Homerton Alumna awarded the MBE

Photo: Teaching in Sierra Leone

Miriam Mason-Sesay, the Country Director of EducAid Sierra Leone has been awarded an MBE for her exceptional services to education and to charitable work in Sierra Leone.

For over a decade Miriam has been central to developing the provision of education in Sierra Leone after the devastation of 10 years of civil war.  She has made great strides in helping to re-build the country's education system and has given hope to hundreds of young victims of the brutal conflict.

Miriam is originally from Banbury in Oxforshire, where her parents still live.  She was educated at Blessed George Napier Secondary School and then attended Goldsmiths College, London to read French.  Subsequently she trained as a teacher at Homerton College, Cambridge. After leaving Homerton College she taught in a number of schools in the UK - primarily focusing on modern languages.

Miriam went to Sierra Leone in 2000 and singlehandedly drove forward the project 'EducAid' raising funds and providing free education and a daily meal for over 1600 pupils, many of whom were orphans or former child soldiers.  Other initiatives have included a new and innovative secondary education curriculum, a thriving women's project, a teacher training facility and international scholarships.

Well known and respected, she has stayed the course in a country of daily hardships where many come and go.  Miriam has been the subject of several media articles including one entitled 'The Angel of Freetown' by the Mail on Sunday in 2008.  She has done much to promote relationships on many levels between the UK and Sierra Leone as well as her evident commitment to education.

On learning of her award Miriam said:  "This is exciting for EducAid and an opportunity for all to see the great commitment of the EducAid team.  We passionately believe in the power of education to overcome poverty and look forward to many more years of seeing young people's lives transformed as they learn."