Midaye’s work to end FGM receives the nOscar award recognition.
Midaye’s team of community health advocates won an award at the annual nOscars ceremony hosted by Naz On 13 November 2017. Naz is a charity that promotes better sexual health for everyone. The team won the Wellbeing Award for their work with women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). The award was presented by HSH Prince Leo von Breithen-Thurn at the Hurlingham Club reception in London.
The team, together with a specialist midwife, a lead social worker, and trauma counsellor, support pregnant women affected by FGM at Chelsea and Westminster hospital. The Arabic and Somali speaking health advocates provide emotional and practical support to women, playing a vital role in breaking down barriers between women, their families and statutory support services. They also run community engagement events with the lead social worker from Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea council, which is vital to protecting girls from FGM and ending the practice.
This collaborative model has made women’s experience of, and access to maternity and social care, better for them and their baby. The team creates a safe and trusting health and social work service as there is better communication and exchange of ideas.
The FGM team: Amna Hassan, Zaynab Mohamed, Suhad Adam, Soead Idris, Lotte Good (Midaye) Gourita Gibbs, FGM lead (Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster council) and Debora Alcayde, FGM specialist midwife (Chelsea and Wesminster Hospital).
Amna Hassan, Midaye’s community advocate, said: “I wasn’t expecting our win at all, because from the beginning it has always just been about what we can do to support the women. I felt so happy for all of us to be recognised, and grateful to be part of a fabulous team. We all support each other: it is our heads, hands and hearts working together that makes it work so well. We thank Naz so much for their support.”
It is estimated that there are 60,000 girls under 15 at risk of FGM, and over 130,000 girls and women living with effects of FGM in the UK. FGM is child abuse and against the law, it has a considerable impact on women’s health, mental health and wellbeing, particularly when pregnant. However, women from FGM practicing communities are often vulnerable, English is an additional language, they may suffer abuse, and have a number of social problems, but are not accessing health and social support services. The team is tackling this inequality.
The nOscars celebrate and recognise the valuable contributions made by individuals, projects and programmes across the sector to ensure Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities (BAME) have access to vital sexual health services and treatment.