In the first publication of His Majesty’s King Charles III New Year's Honours List, we are delighted that Hestia colleague Alimatu Yagbessay Dimonekene (pictured above left) was one of those recognised.

Alimatu is as leading anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) campaigner, activist and advocate, and was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to the prevention of violence against women and girls.

Currently Alimatu works at our Newham Domestic Violence Service, and amongst many other things she delivers vital training on FGM to all our professionals and frontline officers at Hestia.

Alimatu is an award-winning women and girls’ rights advocate. She is a tireless activist who has dedicated her life to enhancing the reproductive health rights of women and girls, especially those affected by harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) with child and early forced marriage and exploitation.

For over 30 years Alimatu has used her expertise in campaigning for the rights of women and girls across the world and in her home country of Sierra Leone. On receiving her MBE, Alimatu commented:

"I’ve committed my life to fighting to end violence against women and girls especially FGM. Receiving the MBE for my services to this amazing work I do is truly an honour, and it couldn’t have come at a better time."

Huge congratulations and thanks to Alimatu for her incredible work!

Alimatu (right) pictured in her role as anti-FGM campaigner