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Archive for June, 2019

Sisters at Bethnal Green Academy rescued from abroad amid FGM and forced marriage fears

Two teenage sisters who feared being victims of female genital mutilation and forced marriage were only rescued after they contacted the Foreign Office begging for help.

The teenagers were taken out Bethnal Green academy by their mother in July 2016 — 16 months after Shamima Begum and three classmates left the same school to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria.

The two sisters were repatriated almost a year later after texting the UK Government’s Forced Marriage Unit stating that their passports had been confiscated and they were being abused at their new boarding school in east Africa.

Six months after they first went missing the sisters managed to contact friends on social media, saying they were being held against their will and “enrolled at a school where they were being beaten”, according to an independent report into the case.

The government did not become aware of their plight until four months after the girls first raised the alarm.

The report found: “The two sisters were removed from school by their mother and taken to [the East African country]. There they were enrolled in a school where they were to be de-westernised.

Yarm School students host concert in aid of The Halo Project

STUDENTS at a sixth form have organised an evening of music to raise money for a women’s refuge charity.

Alex Dunn, 17, of Yarm School, was inspired after a visit from Middlesbrough charity The Halo Project.

The charity, which supports victims of forced marriage, FGM and domestic-based violence, spoke to the students about its work and upcoming projects.

The lower sixth student and his friend, Aislinn Kalya, 16, wanted to find a way to rally support for the charity.

Together, the pair have spent the last five months organising an Influential Women concert which will be held at the school’s auditorium next week.

Following the theme of influential women in music, Alex and Aislinn contacted local performing groups and musicians and have put together a jam-packed lineup of variety performance.

Alex said: “We thought it was really incredible what The Halo Project are doing and we decided to raise some money to help them.

“We’re hoping to raise a few thousand pounds to help them refurbish some of the safe houses and house some more.

“We have spoken to local acts who agreed to be part of it.

“I have been choreographing some dances for school pupils and putting together some performances.

“We have done all the brand and promotion ourselves. We have been out and handed out fliers in the local area. We made a trailer for the concert.

The concert will be held at Yarm School Princess Alexandra Auditorium on Wednesday 19th June at 7pm.

Tickets are £5 for concessions and children and £7 for adults and can be bought via the box office 01642 792587 or online at