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Anti-knife campaigner Eliza Rebeiro 'didn't expect' inspirational woman nod

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SHE'S 21, she's from Croydon and she has been named one of the 100 most inspirational women in the world.

Eliza Rebeiro, who runs Lives Not Knives (LNK) from Croydon, features on the BBC's 100 Women for 2014 list along with female leaders like Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and comedienne Ruby Wax.

She started the charity in 2007 aged just 14 to give young people a support network after two of her friends were stabbed, one fatally.

The award is the latest in a long line of awards for Eliza, who was named one of the women of the future last year.

Eliza, who now runs the charity from a large base in Centrale Shopping Centre, said: "What these awards have done is given me a voice."

She added: "It is allowing me to speak up.

"I was young when I started so I didn't expect it, it has been a good few years for me.

"I have met a lot of people recently and it has been a lot of fun."

Among the speakers at a glitzy BBC bash launching the list last week were other nominees including Joyce Banda, Malawi's Prime Minister.

Eliza added: "There were four key speakers who were really inspirational; they spoke about how they had become strong leaders.

"The main thing I learned from it is that most women don't support other women and how difficult it is to do things when not even your own women support you.

"How can women become leaders if there is that negativity?"

Eliza said with all the names on the list, the one she admires most is Purley-based chef Pinky Lilani, who nominated the LNK founder for inclusion.

At its Centrale base, the charity is focusing on youth employability and Eliza hopes to do more to help improve women's rights in other countries.

Despite having shown considerable leadership qualities in the past, Eliza is certain she does not want to pursue one career – politics.

She said: "I was asked by the Conservatives if I would like to stand [in May's local elections] but I said no, thought I think it was good they asked me.

"It shows they are trying to reach out. Labour didn't ask me.

"I don't think it's for me. There's too much corruption out there. It's people who know how to say the right things. I can't imagine being in that world."

Anti-knife campaigner Eliza Rebeiro 'didn't expect' inspirational woman nod


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