It is time we inspect the basic motives to why we engage in this fight against injustice. Whether it is on grounds of human decency and equality, or because we are compelled by our faith; let's recalibrate our moral compass so it is not led astray by our tendency to strive for the sensational stories.
The problem is much larger than Somaly Mam or these orphanages. Worldwide there are "victim scripts" that individuals must conform to and perform in order to receive attention and assistance.
A name change may help the Somaly Mam Foundation recover from allegations that its founder lied about her story as a human
Many argue that Somaly Mam did a lot to focus attention on the plight of these children even if she was lying about her own circumstances and, indeed, she did. But now it turns out that may have caused irreparable damage.
When trust is breached, those even slightly involved with the targeted fabricator panic and recoil. The fight or flight response kicks in: Does one stay silent and hide; or support and defend?
Just as professional athletes take steroids, it seems as if embellishing or even fabricating stories has become the stimulant of choice for nonprofit leaders looking to gain a competitive edge.
Hairdresser Michael Angelo normally spends hectic days at his salon in NYC, but recently he was in Cambodia, training young women who are survivors of the global sex trafficking epidemic how to blow dry, give manicures, cut, color and style, teaching them to take control of their images.
No matter where you are on the globe, we are all women. Let's challenge each other to accomplish small victories that lead to real change by taking action now.
Why, in many parts of the world, are women devalued, abused, even considered disposable?
These children have no control over whether or not their client will wear a condom, whether or not they'll be infected with HIV, or even if the client will physically abuse them before he leaves. Many of these children will never live to survive their days in this brutal trade.
My hope is that the stories of these visionary women present to us the flame of the passionate life, the knife of insight, and the courage to stand for what one sees without looking away.
SLIDESHOW (Photos: Somaly Mam Foundation): Sold into prostitution at 12 by her grandfather, Mam was brutalized and raped