Human Security Project Empowers Women of Soa Chiefdom

Soa Chiefdom Women’s Ambassadors

As part of strengthening women in Soa chiefdom, Kono district, Fambul Tok has identified women in all sections and started training programs as ambassadors in their communities. The objective of the training sessions is to address grievance / conflict issues in their communities, promote peace-building, and monitor locally to identify early warning signs. The women after the trainings will also transfer these skills to other members and promote Sustainable Development Goals in their various communities. The training is part of the Human Security Project supported by UNDP and FAO Sierra Leone.

The training topics range from gender equality, gender mainstreaming, empowerment; communication skills; and peace building approaches. The training of the women peace ambassadors was held in Sukudu village, Sawafiama section.

In her welcome address, chiefdom women’s leader Haja Fatmata Yarjah said women play very important roles in the development of any community. She disclosed that women in Soa chiefdom have not been left out by chiefdom administration, but added, they should be included in various activities. She said the chiefdom is faced with lots of challenges, one of which has link with the deplorable road networks.

She encouraged participants to take the training session very serious, admonishing them, to convey whatever skills they will learn to other community members in various sections.

Emphasizing on the importance of offering such sessions to women, Lilian Morsay, Fambul Tok Peace Mothers Coordinator said women need to take the lead in peace building approach to ensure communities remain peaceful.

She said women are faced with several problems, and added that, training them to be ambassadors will help promote peace, unity and stability in their communities and contribute to the socio-economic development of their communities and the nation as a whole.

Fambul Tok Lucinda Kelley said women should participate in locally led mechanisms for addressing grievances and platforms for inclusive decision-making. She said women in Kailahun, Pujehun and Moyamba are making progress for the fact they are now walking together.

She said that promoting and facilitating mediation through dialogue activities and truth telling among conflicting parties at grassroots level, will enable conflict transformation and sustainable peace using traditional approaches involving respected community members and leaders. It will also provide necessary support for the empowerment of women to establish non-violent forms of conflict resolution at community level. She said rural women should be involved in conflict resolution, mediation and reconciliation especially in post-election era so that they can also contribute to peace and help raise development priorities.

One of the sectional women’s leaders, Finda Jabba, explained that after the 2018 general elections women faced challenges as some women were accused of not voting for preferred candidates. She hailed the training and said as they now know their rights and responsibilities to participate in community programs they will continue to come out in their numbers to contribute to development aspirations in their chiefdom.

Kumba Kamanda highlighted various issues and said women are great pillars to development in communities. She encouraged them to come out of the kitchen and be involved in active engagements to resolve conflicts in the chiefdom. She said women are vulnerable but very powerful when fully engaged in most community services.

After the training, the new ambassadors formed an executive and suggested that they meet at the end of every month on rotational basis.

Fambul Tok Donates Cassava Processing Machine to Semabu Peace Mothers

Fambul Tok donates gari (cassava) processing machine and one drying tray to Peace Mothers in Semabu Community Boukor Section Peje Bongre Chiefdom, Kailahun district on the 14th September 2021to the strengthen the group’s sustainability.

Lucia Brima, Fambul Tok’s Field Officer said the donation is to support the women in Semabu to continue their work on peacebuilding a

Semabu Peace Mothers Receive Cassava Machine

nd sustainable development in the community. She admonished the group to take care of the equipment and do regular maintenance. “One day”, she said, “Fambul Tok will not be around to do peacebuilding. It will be their responsibility to carry on and make their community people”.

Fambul Tok Trains Youth Ambassadors in Soa Chiefdom

Youth from all sections in Soa chiefdom, Kono district have undergone intensive training on different topics in peace building to avoid violence and other forms of bad social behaviors in their communities.

The training targeting male and female youth from all nine sections in the chief

Youth Ambassadors training

dom is part of “The human security project” supported by UNDP and FAO.

In his welcome address, chiefdom youth leader Peter Foyoh said ‘youth are very happy to see young people gather together in the interest of promoting peace in the chiefdom’. He said ‘Soa chiefdom administration is one of the chiefdoms that takes youth and women activities into consideration’. He said: ‘every section has female authority to close the gap of gender equality’.

Giving a background of the human security project, Fambul Tok Project Officer Solomon Yarjoh said the project would be implemented in Soa, Kamara and Gbense chiefdoms that face multiple challenges and vulnerabilities. He said the youth ambassadors training will strengthen young people to understand conflict and would be able to promote peace and social cohesion.

On civic education, he said it can be broadly defined as the provision of information and learning experiences to equip and empower citizens to participate in democratic processes. He went on to state that civic education is an important and effective tool that facilitates the active participation of citizens in democratic  processes.

Issa Kamara, one of the facilitators dealt on the issue of rights of youth. He mentioned that according to the National Youth Policy document of 2007, a youth is any young person (male or female) within the age bracket of 15 and 35 years.

He said youths have certain rights and responsibilities as stated in the Youth Policy document.

The rights include the following: Right to life and proper growth and development as a person; Right to vote and participate in politics; Freedom of speech; Freedom of assembly and association; Protection against cruel and unusual / inhumane treatments; Right to be gainfully employed (if qualified).

He said youth have several rights but go with responsibilities such as abiding by the rules and regulations of their society, promoting peace, unity and stability of their communities or chiefdoms (serving as peace ambassadors or agents of peace and reconciliation) and contributing to the socio-economic development of their communities and the nation as a whole among others.

The facilitator explained that youth have roles in promoting community peace and social cohesion as sensitizing their peers on the importance of peace, unity and stability of their communities and the nation through various activities.

One of the sectional female youth leaders, Sia Sandy said the training is very important to youth, especially as elections draw nearer in two years time. She pointed out that most times young people are used by politicians for violence. They give drugs and other things to young people to perpetrate violence.

Chiefdom women’s leader, Haja Fatmata Yarjah cautioned participants to take the session serious, adding that violence erupted in the chiefdom due to problem in one of the sections that resulted in the burning down of houses. She said everyone wants peace and stability in the chiefdom.

Chiefdom youth leader, Peter Foyoh encouraged participants to always mingle with each other to help promote peace and social cohesion.

After the training ended, the new ambassadors promised to work with everyone when they return to their communities.