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Rachel Allison - Helen Kim Memorial Scholar

Beverley’s strong Methodist movement is further enhanced by the winner of this World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women Award.

21-year-old Rachel is currently studying politics, religion and philosophy at Birmingham. Her hobbies include cycling, baking and playing viola as well as being part of the University Methodist Society. She hails from a Methodist background - her Mum is a Minister and her Dad a Local Preacher - and has always had a passion for justice, peace and faith.

Having become a member of Methodist Women in Britain, a charity which actively campaigns for social justice nationally and internationally, it was a fellow member who suggested she also got involved in the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (WFM&UCW) and apply for a Helen Kim Memorial Scholarship.

Helen Kim was the founder of the WFM&UCW. She had a vision of world-wide sister-hood which would work together for justice and peace, inspiring young women particularly to have hope for the hopeless, security for the insecure, faith for the fearful and give voice to the voiceless. Rachel has been selected as the Memorial Scholar for the British Unit of the WFM&UCW. The 5-year scholarship provides leadership training to encourage more women to get involved in the work of the organisation as well as to work on one or more of the United Nation’s Strategic Development Goals. Rachel’s goal is to work for gender equality through challenging gender-based violence, specifically looking at helping tackle the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

Rachel told Just Beverley: “Any form of gender-based violence is abhorrent and for me; this is one of the least talked about and most worrying forms of gender-based violence. It is an attack on the autonomy and sexuality of women. It’s inflicted on young girls all over the world and is particularly prevalent in the UK now. I hope to help increase awareness of the practice in Britain and encourage women and men to campaign on better checks and more support and training for those who are trying to tackle the problem and deal with the aftermath.”

Rachel’s initial training was carried out at the World Assembly of the WFM&UCW in Houston, Texas recently. This she found exciting and challenging. I am sure we all wish her well over the next 5 years and look forward to updates as she fights the corner for so many women and girls who are unable to fight for themselves.

To find out more about the Helen Kim Memorial Scholarship and the WFM&UCW please visit: www.wfmucw.org/about/helenkim-memorial-scholarship To find out more about Methodist Women in Britain visit: www.mwib.org.uk

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