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Somaly Mam Founation
Company: Somaly Mam Founation
Title: Founder & President
Location: New York, United States
Fields of operation: Social
Born in the forests of Northern Cambodia and sold into sexual slavery by a man posing as her grandfather, Somaly Mam is a survivor of unspeakable horrors. She lived as a child slave in brothels for a decade, and was brutally tortured and raped on a daily basis. When she finally escaped, she could not stop thinking about the girls still held captive in the brothels, and returned to establish a Cambodian non-governmental organization called AFESIP (Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Precaire). Embodying Somaly’s determination to do more than just rescue trafficking victims, AFESIP works to rehabilitate and reintegrate victims into society. It provides them with the tools to pursue a livelihood in supportive industries and fights for change by increasing global awareness, working with the justice system, and encouraging philanthropic intervention. For her tireless efforts, Somaly has justifiably garnered world-wide respect and is now a renowned leader at the forefront of the anti-trafficking struggle. Universally recognized as a visionary for her courage, dignity, ingenuity, and resilience, Somaly is the recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation and Glamour Magazine’s 2006 Woman of the Year Award. She was also featured as a CNN Hero, named as one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2009 and has won accolades from the US Department of Homeland Security. Asked why she continues to fight in the face of fierce and even violent opposition, Somaly resolutely responds, “I don’t want to go without leaving a trace.” With the launch of The Somaly Mam Foundation, Somaly has established a funding vehicle that will enable her to save women and children via organizations such as AFESIP. With the active engagement and collaboration of global stakeholders, particularly those in the very industries victims have come to rely on and trust as beacons of hope—law, fashion, beauty, and philanthropy—The Somaly Mam Foundation is a light in the dark to millions.