Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Charity Tuesday {Somaly Mam Foundation}

I became aware of the Somaly Mam Foundation after reading the book "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide," by New York Times author Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn. The book which stayed on the New York Times bestseller's list for many weeks chronicled the experiences of women across several countries and myriad issues confronting them running the gamut from maternal and fetal mortality challenges to sexual trafficking. The bottom line with most challenges women face is poverty. Poverty leads to may other grim issues, including physical and sexual abuse and is often the root cause of a lack of education. The result of deep seethed poverty is that women are often divested of any bargaining power they might have, further worsening their plight and the Somaly Mam Foundation featured below has embarked on a mission of strengthening women by addressing sexual trafficking. 

The Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of sex slavery and the empowerment of its survivors, led by the vision and life's work of Cambodian survivor and activist Somaly Mam. Founded in 2007, the organization's multilateral approach helps victims to escape their plight, empowers survivors with economic independence and as part of the solution, and engages governments, corporations, and individuals in the fight.
We work closely with partners in Southeast Asia, where the trafficking of women and children is widespread and where, for nearly two decades, Somaly and her team has rescued women and children from exploitation and abuse and assisted them on a journey to health, hope, and economic independence. Thanks to SMF, the outreach team and shelters have international support, and our Voices For Change survivor-leaders work as advocates, activists, and catalysts of next-generation change.
On a deeper level, we see the impact of this work in subtle shifts in cultural norms, in a proud network of entrepreneurial female survivors starting businesses and social enterprises, in open conversations on human trafficking in mass media, in strategic government and police partnerships, and in a growing trust in the rule of law, which is critical to combating corruption and protecting the victims. All of these are steps down a road to end sex slavery for good. (The information about the Somaly Mam Foundation was taken from the "Mission" section of the Somaly Mam Foundation webpage).

Disclaimer: The Harriet Project does not endorse the charities that are featured on Charity Tuesday. Before making a donation or getting involved in any capacity, please research the charities featured to make sure they are actually involved in the work they claim to be doing. 

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