SCHOOL CLUBS COMMEMORATE MARCH 23
Fambul Tok has collaborated with school peace clubs in four districts (Moyamba, Kailahun, Koinadugu and Pujehun) to observe 30th anniversary of Sierra Leone civil conflict, which kicked off on March 23rd, 1991 in the eastern border town of Bomaru in Kailahun district
The main objective of working with school pupils was to facilitate dialogue between pupils and community members on the causes and effects of the war that lasted for eleven years and educate them on the benefits of peace and national cohesion.
One of the strategies for this year’s commemoration was it created space for community members, parents and other stakeholders to share stories with pupils and equally create dialogue and truth telling burn fire sessions organized by some schools. School teacher coordinators in all 16 schools took the lead by working with community members to plan different events including football matches, quiz competitions, burn fire sessions and other events to mark the day.
In Moyamba district, Kulafai secondary school teacher coordinators organized a session for pupils. Parents, local authorities and military personnel were part of the commemoration. Other schools also organized events to mark the day.
In his remarks chairman of the program, Francis Sumaila, shared his experience on the war. He said he was captured by rebels and spent nearly three months in captivity. He explained how he suffered in the hands of the rebels, calling for “#NeverAgain” for the country to go into war. He admonished pupils to be law abiding and work with their teachers and parents to promote peace and national cohesion.
Guest speaker, Dr. Isata Mahoi, said it is very important to capture young people at this stage, adding that school pupils should respect not only their parents but also other people in their communities. She touched on tribalism as it divides a country.
She went on to state that Fambul Tok hit the nail on the head by organizing school clubs to promote peace and cohesion in the country. She warned pupils not to be involved in violence, as it will not yield dividend in the country.
Program Officer, Fambul Tok International Sierra Leone, Solomon Yarjoh gave a brief background on the establishment of the clubs. He said it started in 2013 when school clubs in six districts were formed. He mentioned training of teacher coordinators and the hosting of inter-schools’ quiz competitions in all districts.
He said due to the declaration of Ebola in the country in May 2014, activities were suspended and early this year Fambul Tok restarted the school programs. He mentioned that teacher coordinators in all 16 schools have been trained, adding that orientation of pupils have been done
During the school events parents and other stakeholders played vital roles as they shared experiences and admonished pupils to be obedient and show responsibilities in their studies.
In Pujehun, school pupils organized march pass and quiz competitions to mark the day. Kailahun schools also had events including burn fire session; whilst Moyamba schools held town hall meetings, football matches and burn fire events.