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Bestselling author & human rights activist Onjali Q. Rauf visits our trust

Two of our primaries were honoured to spend the day with bestselling children's author and human rights activist, Onjali Q. Rauf today.

Nether Edge Primary and Totley Primary's children were treated to an inspirational assembly where Onjali talked about her books, particularly The Boy At The Back Of The Class, and importantly her incredible humanitarian work she does with refugees.

The children were also given the chance to have their treasured books signed by the actual author!

It was wonderful to show Onjali the golden thread of reading going through our primaries, and she was so impressed with the love of reading and oracy so clearly alive in the schools.

Onjali Q. Raúf is a multi award-winning children’s author and women’s and refugee human rights activist. She is the founder and CEO of Making Herstory which works to end the abuse, enslavement and trafficking of women and girls in the UK, and O’s Refugee Aid Team which mobilises aid convoys and funds to help frontline refugee response teams across northern France and beyond. She is the author of Sunday Times bestseller, The Boy at the Back of the Class, which won the Blue Peter Award and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2019, the Sakura Medal of Japan in 2020 and the Janusz Korczak Prize in 2022 amongst many others. Her follow-up stories include The Star Outside My Window, The Night Bus Hero, The Great Food Bank Heist, The Lion Above the Door, a non-fiction title, Hope on the Horizon, and most recently, Where Magic Grows: a book of seven original fairy tales inspired by her travels and best-loved sayings. She was awarded an MBE in 2022 for her services to women’s rights and children’s literature, and in 2023, was recipient of the NEU Fred and Anne Jarvis Award for services to education and her humanitarian works.

Onjali is also a Patron of VIP Reading, Facefront Theatre, and NIA Women; an Ambassador for Walk With Amal, and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought. An alumnus of the Cambridge University Senior Faith in Leadership programme, she was listed as one of BBC’s 100 most influential women from around the world in 2019. Her first children’s play, The Hero Next Door, was staged and toured in England and Wales in 2023. An adaptation of The Boy at the Back of the Class for the stage launches at London’s Rose Theatre in February 2024, and will be touring across England until June 2024.