ABOUT IFRAH FOUNDATION

The absolute abandonment of FGM in Somalia and the horn of Africa, in collaboration with a coalition of partners.

OUR VISION

OUR MISSION

  •  Create a path for the cultural abandonment of FGM/C 

  • Coordinate awareness-raising, advocacy and community empowerment initiatives with our partners

  • Implement FGM/C survivor support systems.

"Be the voice, not the victim"

Ifrah Ahmed

Ifrah Foundation was founded in 2010 by Ifrah Ahmed, an Irish citizen originally from Somalia. Ifrah Foundation has been active in Somalia since 2013, where it is a registered Civil Society Organisation (CSO). Ifrah Foundation is also a registered charity in Ireland. 

Ifrah Ahmed is one of the world's top international FGM/C eradication advocates and activists. Ifrah has received multiple awards for her work and she campaigns relentlessly for legislation to ban FGM/C around the world. Ifrah is the Gender Advisor to the Government in Somalia.

Ifrah Foundation aims to:

  • Support the work of Ifrah Ahmed

  • Implement a National FGM/C Eradication Program in Somalia

  • Support similar initiatives in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region in Africa.

 STAFF 

IFRAH'S RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS

OUR TEAM

Ifrah Ahmed: Founder & Programme Director


Ifrah Ahmed is an Irish/Somali activist, campaigner and CSO director working in the field of FGM/C abandonment. She set up her first CSO, United Youth of Ireland in 2008, in response to youth immigrant integration issues in her country of adoption. From personal experience, she leant her voice to the FGM/C campaign in Ireland and further afield in Europe and turned her focus to the specific gender issue of FGM/C by founding the CSO that carries her name in 2010. Ifrah Foundation was founded in 2010 and is now a charitable foundation registered in Ireland and Somalia since 2017. Ifrah Foundation has partnered on a wide variety of projects delivering impactful results with international NGOs and has formed strategic partnerships with governmental agencies on policy and legislation, international media experts and community empowerment and education programs at grass roots level. Ifrah's focus over the past four years has been to deliver programs in Somalia intended to provide the evidence-based results that inform Ifrah Foundation’s scoping of its proposed National Action Plan for the Abandonment of FGM/C in Somalia in line with the UN SDG of FGM/C eradication by 2030.




Leonie Kerins: Executive Director


Leonie has worked in the field of human rights and social justice for over 20 years. Having spent almost 12 years working for Doras, a human rights based NGO supporting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants secure access to their rights, she joined the Foundation in November 2018. Prior to that, Leonie obtained a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences (B. Soc. Sc.) from the University College Cork, followed by a Master of Science in Population and Development Studies (MSc Pop. Dev.) from the London School of Economics and Political Science where her research dissertation looked at Ireland’s Integration Policies (completed in 2007). Having emigrated to France in 1992, Leonie spend over 10 years working for the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris. Many of these years were on the Africa Desk working as part of a team guiding African governments through the World Heritage application process. During her time at UNESCO, Leonie was routinely seconded to the Secretariat of the Executive Board, UNESCO’s decision-making body. A fluent French speaker, Leonie gained experience in providing support service for English speakers in Paris and volunteered for several years with an organisation there.




Dr Louise Dawson: Policy and Programme Consultant


Dr Louise Dawson has worked in the area of social justice for over 25 years with a specific interest in advocacy and health. Louise has worked extensively as a Researcher, Case Manager, Professional Advocate, Mediator, Guardian Ad Litem and Independent Expert Witness. Her professional experiences extend across a range of community based projects internationally including Uk, Ireland, Holland and Sweden.





 BOARD MEMBERS 

Ifrah Ahmed: Founder & Programme Director


Ifrah Ahmed is an Irish/Somali activist, campaigner and CSO director working in the field of FGM/C abandonment. She set up her first CSO, United Youth of Ireland in 2008, in response to youth immigrant integration issues in her country of adoption. From personal experience, she leant her voice to the FGM/C campaign in Ireland and further afield in Europe and turned her focus to the specific gender issue of FGM/C by founding the CSO that carries her name in 2010. Ifrah Foundation was founded in 2010 and is now a charitable foundation registered in Ireland and Somalia since 2017. Ifrah Foundation has partnered on a wide variety of projects delivering impactful results with international NGOs and has formed strategic partnerships with governmental agencies on policy and legislation, international media experts and community empowerment and education programs at grass roots level. Ifrah's focus over the past four years has been to deliver programs in Somalia intended to provide the evidence-based results that inform Ifrah Foundation’s scoping of its proposed National Action Plan for the Abandonment of FGM/C in Somalia in line with the UN SDG of FGM/C eradication by 2030.




