- Written by AFESIP
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The New Somaly Fund: Voices for Change (AFESIP Cambodia) believe that the most powerful voices for change come from empowered women who have achieved their financial independence. Through quality vocational training, emotional support and reintegration assistance, the graduates of The New Somaly Mam: Voices for Change (AFESIP Cambodia)’s centers become those voices as they demonstrate how an empowered woman can be an inspirational part of her community.
One of our graduates, Jasmine, is an incredible example of how this works. After leaving our center several years ago with beauty skills training, Jasmine set out to work in a successful local salon. Although very determined and hard working at her first job in Phnom Penh, Jasmine was discriminated against because of her background so she left to open her own small shop outside her small roadside home in Siem Reap. When Jasmine heard about The Somaly Mam Beauty+ Salon that The New Somaly Fund: Voices for Change (AFESIP Cambodia) were opening with support from The Estee Lauder Companies, she made sure she attended every training offered. She arrived early and was often the last one to leave after helping to clean up. Her incredible work ethic and talent got her noticed by the salon team and led to her being offered a job to work at the new salon full time. Now earning a stable salary and having medical benefits, Jasmine’s confidence and talents continued to grow. She became the salon’s most requested stylist and an inspiration to other young women in the program.
In December 2014, Jasmine made the bold decision to continue to grow her career and left the salon to open her own business. With many of her existing clients following her to her new location and her incredible energy to market her business, Jasmine closed her first month of operation with a profit! Even better, she employs two other young graduates of The New Somaly Fund: Voices for Change’s (AFESIP Cambodia) program who are starting their own journey.
Jasmine’s success and determination demonstrates what Voices for Change is all about. Today Jasmine is not only a successful, aspiring beauty professional, but she is an inspiration for every woman she meets. Determined that women deserve their equality and should never be exploited, Jasmine uses her voice and success to motivate others that change will lead to a better tomorrow. Jasmine’s next goal? She wants to earn enough from her salon to pay for her attendance at an international beauty school and she wants to develop one of her trainees to be strong enough to run her salon for her while she is away.
The New Somaly Fund: Voices for Change (AFESIP Cambodia) have enabled many women like Jasmine. It is the model of economic empowerment coupled with a loving network of supporters who provide opportunities, not welfare. We welcome you to join our network and support us to do more. Invest in a woman and watch your investment grow! We accept donations at http://www.newsomalyfund.org or http://www.afesip.org
- Written by AFESIP
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Vocational Training from the National Employment Agency
On 21st Jan. 2015, AFESIP-Cambodia has cooperated with Siem Reap Job Center under National Employment Agency (NEA) of Cambodia to provide 13 in-centered residents with the preliminary orientation on the environment of vocational skills training and jobs available and meeting the current market demand. Two representatives from the above agency spent the whole day to introduce the respective information and self-assessment test focusing on four areas: Skills, Likes, Work Values, and Personalities. Be noted that NEA’s job center takes a role as a front office where plentiful labor market information service is provided to its users including job seekers, employers and training providers and all market demand-and-supply information is offered accordingly.
Following the day, it is observed that the participants realize their potentials further, notably their optional choices of vocational skills training besides sewing and hairdressing available in the center though most of them are still likely to select sewing or hairdressing as the first option. Additionally, more are interested in employment for others rather than self-employment. Since this stage is followed by the Survey on Vocational Skills and Personal Career Plan to be done the following day, the exact data will be shown later.
- Written by AFESIP
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12 January 2015
Thank you to all of our supporters for your patience as we continued to investigate the situation in Cambodia regarding The Somaly Mam Foundation and our beneficiary partners AFESIP Cambodia (AFESIP).
By way of brief background, AFESIP ran three centres in Cambodia, housing 155 women and girls and also provided training, education and psychological support and employed over a hundred staff. The organisation also operated a free clinic for women in Phnom Penh who needed medical check ups and supplies, an outreach program to various areas in Phnom Penh where brothels are rife and their reintegration program had 502 active cases. AFESIP also had in place advocacy initiatives with various schools, government and community groups. Project Futures has a long standing relationship with AFESIP and is a proud supporter of the good works it does to help many at risk women.
On 12 June 2014, AFESIP’s largest donor USA based Somaly Mam Foundation advised it was ceasing all funding to them without notice or adequate explanation putting their programs at risk. PROJECT FUTURES has provided important funding to AFESIP over this period to ensure minimal disruption to the work happening on the ground in Cambodia.
In December 2014 a PROJECT FUTURES Board Member, Dr David Cooke and I traveled to Cambodia to better understand AFESIP’s vision and plans moving forward into 2015. We met with representatives from AFESIP and also other supporters from the USA to discuss and ensure the sustainability and success of the organization moving forward.
The outcome will be that AFESIP will continue as an organisation but will rebrand itself and be called The New Somaly Mam Fund – Voices for Change. A new entity with the same name has been registered in the United States to galvanize supporters and donors who are passionate about Somaly Mam and her work. Despite the negative publicity and questionable actions of the Somaly Mam Foundation organisation, Somaly has stood by her story which was also independently investigated and reported by Marie Clare.
The New Somaly Mam Fund – Voices for Change will therefore operate in two locations, Cambodia (previously AFESIP) and in the USA. As noted, the US entity will seek to raise funds and awareness for the projects on the ground. The Cambodian arm of the organisation will continue to run programs in Cambodia. With the exception of the scaled down operations necessitated by the funding shortage, the work previously undertaken by AFESIP will only change slightly with rescue being taken out of their scope of programs and instead focusing on rehabilitation, training and education that will lead to self – independence. You can download the business plan here:
We can confirm that PROJECT FUTURES will continue to remain a financial donor and supporter of The New Somaly Mam Fund – Voices for ChangeCambodia entity. We will work together with them to ensure funds are spent the right way and that our donors and supporters have appropriate reporting. Our Board is adamant that all funds directed to the new charity go to the Cambodian organization to ensure that donations go to support the life-changing programs actually run on the ground.
PROJECT FUTURES will continue to ensure, through due diligence and vigilance, that your donations go to the places where it will have the most impact for the victims of this crime against human rights. We are an organization that prides itself on integrity, honesty and transparency in our dealings with our donors, other stakeholders and the charities and organizations we support. We trust we will continue to receive your support to assist us do so.
CEO, PROJECT FUTURES Ltd
- Written by AFESIP
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Deepest thankful to Annalynne McCoord for her continuation supports both financial and emotional to the victims and survivors of trafficking and exploitation. This is her 4th Christmas and New Year holidas with the women and girls. She makes them joyful and happy!