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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Gambian in UK gets award for tackling racism and sexism

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A schoolgirl has been given an award for her work educating young people about issues such as racism and sexism.

Mariama, 15, from Bristol, is a trustee of the charity Integrate UK, set up by young people in the city.

It uses videos and workshops to raise awareness of radicalisation, female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual exploitation and Islamophobia.

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Mariama said it was “amazing” to win the Young Hero Award from the National Lottery.

Integrate UK, which benefits from lottery funding, was founded in 2009 by a group of girls from Bristol. It now works across the UK providing workshops to schools, often using videos and other creative media.

Mariama joined the charity, which tackles the topics of gender and racial inequality in particular, in 2018.

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Amaal Ali, project manager at Integrate UK, said: “Mariama has been an amazing part of the charity and she is also part of the trustee team, which means she is taking direction of what Integrate UK does next and how it continues to support young people in Bristol and the UK.”

Mariama said: “I’m Gambian, so outside of Integrate and school things I’m part of an organisation called Senegambia Hidden Talent where we basically organise different events, fundraisers and educational trips.

“We’ve taken trips to the Houses of Parliament, the University of Bristol and Buckingham Palace.”

‘One person can make a change’

In the future, Mariama said she wanted to be known as someone who kept speaking out on issues.

“I want to be known as that person who is confident enough to speak for everybody,” she said.

“You can always be that one person to make a change.”


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