Mean Sonyta is a Cambodian actress, model and fashion designer. She is publicly known as the “Queen of Krama” (Krama is a Cambodian nationally symbolic scarf) as most of her fashion clothes and products were designed by herself with such the typical scarf. For her Krama products, Sonyta formed a few groups of poor and unskilled villagers and HIV positive women and trained them how to produce the product so that they can generate income to support their families. This can be considered alternative job that villagers can do locally and not migrate for job opportunities abroad. Mean Sonyta is running her own foundation namely #Slanh to support orphanage, #SlanhHouse, a social enterprise to support Kroma Khmer movement together with Slanh Community. Slanh community, a women community in Banteay Meanchey, is found to preserve and develop the culture of making Khmer Kroma and silk.
At the age of 19, Sonyta joined a local beauty contest 'Freshie girl & boy'. She won Miss Popular award. She started her career as an actress with her first film called 'បេះដូងអ្នកការពារ'. Mean Sonyta has gained more audience attention as a character of BBC Media Action Educational Series of Loy9, Love9 and Klahan9 programs.
For her childhood, Sonyta was not living in a permanent place and did not have youngster friends at a particular school as she was moving along with her parents who migrated to work in many different places. Therefore, she has, in some occasion of meeting survivors, shared her feelings of being a child of migrant parents.
As the Goodwill Ambassador
Sonyta is the USAID’s Cambodia Countering Trafficking-in-Persons program since June 2015, Miss. Mean Sonyta has a strong commitment to combat human trafficking and promote safe migration. She has voluntarily devoted her valuable time and efforts to a number of key roles in many program’s activities. Some of her roles will be highlighted below.
Miss. Mean Sonyta:
- Uses her celebrity status to endorse public attentions to USAID’s Cambodia Countering Trafficking-in-Persons program implemented by Winrock International
- Produced a short video by providing safe migration advice to Cambodians
- Engaged with youth volunteers to do some educational activities to prevent people from being trafficked and risky migrations
- Shared her own story and feeling as a child of migrant parents in relevant events to inspire human trafficking survivors to live with hopes
- Called for film making lovers to produce short films related to migration and human trafficking and submit to Chaktomuck Short Film Festival
- Accompanied human trafficking survivors (most of whom had been to Siem Reap) to see Angkor Wat and other ancient temples in Siem Reap
- And mobilised survivors involved in film production which can be a healing process from stigmatization and trauma