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

  • EU parliament’s 13-point vote to decide on possible sanctions

    The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a 13-point resolution on Cambodia – which includes a call for the treason charges against bailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped – a threat that could see the EU enforce a range of sanctions against

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment