International Day of Peace Press Statement

The International Day of Peace (IDP) is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

The IDP was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. We celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.

In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we join the international community and the people of Sierra Leone to be inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.

We applaud the government of Sierra Leone for setting up the National Peace Commission and hope that it will be given the full capacity to build sustainable peace and national cohesion.

Our country ranks 46 in the Peace Index slipping 10 places from 2020 GPI. In spite of the fact that we rank 4th in Sub- Sahara Africa, we call for more efforts from government, stakeholders and citizens to improve our standing as a peaceful state among the community of nations.

The pandemic is known for hitting the underprivileged and marginalized groups the hardest. We salute the citizenry for enduring and adhering to COVID19 preventive measures. Fambul Tok will continue with the roll out of the Wan Fambul National Framework in order to give communities agency in their development, peace and cohesion.

Fambul Tok calls on all stakeholders to help address the root causes of conflict and create conditions that foster peace and to particularly resolve residual post elections conflicts relating to chieftaincy leadership. We call on government and political parties to foster an environment of tolerance and the tenets of good governance.

Fambul Tok Boosts Konio Peace Mothers Soap Production

On the 20th September 2021, Fambul Tok Kailahun team handed over soap-making items consisting  of one bag caustic soda, 12 gallons of palm oil, two big rubber bowls and one packet of gloves to Konio section Peace Mothers in Cheseneh community, Konio section, Kissi Teng chiefdom, kailahun district. A to

Konio Peace Mothers Executive

tal number of 9 female members and one male attended the meeting.

Sallay Conteh the Peace Mothers’ Treasurer thanked Fambul Tok for the donation and for ensuring unity, awareness and prevalence of peace among community people especially for women’s inclusion. She stated that people have been pointing fingers on them and calling them names but this intervention shows Fambul Tok cares for its Peace Mothers.

The group’s chairlady Femata James also expressed her satisfaction over the handing over ceremony.  She assured Fambul Tok that she will keep the group in working order to produce and supply the entire section and even beyond with enough soap. She further stated that they need no trainer for the production because Fambul Tok has developed their knowledge long ago.

The handing over ceremony ended with the team lead Lucia Brima encouraging Peace Mothers to continue their activity and bring more women on board.

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.