Students for Women’s Rights: Speaking Out Against FGM

Published Tue, Feb 27, 2024
Written by Dana Kaltenberger



While it may be hard for us to read about it, female genital mutilation (FGM) is still a common practice in Sierra Leone and in the communities served by EduNations’ schools. In addition to irreversible effects on sexual health, FGM is not just painful, but can also lead to life-threatening infections such as hepatitis and HIV-AIDS.

Since EduNations teaches students about their health and rights, we are proud when students demonstrate the strength of character to speak out against such things as FGM.

One such student is Hannah Hawanatu Koroma. Hannah is 16 years old, and the third of five children. Hannah’s father is Pastor James Koroma and her mother, Agnes, is a petty trader. Hannah is a Senior Secondary School 2nd-year (SSS2) student with favorite subjects of History, Government, and English Language. Hannah wants to become a lawyer.



Hannah decided it was time for young women to stand up and say no to FGM in our various schools, communities, and Sierra Leone at large. While changing such deeply embedded cultural practices may be difficult and slow, change almost always comes when one person speaks up as Hannah has done. Because of Hannah, some village “aunties” who would have taught and practiced FGM have already stopped.

Hannah thanks donors for their support which provides not just a quality education, but also three healthy meals a day, and a comfortable home with other students. “May God bless you all and bless EduNations,” said Hannah.