Leonie Kerins: Executive Director


Leonie has worked in the field of human rights and social justice for over 20 years. Having spent almost 12 years working for Doras, a human rights based NGO supporting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants secure access to their rights, she joined the Foundation in November 2018. Prior to that, Leonie obtained a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences (B. Soc. Sc.) from the University College Cork, followed by a Master of Science in Population and Development Studies (MSc Pop. Dev.) from the London School of Economics and Political Science where her research dissertation looked at Ireland’s Integration Policies (completed in 2007). Having emigrated to France in 1992, Leonie spend over 10 years working for the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris. Many of these years were on the Africa Desk working as part of a team guiding African governments through the World Heritage application process. During her time at UNESCO, Leonie was routinely seconded to the Secretariat of the Executive Board, UNESCO’s decision-making body. A fluent French speaker, Leonie gained experience in providing support service for English speakers in Paris and volunteered for several years with an organisation there.




Dr Louise Dawson: Policy and Programme Consultant


Dr Louise Dawson has worked in the area of social justice for over 25 years with a specific interest in advocacy and health. Louise has worked extensively as a Researcher, Case Manager, Professional Advocate, Mediator, Guardian Ad Litem and Independent Expert Witness. Her professional experiences extend across a range of community based projects internationally including Uk, Ireland, Holland and Sweden.





 PATRON 

Sabina Coyne Higgins


Sabina Coyne, now Sabina Coyne Higgins, was born in Cloonrane on the Galway/Mayo
border and went to school in Ballindine and Claremorris, Co. Mayo. She was the sixth of
seven children of John and Mary (nee Kilkenny) Coyne.

Sabina moved to Dublin where she worked in the Land Commission. She studied
Speech and Stage Craft at the Brendan Smith Academy. When Deirdre O’Connell came
from the Actor’s Studio in New York and founded the Dublin Stanislavsky Studio Drama School in 1963, Sabina was one of her first students – she was later Deirdre’s
bridesmaid when Deirdre married Luke Kelly of the Dubliners. In 1967, they founded Dublin Focus Theatre with Tom Hickey, Timmy McDonald, Declan & Mary Elizabeth Burke Kennedy, Dick Callanan, Joan Bergin and others. Sabina was prominent in the public performances of the Stanislavski Improvisation Theatre and later the Focus Improvisational Theatre.
Focus productions were modern classics from around the world – Ibsen, Strindberg,
Chekhov, Anouilh, Camus, Beckett, Hellman, Sorayan, Millar, and T. Williams etc.
Sabina met Michael D. Higgins in 1969 at a party in Dublin, in women’s journalist
Mary Kenny’s home. In 1974 they were married in Dublin’s Haddington Road Church.
Sabina moved to Galway. There, in addition to working as a partner with Michael D. in
every campaign and in public life for over thirty years, she maintained her involvement
with Theatre and Community Arts, and with Womens’ Groups. Sabina was also very
active in community initiatives in Galway and in particular in education. She was very
involved in the setting up of Parents’ Councils on a local and national level to promote
parents as partners in education. She was chairperson for a time of the Parent’s
Council of the Jesuit –The Jes– Secondary School.

Sabina has a BA in Arts and an MA in Theatre from NUI Galway. Sabina and President Higgins have four children, one daughter, Alice Mary, and three sons, John, Michael Edward and Daniel.





FINANCIAL REPORTS

  • Ifrah became the first woman to broadcast her testimony about undergoing FGM/C.

  • Over one million people sign a petition to the Somalian president for the introduction of FGM/C legislation.
     

  • Ifrah appointed as Gender Advisor to the President of Somalia.

  • Ifrah appointed as Human Rights advisor to the Government of Somalia.
     

  • The first high-level conference of political and religious stakeholders convenes to debate FGM/C.

  • Initiated18-month in-depth research study on the status of FGM/C in Somalia.
     

  • Authored the methodology for the National Action Plan FGM/C abandonment in Somalia. 

  • Co-ordinated the first National Gathering on FGM attended by the Government Ministers.
     

  • Co-ordinated the Global Media Campaign Media Training Academy in Mogadishu.
     

  • Steering the Attorney General to commit to the first ever prosecution of FGM/C in Somalia following world-wide traction on the story of the death of 10-year old Deequa, who bled to death after the procedure.

OUR Partners

Ifrah Foundation is a registered charity in the Republic of Ireland: CRN 20205142 | CHY 21629 | CLG 643603 

A certified NGO in the Federal Republic of Somalia: 
0001-D 2019 

Ifrah Foundation's registered address:
3 Main Street, Glaslough, Co Monaghan, Ireland & Hamar Jajab, Near Port, Mogadishu, Somalia

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