Congratulations to our Legal & Social Work Director (Cambodia), Sola Long, who has been chosen to participate in the exclusive Global Freedom Exchange, taking place this September in the USA.
The Global Freedom Exchange, hosted by Vital Voices Global Partnership and Hilton Worldwide, will bring together a select group of 23 female NGO leaders, from 18 countries around the world, for a two-week experiential, interactive learning, and networking program.
The Exchange is an effort to support emerging and established leaders who are at the forefront of global efforts to prevent and respond to the crime of child trafficking.
In her nomination, Kathryn Moorehead, Country Director (Cambodia) said,
“Sola is intelligent, motivated, and eager to learn from others in the field. She is passionate about ending sex trafficking in Cambodia”, and would “bring much insight of the anti-trafficking efforts in Cambodia and neighboring countries.”
Congratulations to Sola on this achievement, the whole Hope for Justice community wishes her the best for her time in the United States.
Profile: Sola long – Legal and Social Work Director (Cambodia)
It takes a sharp, spirited and seasoned individual to deal with the many complexities of working for an organization combating human trafficking.
Navigating through a myriad of stakeholders after a raid in Cambodia can be daunting for any professional in this field; but it takes real courage to face traffickers in person while upholding the call for a girl to be rescued from harms way.
Seven years ago when Sola Long began her career, she began by working part-time, teaching girls who had just been rescued from situations of sex trafficking. Building on her direct care experience and on a passion to see their lives changed, she began to study for a position as a social worker. With a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and one in Education, she moved into management and administration of sex trafficking cases.
Today, Sola serves at Hope for Justice in Cambodia as the Legal and Social Work Director. In this position she operates as a liaison between government authorities, attorneys, the military and local police, the families of survivors and the NGOs involved in our cases. She navigates the legal process of each girl’s case, communicating key information to all involved and playing a key role in securing safety and proper due process for the girls. She also serves as a member of Accountability International based in Cambodia and Australia and the Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation’s Technical Committee on Minimum Standards in Residential Care.
Describing the backdrop of socio-cultural challenges she faces in her work, Sola highlights current cultural mindsets about family expectations.
“Children have an obligation to make money. This is how most parents think in Cambodia…
And even after trying to educate the parent of how the perpetrator(s) who enticed the family to entrust their daughter is not to be trusted, many parents still fail to see the consequences of their choices”, Sola says.
Having now worked in all aspects of anti-human trafficking, the richness of Sola’s past experience and career development have given her a deep understanding of the organization’s operations and an world-class ability to deliver outstanding service to the girls in our Cambodian programs.
This means so much to her not just for the sake of these girls but as part of a team of like-minded individuals. When asked about the Hope for Justice team in Phnom Penh she says smiling, “They are more than just staff. They are like family who connect with you and are compassionate people”.In such a difficult and dangerous field where the stakes are high her most rewarding moments are attending the actual raids.
“Stepping into the scene of where these girls are held and seeing the inhumane conditions that they are held in and knowing that you are about to take them from those conditions into safety – brings me a great sense of happiness”.
Sola is currently completing a Masters of International Relations with a specialization in Peace and Development from Pannasastra University of Cambodia and is looking forward to meeting her fellow leaders in the USA this fall.