Savera UK’s CEO and Founder, Afrah Qassim, has been awarded the Women of Courage Award by the Merseyside Women of the Year Awards 2022.
It is the second time Afrah has received recognition at the Merseyside Women of the Year Award, after she was awarded ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ in 2012. This year’s award recognised her dedication to extending Savera UK’s service since 2016. In the last six years Savera UK has grown to include a national helpline, which provides advice for services and professionals, and a one-to-one holistic support service for clients in Merseyside and Cheshire.
The other element of Savera UK is to raise awareness of harmful practices by marking annual dates, such as International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM (6th February) and the Day of Memory (14th July). The charity has also created online resources to provide easy access to information on the issues, and connects with younger audience through campaigns led by Savera UK Youth.
Following the awards, Afrah said: “I am overwhelmed to have been awarded the Women of Courage Award, sponsored by Courage and Sparkle, at the Merseyside Women of the Year Awards 2022.
“Savera UK has grown so much over the last six years, and we are proud to continue supporting and advocating for anyone at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices, regardless of their age, religion, sexuality or gender. Thank you to everyone who has supported us, past and present, in getting to this point.
“Developing Savera UK to this extent would not be possible without the support of a passionate, determined and caring team. It’s them I dedicate this award to and thank for their ongoing drive to end ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices. I would also like to dedicate this to the individuals who have the courage and bravery to seek their ‘Savera’, or new beginning.”
Today also marks the launch of Savera UK’s annual Impact Report for 2021/2022, which provides figures on the number of clients Savera UK has supported, the nature of partnerships created and our goals and aims for next year.
The report found between April 2021 and March 2022, Savera UK has supported a total of 202 active clients. Of 30 clients assessed, 57% reported an increased level of safety after engaging with Savera UK’s service, and 63% reported an increase in their overall wellbeing.
These statistics are captured in the powerful story of Melika*, a survivor of forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA). After being referred to Savera UK, she said: “I was able to sleep well for the first time in a long time with this protection in place.”
The Impact Report also details how partnership working has continued to increase Savera UK’s reach, and what campaigns and projects Savera UK Youth has been working on over the last 12 months, including information about their month-long #ENDFGM Exhibition at the International Slavery Museum.
You can download Savera UK’s Impact Report 2021/22 here: https://www.saverauk.co.uk/impact/.
*Name has been changed for identity