The second annual Evening of Hope and Dreams to benefit the Somaly Mam Foundation will be held in Los Angeles tonight, September 29.

The evening, featuring a special live performance by American Idol’s Kara DioGuardi and inspirational words from Somaly Mam, will raise funds and awareness for the Foundation’s Survivor Services, Advocacy and Awareness programs, and recognize leadership in anti-trafficking. SMF will honor entrepreneurs and activists Jeff & Mei Sze Greene with the Voices for Change Award for their commitment to the cause of human trafficking and their special contribution to helping the Somaly Mam Foundation grow into the organization it is today.

The guest list for the event, to be held at the home of Jeff and Mei Sze Greene in Beverly Hills, includes Bill Maher, Daryl Hannah, Lisa Ling, Jane Seymour, Ron Livingston, Sarah Larson, Donald Faison and many more.

Somaly Mam established the SMF in 2007. At 12 years of age, Mam was sold into sexual slavery by a man who posed as her grandfather. In 1993, after over a decade of rape and torture, she escaped and fled Cambodia. In 1996, she went back. There she created a non-profit organization called AFESIP (Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Precaire or Acting for Women in Distressing Circumstances) to work with local law enforcement to raid brothels and reintegrate trafficked women into society. To this day, despite threats and assaults from traffickers looking to deter her work, Mam continues to fight so that others might be spared the fate she once endured. She has successfully helped more than 4,000 women and children escape the brothels.

To find out more, visit www.somaly.org.

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