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Hawa Trust Foundation

2261. Hawa D Sessay

Hawa D Sessay, from London, survived Female Genital Mutilation, aged 13, while growing up in Sierra Leone, and after moving to the UK set up ‘Hawa Trust Foundation’ to support others who have experienced FGM.

In addition to Hawa’s own experience of FGM, Hawa witnessed her family members go through it and wanted to use her experiences to support women and girls by giving them dignity following abuse, as well as helping them access care and education about the subject.

Hawa’s work is supported by Hackney Council for Voluntary Service which helps the Trust with delivering its education campaigns throughout schools in the borough. Hawa also helps victims suffering the long-term effects of FGM and works with specialists at Guys and St Thomas Hospital to offer support including a monthly support group for FGM survivors as well as one-to-one sessions.

Since 2019, Hawa has also worked with provinces in Sierra Leone to tackle FGM as a source of income for villages, running projects that provide rural communities with seeds to practice sustainable farming and changing attitudes towards FGM.

In a personal letter to Hawa, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“I was utterly appalled to hear of your own experience of FGM at the age of 13 , and all that you witnessed other family members endure. I am so inspired by the courage with which you have shared your story, and by all you do to try and prevent FGM from happening to others.

“By creating The Hawa Trust Foundation, you are helping to raise awareness of FGM among women and girls in this country, working closely with schools in London to identify signs of FGM victims. You are supporting those who have experienced FGM, including through your work with specialists at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.”

Hawa said:

“This award is in honour of the women and girls that have gone through FGM. Let’s continue to fight!”

Find out more about the ‘Hawa Trust Foundation

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