November 26, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura
Non-governmental organisation, Fambul Tok-Sierra Leone, has presented a forty-seven page document to the people of Neine chiefdom in Koinadugu district for validation of recommendations made by residents in villages within the chiefdom.
The document, titled ‘Neini People’s Plan’, contains recommendations and ideas about healing wounds that Ebola has left in the community.
Fambul Tok has over the years engaged in community-healing process as its unique brand of reconciliation and forgiveness, while addressing the root causes of conflict at the local level, as well as restores the dignity of those who suffered directly from violence. The organisation helps war affected individuals reflect on the past and to move forward in ways that avert the renewal of aggression by grounding reconciliation in traditional practices and also helps create healthy communities capable of building new foundations of peace.
Country Director of Fambul Tok, John Caulker, said during the event that the organisation has worked within Neini chiefdom for over a period of four months, collecting different ideas of recovering from the Ebola outbreak and educating the people about their basic needs in the recovery process by government.
“It could be recalled that after the war, there were facilities like schools and other amenities [which were built by government] that were not needed at that time, we don’t want such occurrence to repeat again,” he said.
The Country Director explained that ‘Fambul Tok’ emerged in Sierra Leone as a face-to-face community owned programme that brings together perpetrators and victims of the violence during Sierra Leone’s eleven-year civil war through ceremonies rooted in the local traditions of war-torn villages, adding that it provides Sierra Leonean citizens with an opportunity to come to terms with what happened during the war, talk, heal, and chart a new path forward together.
Caulker promised the people of Neini chiefdom that his organisation would work hand-and-glove with them to putting the chiefdom back to its feet in the post-Ebola era.
Paramount Chief of Neini chiefdom, Alimamy Foday Jalloh III, said Fambul Tok’s intervention was a step in the right direction as it would help bring peace among residents.
Chief Jalloh explained that during the Ebola fight, some members of the communities were blamed for reporting family members and other members of the chiefdom who showed signs of the virus.
He said Fambul Tok is working on how to settle such grievance and bring peace in the community.
“People who lost their relatives to the Ebola Virus Disease are always accusing people to have caused of death of their loved ones because they were the ones who reported them to medical officers,” PC Jalloh said.
He said the chiefdom lost many development achievements, while cultural practices were also put aside.
He thanked Fambul Tok for their work in the chiefdom and in helping them to overcome the challenges in the chiefdom.