March 23, 1991 is always remembered as a day of reflection. It was the day when the first shot was fired in the town of Bomaru, Upper Bambara chiefdom, Kailahun district, declaring war in Sierra Leone.
To commemorate March 23rd this year, peacemakers in 30 schools in Fambul Tok operational districts (Kailahun, Kono, Moyamba, Bombali, Pujehun and Koinadugu) embarked on various activities. What cut across all the school activities was the conduction of quiz competitions and bonfires.
The quiz competitions among the student peacemakers tested their knowledge of the national history of Sierra Leone and the Fambul Tok educational guides.
The bonfires in schools are geared towards educating peacemakers on peacebuilding, emphasizing what caused the war and how children who did not witness the conflict can learn from the past. The bonfires also help build peace in studnets’ school environments and homes.
During the bonfires, people who were either victims or witness the conflict were invited to share their experiences, cautioning the students as young pupils not to be involved in any act or form of violence.
The peacemakers are urging the government to declare March 23 of every year a national day of reflection, during which the country of Sierra Leone would sit back and reflect on what went wrong and why they took arms against each other, destroying thousands of lives. The day would also be used to remind people that never again shall we take arms against our fellow country men to fight.