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Dr. Nina Smart is a human rights activist, sociologist, and author who educates people about female genital mutilation (FGM) and works to eradicate the practice in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
 
Dr. Smart’s passion for human rights, her academic expertise and unique biography, places her inside and outside of Sierra Leonean culture, allowing her to make important inroads in Sierra Leone.  In 2004, Dr. Smart founded Servicing Wild Flowers –SWF International, a Los Angeles based non-profit NGO that raises awareness about FGM through lectures and presentations for students and socially conscious groups.  She works directly in rural areas of Sierra Leone, together with SWF partners, who facilitate community meetings. Her organization supports projects that protect children and women and empower families.  SWF provided assistance during the Ebola crisis.
 
Women Empowerment Initiative at the University of California, Irvine, where she completed her doctoral studies, launched her memoir, Wild Flower – the True Story of a Romanian Girl in Africa, in November 2014. Dr. Smart’s book is used at numerous Universities across the US to teach courses in the social sciences, peace and conflict studies, literary composition, media, law and society, education and women’s studies.
 
Dr. Smart straddles many cultures—Romanian, American, West African, academia and activism. She has built bridges between these worlds and through her tireless efforts is educating people, unveiling the systemic causes of FGM in Sierra Leone, and is creating a safer space for women in the communities she works and lives in.
 
A proud Soroptimist and enthusiastic volunteer in both African and Romanian communities, Dr. Nina Smart was chosen as 2016 ‘Woman of the Year’ for her non-profit work by Senator Mendoza of California and honored by the United States Congress.  Dr. Smart inspires and moves others to action by offering opportunities to collaborate on effective solutions to end FGM in a non-violent way.
 
 
 
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).
 
 
 
Additional information:
 
Update about the latest torture case being handled in Kenema, Sierra Leone. Here is a link to a BBC article from 22 September 2016 that will give you an idea of how challenging it is for most activists to work with this culturally accepted issues.
 
Streamed live on Sep 22, 2016
Senator Harry Reid announces the release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on how the U.S. government addresses female genital mutilation (FGM). Joined by Jaha Dukureh, FGM Survivor and founder of Safe Hands for Girls and Shelby Quast, policy director for Equality Now, Senator Reid discusses the devastating impact FGM has on women and girls and calls on the United States to do more to stop the practice at home and abroad. Senator Reid will also announce the upcoming U.S. Girl Summit 2016, which will provide a blueprint on how the United States can provide services to survivors and take the lead in ending FGM once and for all.
 
 
 
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