Fambul Tok International-SL with support from Africa Transitional Justice Lagacy Fund (ATJLF) conducted community healing and reconciliation ceremony at Taninihun Mboka section in Kongbora Chiefdom, Moyamba district on Christmas Eve.
Amidst traditional singing and dancing, community members eagerly awaited the start of the healing and reconciliation ceremony.
Fambul Tok (FT) Sadiatu Pessima called the ceremony to order. She encouraged community members to be at ease as the process was non-judicial. She expressed the need for community unification and national cohesion.
Emma Coker, Peace Mothers’ chairlady thanked FT for bringing them together. She further explained the work they are doing to resolve conflict in the community.
A total of eight cases were resolved. Among which was Janet Thomas and her uncle, Pa Dauda Kallay (who is also the section chief). Pa Kallay accused Janet Thomas of falsely testifying against his ward who was subsequently locked up in the police station. The two had not been in speaking terms for about seven months. They were both reconciled and embraced each other as a sign of acceptance.
Other issues that were settled cut across abuse of power by section authorities, human rights and marital problems.
Community members offered both Muslim and Christian prayers after the healing and reconciliation ceremony. They asked for lasting peace and sustainable development.
Section Chief Pa Dauda Kallay thanked FT and ATJLF for their support in promoting peace in his section. He emphasized that the event is a befitting Christmas gift to the community and “we (community) should see ourselves as ‘Wan Fambul’ (one family)”.
The community healing and bonfire ceremony was held in Moyollo town, Tullu Section, Fakunya chiefdom over the weekend.
It kicked off on Saturday night with all 14 villages sending participants and contributing rice and condiment as local contribution. Fambul Tok facilitated the event with support from Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF).
Bonfire Truth-telling, Healing and Reconciliation
Community members were in joyous mood as they gathered round the bonfire to confess and forgive each other.
15 confessions were done. Among them was one of the youth leaders who abandoned his village for many years due to bad relationship with his fellow youths in Moyollo. He asked to be reconciled with his brothers once again. His issue had to do with sectional football as he was banned from playing in the local team. The committee reconciled him with others and he promised to come back to his village. Other issues ranged from marital problems to increased violence in villages.
Section Chief Pa Sivalie Samavova expressed thanks and appreciation to ATJLF and Fambul Tok for supporting the chiefdom to organize reconciliation ceremonies after a long time.
At sunrise, the Peace Mothers offered both Christian and Muslim prayers for peace and national cohesion in the chiefdom. Then everybody sat in groups and ate the morning meal together.
Fambul Tok, with support from Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF), holds town hall meeting at Bauya in Kongbora chiefdom, Moyamba district, southern Sierra Leone to strengthen community peace-building.
The objective of the meeting is to strengthen peace mothers and Community Welfare and Mediation Committee (CWMCs) capacity to facilitate mediation and healing programs; restore cohesive communities in Kongbora chiefdom through CWMCs.
In his welcome address, Chiefdom speaker Solomon Kangaju appreciated ATJLF for supporting his chiefdom.He encouraged women,CWMCs and section chiefs to contribute to peace and cohesion as the project aims at bringing peace and cohesion in communities.
Alfred Banya of Moyamba District Council said activities of Fambul Tok has helped a lot of communities to be cohesive.He encouraged chiefs to work with Peace Mothers and CWMCs towards achieving peace and community development.
Chiefdom Inclusive Committee chairman, Hawa Peters said the meeting was very important as traditional leaders were present to participate too. She said women are now decision makers compared to past years, through the process of continuous engagement of peace mothers in community activities. She said women still play vital role in peace and development.
As the way forward they suggested training for women on gender based violence; sectional engagements to embark on sensitization on various topics relating to women’s empowerment; provision of information center for the chiefdom; and cross chiefdom visitation to share ideas and knowledge.
The town hall meeting brought together 81 participants including Peace Mothers, CWMCs, section chiefs, youth leaders, religious leaders and mammy queens from all 10 sections in Kongbora chiefdoms.