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ABOUT US

My Story.    

It was a cold dark night…around 11:30 pm when the rebels attacked the town, captured and killed some of the men, then dragged some of the women into the rooms and violently started raping them in turns. This is not a scene in a Hollywood movie, this is real life and I was one of those women. It happened in my country Sierra Leone, which was meant to be safe for us children. I was gang raped by five smelly, rebel soldiers but I will spare you the gruesome details. After being subjected to hours of rape, the men then left me for dead. I was only 14 years old.

There was no access to healthcare. Some people branded me names and called me a rebel wife. It was deeply traumatising and I used to have sleepless nights as I battled with my nightmares almost every night, all alone. I almost took the easy way out by trying to kill myself because in my culture, you don’t discuss these shameful, unfortunate things. 

Left alone to deal with the effect of severe depression, trauma, shame, guilt and social isolation, I became a very angry person and it started affecting my mental health. The political leadership was out of touch with victims like us. It almost broke me.

Fast forward to 2001. With the help of my brother, I came to the UK where I started getting the kind of support I had desperately needed. It started with psychological support, which is ongoing, then housing and financial supports and all of these gave me my sense of humanity and dignity back. I felt empowered and it enabled me to live the life am living now (better life). 

The psychological empowerment helped me through the transition process from being the traumatised teenager to a positive thinking, creative and confident woman. Now I feel like a free woman because what I went through made me feel like I was trapped. 

So when I started hearing all sorts of stories of rape victims of war or even in a peaceful country like the UK, my new home, I felt it’s time to give back. The urge to help is really high because it’s a very dark place I understand. No matter how strong you are, you will need support, the right kind of support.

This is what inspired me to set up this charity, (Women’s Health Advocacy Network) to help others; be their voices, reassure them, empower and support them through the transition process.

I want to use my first-hand experience to also educate women and the public on ways of dealing with sexual abuse and provide ongoing support for individuals that are traumatised by sexual violence. 
The charity will educate people through various platforms including my charity which will be a point of contact for victims.

Adama Bah 
Chair: Women's Health Advocacy Network
 

MEET THE TRUSTEES

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Adama Nyama Bah

I started as a carer whilst undergoing my studies and then qualified as a registered nurse 2009. I have been a frontline worker for the NHS for twelve years now. I am currently working as a senior staff nurse at St George’s Hospital, Tooting London. Working in this department, (women’s health gyneacology) has not only increase my understanding of the different health issues faced by women but has also equipped me with the right knowledge and skills to care and support them (women) effectively.

 

Founder and Chair

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Mr Foday Yusuf Sillah

BSC Honours Econimics with Accounting Bias, Advanced Mental Health Practitioner, Member of the Royal Chartered Management Institute. Married with three children plus 30 years frontline experience in NHS.

Training Team Lead 

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Mr Edwin Samu

Edwin is the Founder of Edmil Accountants and Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience in the Accountancy profession. He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a Fellow member of the Association of Accounting Technician(AAT) and holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Accounting.
Edwin is a committee member of the AAT Oxford branch and currently helps businesses, charities and individuals to be compliant with HMRC and Companies House Accountancy and Tax requirements while also providing Tax Advisory services. Edwin also lectures Profesional Accountancy on a part-time basis in one of the local college
Role: Finance Team Lead

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Mr Sourav Das

Sourav was appointed as a trustee in 2020 and has over 20 years of experience working as a doctor in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He is presently working as a Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at St Georges Hospital, London.
He has keen interest in teaching, Management & Strategic Planning in Healthcare and Social Entrepreneurship. He had been working with few NGOs in India in the field of healthcare and education and has significant experience in working with social entrepreneurs in the field of women’s health.


Strategic Team Lead

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Ms Elfreda Kebbie 

I am a health professional, FGM activist, blogger and a community volunteer with BAME communities in Bristol. My story as an activist and community volunteer was included in a book published in 2018 by the African Voices Forum (AVF).


Research Team Lead

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Mrs Emily Samu

Experience working in the banking sector for several years, currently a self employed Mortgage and protection adviser. Always happy to help customers when buying their first home or moving home and their insurance needs.


Marketing Team 

MEET THE TRUSTEES

Adama%20Bah_edited.jpg

Adama Nyama Bah

I started as a carer whilst undergoing my studies and then qualified as a registered nurse 2009. I have been a frontline worker for the NHS for twelve years now. I am currently working as a senior staff nurse at St George’s Hospital, Tooting London. Working in this department, (women’s health gyneacology) has not only increase my understanding of the different health issues faced by women but has also equipped me with the right knowledge and skills to care and support them (women) effectively.

 

Founder and Chair

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Mr Foday Yusuf Sillah

BSC Honours Econimics with Accounting Bias, Advanced Mental Health Practitioner, Member of the Royal Chartered Management Institute. Married with three children plus 30 years frontline experience in NHS.

Training Team Lead 

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Mr Edwin Samu

Edwin is the Founder of Edmil Accountants and Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience in the Accountancy profession. He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a Fellow member of the Association of Accounting Technician(AAT) and holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Accounting.
Edwin is a committee member of the AAT Oxford branch and currently helps businesses, charities and individuals to be compliant with HMRC and Companies House Accountancy and Tax requirements while also providing Tax Advisory services. Edwin also lectures Profesional Accountancy on a part-time basis in one of the local college


Role: Finance Team Lead

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Mr Ivan Coomber

Mr Ivan Coomber is an immigration lawyer, founder and director of Melvyn Everson & Co, a law firm specialising in Immigration, Nationality, Asylum and Human Rights law. His legal experience in this area spans nearly 20 years. His passion to lift his own into substance remains undiminished.


Legal/International Team Lead

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Mr Winston Dixon

Experienced logistics supply chain planner with a demonstrated history working in Military Logistics and Supply Chain Industry and non- governmental organisations such UNHCR, African Concern, DFID. Skilled in Operations management, Supply Chain Optimisation, Command and Leadership. Winston is also mentor with Zeki Youths in Gloucester.


Marketing Team Lead

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Mr Delwyn Thomas

Delwyn has a very diverse background, having worked within the IT sector and with local community organisation. He is a trustee with the African Voices Forum, Women's Health Advocacy Network and a team lead for the Black Professional Network. He is also a past chair of the Sierra Leone Bristol Association. Delwyn currently works for Civica as an application support and development manager. Delwyn believes that anything is possible and is passionate about helping others bring about the change they want to see.
 

Communications/Technical Team Lead