Fashion Show in New Orleans

Karen and her non-profit organization, Strengthening Cambodian Communities Project (SCC), will be hosting a Nomi Network Fashion Show in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 31st, 2010. The show will spread awareness about Cambodia, sex slavery, and human trafficking while also showcasing Nomi Network's collection of bags produced by Cambodian women who are regaining their independence and financial livelihood. This benefit event will also have bags available for purchase and donation opportunities. All proceeds go to Nomi Network, to continue their vital efforts in recuing and rehabilitating these women.

You have multiple jobs. Tell us about them, and which do you like best and why?

I have three jobs. I am a nurse, and I also do modeling. Thirdly, I am the director of volunteers for a non-profit organization called Strengthening Cambodian Communities Project (SCC) that I co-founded with my partner in Australia, Tara Miller. I enjoy all three jobs; being a nurse enables me to rebuild lives, while modeling helps me obtain exposure that I need to spread awareness about Cambodia. Being a part of SCC is my true passion--to help Cambodia regain the glory that it once had.

Is that related to the work you’re doing with Nomi?

Yes. I am using my modeling notoriety and connections in the business to direct and coordinate the upcoming Nomi Network fashion show here in New Orleans, LA.

How did you hear about Nomi Network?

Stephen Bauer found me on Face Book and e-mailed me about Nomi Network and their ambitions.

What inspired you to get involved?

The same day that Stephen wrote me, I had been looking for ways that I could help. I was looking for anything related to human trafficking, especially sex slavery. I am passionate about that, especially in Cambodia.

What is the biggest obstacle that you have had to overcome as a Cambodian woman?

My biggest obstacle has been to overcome the pain and anger that my parents inflicted on me as a child growing up in the States. The pain and anger of my parents was a result of the having to endure a great deal of suffering under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle in empowering women?

We need to get women to understand that they have the same rights as men. In foreign countries, when trying to help women empower themselves, we must first understand the culture and the values that the people abide by. However, we must also work to get men to understand that women have the same rights as men. In male dominated societies women tend to be looked upon with contempt and as mere objects. To teach women to be able to stand up to that will be a great feat.

- interview by Stephen Bauer/Diana Mao


  1. Karen,

    Thank you for your service among the Cambodian people.

    Ken Kong
    SEAC Director

  2. hi i am cece with positive image mec(modeling etiquette and charm). i am from new orleans,la.i love what you are doing! it is so rewarding to give. i work with little girls ranging from 3years to 25 years.most of them from broken families, some displaced from the 2005 is so amazing to see the strenght and courage they have. we are very proud of when i read what you are doing i just had to applaud you. please contact us and let us know how we can be involved with your 504-366-5033 thanks for listening, cece.

  3. hi karen it was a pleasure to meet you. some of the girls audition saturday and they were very excited. this was a very good experience for them and the parents.i briefed the parents and the models/students about your organization,however the information you shwas very educational and informative. this encourage them to be more involved. at our next class we are going to discuss how we can continue to help. i would be honored to help at the fashion show. feel free to contact me the studio or my cell 504-416-0990 or 540-366-5033.look forward to working with you, cece.


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