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Petra's Passion

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Apr. 12 2008, Published 9:13 a.m. ET

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Supermodel and humanitarian Petra Nemcova recently visited Cambodia, not as a tourist, but to see the horrors of human trafficking up close.

"It makes me so angry," she recalls to OK!. "Girls and boys get sold as young as four-years-old and are put in animal cages. Some of them never see the light anymore. We met this girl who was 13 and a pimp made her lose her right eye. The words 'pimp' and 'child' should never be in the same sentence."

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However, Petra was also able to see the positive efforts of the Somaly Mam Foundation, begun by former Cambodian sex worker Somaly Mam, which seeks to rescue women and girls in Southeast Asia from the horrors of a life in brothels or on the streets.

"Somaly has centers where she teaches them to sew," Petra explained at a recent fundraiser for the Foundation. "What she told me was that when the girls sew, you can see their emotion with the stitching. The fabric bears their feelings and love."

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In fact, the Czech-born model was so moved by the work of the rescued women that she not only bought a dress from them, she also wore it to the dinner. "This was made by a girl who had been sold for $20 and is now saved," Petra says. "She made it for me while I was in Cambodia. When I saw the fabric, I thought it would be great to wear this to the event."

And for this kind-hearted beauty, her dedication to Somaly and her Foundation doesn't just end at charity galas. "I am so happy that Somaly does what she does," Petra explains. "By supporting the Somaly Mam Foundation, the money will go to the right place. I would throw my hand into the fire for her."

To read more about the Somaly Mam Foundation, please check out their website HERE.

By Alisandra Puliti

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