Dining for Women is troubled and saddened by the recent allegations swirling around Somaly Mam and her subsequent resignation. The internal and private investigation by her foundation comes after a Newsweek article brought to light gaps and inconsistencies in her story, as well as concerns about her leadership.
In 2010, Dining for Women, like many other humanitarian organizations, found Somaly Mam’s work compelling, inspirational and important and we granted the foundation $32,000. Our grant followed a stringent vetting process and we acted with the best information available at the time.
Now new allegations come to light. It is important to note that there are no allegations of malfeasance or corruption in the foundation itself. All the issues are focused on Somaly Mam herself and whether or not her story is true. There are also allegations that some of the stories widely told by rescued women and girls may have been exaggerated.
DFW has not had an ongoing relationship with the Somaly Mam Foundation and the organization has not asked for, and is not under consideration for, any further funding. We are watching, like many others, from the sidelines as this drama plays out.
Whatever the outcome, we remain fully committed to supporting grassroots organizations that fight human trafficking. The real tragedy in this situation would be if the Somaly Mam story were to diffuse public interest and concern over trafficking throughout the world. Human Trafficking is a global tragedy and we will continue to support those dedicated to eradicating it.