Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Somaly Mam Foundation and AFESIP

The Somaly Mam Foundation and AFESIP work together to support Somaly Mam’s tireless efforts to rescue, heal, and empower the women and children whose lives have been torn apart by modern-day slavery.

Basic Information:
501c(3) non-profit organization
Survivor Led

Contact Info:
P.O. Box 4569
New York, NY 10163

Vision: A world where women and children are safe from slavery.

Mission: To give victims and survivors a voice in their lives, liberate victims, end slavery, and empower survivors as they create and sustain lives of dignity.

The foundation works to eradicate human trafficking, liberate its victims, and empower survivors so they can create and sustain lives of dignity. The foundation supports survivor rescue, shelter and rehabilitation programs globally with a special focus on Southeast Asia. They runs awareness and advocacy campaigns in North America and around the world that shed light on the crime of human trafficking and focus on getting the public and governments involved in the fight to abolish modern day slavery.

Founded in 1996 by Somaly Mam
Provides rescue, outreach, recovery, and reintegration services to victims and survivors of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia
AFESIP Cambodia manages hairdressing salons in P1010236Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

    * To protect victims
    * To use the victim-centered approach to care for victims
    * To develop and implement regional strategies to repatriate victims
    * To reintegrate victims and follow the case for up to 3 years.

Three centers in Cambodia
Tom Dy Center – includes a Childcare House
 Kompong Cham Center
 Siem Reap Center

The Somaly Mam Foundation focuses on three critical program areas: Survivor Services, Advocacy, and Awareness. These programs operate in conjunction with our Voices for Change (VFC) initiative, which ensures survivors are included in each program area and have a hand in the Foundation’s work.

Rescue & Recovery
By funding organizations such as AFESIP in Cambodia, The Somaly Mam Foundation supports their efforts to rescue victims and provide them with food, shelter, and medical/psychological care. AFESIP has provided comprehensive services to thousands of sex trafficking victims in Cambodia since its inception, and SMF is honored to help fund AFESIP’s critical programs.

The first step in saving a life begins with a rescue mission conducted by AFESIP’s legal and investigations department. The investigations team visits sex establishments undercover and gathers information about the status and nature of the women/girls present. Once victims have been identified, the team prepares an investigative report and submits the report to legal workers who engage the police and appropriate legal agencies, setting the legal process in motion.

The victim is then taken to one of AFESIP’s three recovery centers across Cambodia. In addition to safety and protection, the Recovery centers offer a medical/psychological assessment, evaluation of educational/social development, child care, and legal assistance.

After these basic needs are met, SMF provides funding for education and vocational training programs to prepare survivors for reintegration into the mainstream. Vocational training is directly linked to local market opportunities, and includes trades such as hairdressing and tailoring. SMF funds primary and secondary education opportunities for survivors. If they choose to continue their studies further, SMF assists in facilitating that process.  Working in conjunction with Regis University in Denver, Colorado, the Foundation is developing a comprehensive “English as a Second Language” program that will be made available for survivors going through the reintegration process.

Vocational skills training programs
            1)Sewing Skills Training
                        Sewing skills course is divided into 2 specializations :
    * To become a Garment Factory worker (3-6 months course) and
                                        * To become an Independent Seamstress (12-18 months course)
            2) Hairdressing Skills Training
The hair-dressing shop is located near AFESIP's Tom Dy Center. The shop operation is not for profit but exists so that residents may practice their new hairdressing skills. It also welcomes clients for low-cost service.
3) Basic Weaving Skills Training: 6-10 months
4) Life Skills: cooking, lessons on domestic violence, etc., crafts, jewelry making.

After victims have been rescued and have gone through the recovery process, they are ready to make the transition back into mainstream society as productive, thriving citizens. The Foundation ensures these survivors have the means to start a new life. SMF also funds ongoing medical and psychological services as needed and continues to support and monitor survivors for a period of at least three years to ensure long-term success and holistic reintegration.

The Reintegration team carries out societal and market assessments to gauge the practicality of reintegrating the survivor into her preferred local community, as well as to measure the potential business options in that geographical area. The work SMF undertakes with survivors’ families and the local communities is vital in helping to develop sustainable livelihoods and income generation for these at-risk women and their families.

In order to facilitate reintegration, AFESIP provides each woman with a "business starting kit" either in kind (stock for a micro-business) or in cash (through micro-credit).

Reintegration involves the following processes:

1-Family tracing and visits
2-Family Assessment and Reunification
Once family origin is traced, the AFESIP staff makes an assessment of the family and the possibility of reunification. Several factors are considered, including local market opportunities, the conditions of the family, whether the center resident's vocational skills training is easily adaptable to the community, and the desires of the victim.
60 percent of the victims AFESIP rehabilitates are willing to be resettled back into their communities.
3-Resettled independently in the community
4-Monitoring and follow-up

SMF is currently establishing an ongoing micro-financing program that will provide each reintegrated survivor with a small grant, a bicycle for transportation, food, and health care supplies. In addition, SMF will provide equipment, materials, and an initial cash investment for those who wish to start a small business, encouraging entrepreneurial efforts and financial independence.


SMF has been engaging global and local legal communities to apply pressure on the Cambodian government and justice system to aggressively combat corruption and complicity on the part of public officials. They work with local groups to demand that the government enact or amend legislation to effectively address the issue and to allocate more resources towards enforcement of these laws. The advocacy goals are to make it more difficult and costly to engage in the crime, to increase the likelihood of apprehending criminals, and to make prosecution faster, safer, and more efficient.


The Foundation is dedicated to raising global awareness through the media, entertainment industry, celebrity voices, speaking engagements, internet communities, and by encouraging university and high school involvement.

Reinforcement of our relationships with local and international organizations has been and will continue to be a priority for SMF. We strongly believe that awareness of the trafficking problem must be widespread and cooperation and collaboration among anti-trafficking organizations strengthened. In
Cambodia, we partner with local NGOs, including the Cambodian Defenders Project, East-West-Management Institute, Women’s Confederation of Cambodian Organizations, and numerous other like-minded organizations.

We work closely with these groups to educate the Cambodian public on current and recently passed human trafficking laws, consequences of contributing to the illegal criminal industry, HIV/AIDs prevention, and how to identify and report suspicious activity.

Micro-financing program
Individual Donations
The US Embassy in Laos
the German Embassy in Laos
the Australian Government
Youth Challenge Singapore
French NGO Acting For Life
Manos Unidas Spain
The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
New Day

information taken from  

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