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

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from

  • Sihanoukville authorities find 83 rubbish-packed containers

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state,

  • ‘Cambodia Democracy Act’ passed by US House

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by th US president, the bill would allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking