In what appear to be Somaly Mam’s first public comments on the fallout from her resignation from the Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF) in late May, posts to one of her Facebook pages say that she will sell her house to support girls formerly under her care after SMF cut funding to an NGO she founded in 1996.
Agir Pour Les Femmes en Situation Precaire (Afesip), which received some $2.2 million in funding from SMF between 2007 and 2012, was informed on June 12 that SMF funding would be terminated immediately, according to a statement posted to Afesip’s website this week by its CEO, Chhoeurth Sao.
Ms. Mam stepped down as president of her eponymous foundation following an article published in Newsweek that revealed her back story as a sex slave had been fabricated. SMF also hired a private law firm to investigate allegations published in The Cambodia Daily over the past two years that Ms. Mam coached girls under her care to tell fabricated stories of horrific sexual exploitation to the media and donors.
In a number of posts on the Somaly Mam and Mam Somaly Facebook pages, which include scores of personal photographs of Ms. Mam with her family, colleagues and girls cared for by her former organizations, there is an outpouring of despair at SMF’s decision to cut off funding to Afesip.