VFC leaders Srey An, Theara, and Sina Mann. Photo by Juan Yepes.
Survivors of trafficking are not weak and helpless. They are strong, resilient, and have demonstrated incredible courage in overcoming their tortured past and building a promising future for themselves. The Somaly Mam Foundation is there to lend a hand and provide them with a platform from which their voices can be heard around the world. Our Voices For Change (VFC) program is that platform.
Modeled after Somaly’s life example, VFC is designed to give survivors an opportunity to help themselves by helping others, to have their voices heard in the courts of law and public perception, and to have influence and impact on effectuating change. It is our vision that from those who have struggled through the pain of slavery will arise a new generation of leaders who stand for justice and free will.
Those who have undergone rescue, recovery, education, and reintegration are survivors who can choose to join our Voices For Change initiative and help in the survivor services program area by speaking to new victims brought to the centers, completing intake forms, teaching classes, and sharing life skills training. Program participants join legal training seminars and courageously share their stories with magistrates, judges, and other members of the legal community brought together to better understand sex slavery. The survivors’ first-hand accounts of the horrors of life as a slave in the sex trade serve as dramatic wake-up calls to those in the legal profession who have pledged themselves to the cause of justice. Participating survivors host public service announcements in Cambodia and Southeast Asia. They also accompany Ms. Mam to certain fundraising and awareness events to share their experiences, educate the public, and show that this is happening to real people, not just nameless, faceless masses. Each one of these women has lived through horrific conditions, and has emerged as young leaders, voices for change.