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Freetown, Western Area, Sierra Leone
Human rights and peace practitioner
Fambul Tok International
I founded and have led the implementation of the Fambul Tok program since its inception in 2007. As the national chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Working Group, I pressured the government of Sierra Leone to implement the recommendations of the TRC's 2004 report. During the outbreak of Ebola I advocated for the involvement of community members in the fight against Ebola, as they are best place to help break the circle of the virus within their communities. Today, I support the Wan Fambul National Framework for Inclusive Governance and Local Development in Sierra Leone.
Thanks Ashly for your comments. Sorry we have been off line for a variety of reasons for most of July.
We have tried to incorporate more of our stories in our current submission. We will be working to try and tell individual stories in the final response. Here are a few of the stories that first come to mind.
Grace’s was a part of the Peace Mothers in her village and a section representative. When a Section Chief position became open, the women came to Grace and asked her to run. At first she was hesitant because women are not a part of the chief structures and their participation is not encouraged culturally. She then told them even if she wanted to run she did not have money to run the campaign. But the women convinced her and told her that they would raise the money needed because they wanted a voice that would speak for them and their children finally in power. So she told them, if you raise the funds I will do it. Everything she needed like rice, palm oil, goats, and even cash was raised by the women of the section. [In SL it is traditional that in order to run as a chief there are required things you must bring to Paramount chief to be given the go ahead to run a campaign. When Grace appeared the morning of the election with all the required items the other two (male) canidates excused themselves from the election because they had not managed to raise the needed items. Grace became the Section Chief and is now serving her people, with a special heart for the issues of women and children. She told us at .gathering when she recited this story, "I learned my leadership skills from the Peace Mothers. And I earned this title from the Peace Mothers. If I do not serve my people with knowledge then I should not hold the office."
Neini story - Chief Jalloh - Told us how after the PPP process in his district the residents decided to stop waiting, and raised money among themselves and the diaspora to build their bridge. They bought the cement and provided the labor, cajoled the DC into providing the engineers - and got their bridge built, after years of it never being done by the district or national gov’t.
Koinadugu DC (former) Sheku Kamara - said the Inclusive District Committee made his job “60%” easier.
I once talked with one man from the far north at lunch at the committee launch meeting, Moses, who felt like being involved in the PPP was the first time he ever felt like he was Sierra Leonean.
I hope this answers your questions. If you have ideas on how to improve our submission we would be keen to learn more.