The Somaly Mam Foundation
A review of a feminist activist organization that does work around sex trafficking.
I have been working on this blog non stop for the past three days, procrastination is my way of life. At least when it comes to projects. I deal with the consequences, very single consequence. Throbbing back pain from carrying my laptop to and from the library, stomach pains from not eating enough, drowsiness from sleeping only five hours a night, and terrible mood swings. Call me crazy, but this always happens when I need to finish a project. Some day I may learn to not be a procrastinator, I can not wait for that day. Normally I would have given up by now, but my boyfriend recently called me weak because I did not want to work on the blog project one night. I wanted to prove him wrong, so that night I stayed up late and finished countless posts. Going home is another incentive. I’m like the little engine that could, chugging along until I reach my destination. I also have not given up on this blog yet because sex trafficking is a topic that I feel strongly about. I can not wait for the day when all the pimps and traffickers are in jail, and all the victims are set free. I have been trying to think of foundations, or a feminist activist organization that I could use for my blog component. After watching the documentary Half the Sky, and learning about Somaly Mam, I decided to write the component about her foundation, The Somaly Mam Foundation.
I found this article about sex trafficking and the foundation was mentioned. The following quote from an article by Mary Silver, explains what Mam’s foundation does for the women and girls that have been victimized by sex trafficking.
“The Somaly Mam Foundation funds groups that rescue girls that have been enslaved. It operates shelters where girls receive education, medical care, and learn work skills. The girls, too, became involved in ending demand, and began to visit boys’ schools to tell them about their experiences. At first the women were hesitant, but they found it had a powerful effect.”
A former executive director of the Somaly Mam Foundation, Bill Livermore said that “We need to go home today and tell two or three people. Conversations need to happen not just in universities but in shopping malls and streets.” He is referring to sex trafficking. Bill Livermore is also a member of the NYC Human Trafficking Task Force. I will now talk about Somaly Mam and how she founded the Somaly Mam Foundation with the help of two American men.
Somaly Mam is a strong woman. When she was a teenager she was sold in the sex trade by a man who posed as her grandfather. On her website, http://somaly.org, it says that she, to this day, still does not know who the man was to her. She was tortured and after watching her best friend die in front of her, decided to break her silence and escape the brothel where she was held as a slave.
Her vow was to never forget those she left behind, and so S=she dedicated her life’s work to saving victims, building shelters and programs for healing, and empowering survivors. She hoped to empower those survivors to become “agents of change.” In 2007 she founded the Somaly Mam Foundation in Southeast Asia with the help of two American men. Somaly crossed paths with the two American men. These men were determined to fight child slavery and wanted to build global awareness of the issue. Somaly wanted to expand and improve services to victims, and she wanted to build a platform where the voices of sex trafficking victims could be heard around the world. The two men, Jared Greenburg and Nicholas Lumpp worked with Somaly to establish the Somaly Mam Foundation.
I recently read about the foundation in an article in Glamour magazine. Shea Mitchell, an actress from the show Pretty Little Liars, has been heavily involved in volunteering with programs such as the Somaly Mam Foundation. She is a talented actress that chooses to use her high status to help others, and raise awareness and money. I admire her greatly. Here is a picture that I took of the article from Glamour magazine. It is titled, “My Secret Life Half a World Away From Hollywood.”
Shea Mitchell raises awareness about trafficking and supports the Somaly Mam Foundation
This foundation is an amazing way to help the survivors of sex trafficking. There are many ways you can help as well. Visit the website for more details on how you can change the life of a former victim. htttp://somaly.org