Frequently asked questions
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.
Abdifatah: Advocacy Coordinator - Dear Daughter Campaign, Somalia
I was born and raised in Somalia. I received my primary and secondary education in my home country, and also completed my first degree in neighboring Ethiopia. I have prepared my undergraduate degree in social sciences especially international relations and diplomacy.
After graduation, for the last 10 years I have joined humanitarian organizations working in Somalia in various capacities. My work has included human rights issues, peace building and conflict resolution, and gender-based violence. My work has included giving training workshops on gender-based violence, teaching people how to deal with victims of sexual harassment, how to provide psychological support GBV case management and how to guide victims in areas where they can get help.
I have worked in the central regions of Somalia, Puntland and southern Somalia. I love promoting my profession as a human rights advocate.