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Voices for Change

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, or Voices for Change. These are their stories:


She is getting better at Khmer and English. Pheap is busy studying Khmer, English, and computers at Voices for Change in addition to her work as an intern with AFESIP's Outreach/HIV Prevention team. She really enjoys her outreach work and likes the fact that when a victim has a problem, she can share it with the world through Voices for Change.


As the leader of the Voices for Change team, Sina knows that she has to study first! It is a wonder she makes time for homework, though, as she is constantly busy with field visits to AFESIP's reintegrated victims in the provinces, communication with other NGOs, and visits to brothels in Cambodia. She also enjoys the Voices for Change social activities and was excited by her recent visits to the National Museum and Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.

Srey Sokpanna (Sok)

Sok is currently taking Khmer, English and computer lessons as well as pursuing an accounting internship at the Somaly Mam Foundation office. As part of Voices for Change, she also visits other NGOs to find out more about their activities and their work to help Cambodians.


Mey is also occupied with her Khmer, English, and computer studies at the Voices for Change program. In addition to class work, she gives presentations at the AFESIP shelters alongside the other Voices for Change trainees, and spends time as an intern with AFESIP, learning how to perform administrative tasks. She also loves to cook and enjoys the challenge of making foreign dishes; according to Mey, "Khmer food is easy to cook!"

Srey Pov

Srey Pov is currently studying Khmer, English, and computers as part of Voices for Change. She also interns with AFESIP's Outreach/HIV Prevention Team, spending time with women in the brothels and providing them with encouragement and support as well as condoms, personal hygiene lessons and sex education.