Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Somaly Mam 2.0 gets green light from US



Somaly Mam 2.0 gets green light from US

Somaly Mam 2.0 gets green light from US

Disgraced anti-sex trafficking activist Somaly Mam’s new charity – which is headed by former staff of her fallen foundation, a Hollywood actress and a PR guru – announced yesterday that it has been given the green light in the US.

Following her high-profile fall from grace last year after a Newsweek article alleged that she had fabricated elements of her back story and coached girls into giving false accounts of being trafficked, Mam resigned from her multimillion-dollar foundation, which was later shuttered.

But in December, Mam – who has refuted the allegations – sought donations to open a new organisation, The New Somaly Mam Fund: Voices of Change.

The fund, which will combine elements of the work done by Mam’s local NGO Afesip and the Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF), announced yesterday that it had been officially named a tax-exempt nonprofit organisation in the US.

According to the fund’s 2015 business plan, Mam will report to former SMF staffer Rigmor Schneider. Founding board members include Jonathan Marder, whose company launched a PR offensive on Mam’s behalf last September, and actress Susan Sarandon.

The organisation, which will employ about 37 full-time staff and expects to generate more than $682,000 this year, will maintain legal entities in the US and Cambodia in order to “protect the Cambodian team if anything were to jeopardize the US operations as has happened in the past”, it says.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • SOPs steer ‘new normal’ tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism has introduced a set of minimum standard operating procedures (SOP) for four major classes of tourism businesses, which is geared towards the “new normal” of the industry. These SOPs are tailored to support businesses in their daily activities and enable them

  • Sleepless in sin city – Will half-sized, outlawed online gambling sector persist below the surface in Cambodia?

    Chinese authorities are coming down hard on online gambling. Similar events are starting to happen in Cambodia, raising questions as to how all of this will end It is 1:30pm, Sotheary (not her real name) is sitting on the wooden floor of her house, facing

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision