Somaly Mam was very young when she was sold into sex slavery in her native Cambodia. Understandably, there are many things she doesn't remember from that time. What it did do is inspire her to act on behalf of women and children everywhere who were in her situation. She escaped and was able to get some help abroad. In order to help, she established Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Precaire (AFESIP):
Under Somaly's leadership, AFESIP employs a holistic approach that ensures victims not only escape their plight, but have the emotional and economic strength to face the future with hope. With the launch of the Somaly Mam Foundation in 2007, Somaly has established a funding vehicle to support anti-trafficking organizations and to provide victims and survivors with a platform from which their voices can be heard around the world. Somaly estimates that she and her team have assisted over 7,000 victims to date.
That's 7,000 lives changed by her decision to not let herself remain a victim. Somaly decided to take action and change lives. Because of this selfless choice, there are 7,000 people who have seen what it means to take control of their lives and not be ruled by their past. They can re-envision their lives and focus on the future. Somaly Mam is one of the greatest examples of courage, compassion and action we have today.