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Mojatu Foundation

Zainab is a leader, a mother of two beautiful adult children, a grandmother to MayJay and for 34 years, a wife to an amazing fighter for equality, inclusion, and social justice – Victor Koroma.

Originally from Sierra Leone, Zainab lives in the UK for over 30 years and has since settled in Reading, where she calls, “my home from home”.

Zainab has over 30 years of experience in community engagement and development, and has served in various roles in the voluntary sector.

She is the founder member and Chair of the thriving Reading Refugee Support Group and played an instrumental part in developing and managing the activities of the organisation for over 9 years.

She also served as a Senior Services Manager for 11 years at British Red Cross, Thames Valley area and had strategic oversight for the development, design, and delivery of services to vulnerable groups including refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.

During this time, Zainab conducted needs assessments the outcomes of which led to the development of a Red Cross Resource Centre in Milton Keynes, which serves the needs of some of the most vulnerable in Milton Keynes to date.

She continues to passionately support and advocate for the rights of refugees. As someone who is passionate about issues affecting Black and minority communities, Zainab has served in key voluntary roles where she was able to influence strategies that impacted on members of these communities.

As Chair of Reading City of Sanctuary, she led the organisation to host the national AGM in 2017 during which Reading was awarded City of Sanctuary Status.  

Zainab is a strong advocate for women’s issues including ending FGM, a practice which is widespread in Sierra Leone.

She is currently an advisory member to Women with Vision (WwV) community group, and the Rose Centre FGM steering group in Reading.

Both provide advocacy and support to survivors, raise awareness on the harmful practice, and are committed to the campaign ‘end FGM in a generation’.

Recently, she contributed to the development and design of a Gender and Advocacy training manual for Care International.

 Here is what Zainab had to say when asked how she got into all this very empowering and selfless work:

’I have taken pride in ensuring I give my time to engaging and participating to contribute to the well-being of my community, including my Church. I developed the passion for community engagement when I was studying for my undergraduate degree in the early 1980s and had to complete my field study in a small community, where they appeared to lack the knowledge on how to put resources available to the community into good use for their collective benefit.”

According to her, the  gist of the problem was that “the community had the resources to look after itself but believed that they needed to raise money for their children’s education and sold their harvests. However, children were dying of malnutrition while their harvests lay in heaps waiting to be transported to market.”

She went on saying that “spending time with them to rethink this approach through a series of meetings and activities, gave me the incentive to do my best to be part of the team in my various communities with a view to sharing knowledge and learn from each other for our collective growth’’.  

The last 9 years has seen Zainab impacted by the effects of a very rare benign brain tumor called an  acoustic neuroma and she has made a conscious effort to take a step back to focus on self-care, for her wellbeing and for those around her especially family and friends.

Zainab Koroma

However, “I am a very hopeful person and believe that though hope can be risky, it is also persevering, the belief that anything is possible, and it is the best gift we can give to ourselves, family members & friends and our communities.”

In the midst of all this, Zainab still finds time to smile and share her natural gift of love to the world especially her much loved community hence remaining one of esteemed community champions.

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