, support their children, and stay off the streets.

His solution was simple.
"I was just struck by how much used clothing was sold here. You know, when you drive up and down the streets here it's everywhere and as I did a little bit more digging into that, I realized that used clothing is a multi-billion dollar industry around the world."

He started "Free the Girls" to collect donations of bras -- a luxury item in Mozambique’s used clothing market -- and he gives them to former trafficking victims to sell.

The women in the program make up to three times the minimum wage.

"A girl that's had a terrible past, been put through hell, and yet now that can give her a real job that gives her real income, that can provide for herself, for her family and a whole new life. It's just, it's something worth waking up for every day".

The money Tachina made selling bras is paying for her new home.

Her fear of returning to the streets is gone replaced by the joy of being a mother.

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