Fambul Tok Ebola efforts to date
“We are saying deal with Ebola in a way that structures will be in place to handle post-Ebola discussions because experience or history has taught us that Ebola – there’s always a possibility that it will come again. So how do we put in place structures in the communities, in the districts, in the villages, to ensure that once Ebola comes again, we’ll have structures in place to deal with that immediately and it not get to where we are now.”
— John Caulker, Executive Director of Fambul Tok, on NPR Weekend Edition (November 1, 2014)
FAMBUL TOK EBOLA EFFORTS TO DATE
As the Ebola crisis unfolds in Sierra Leone, Fambul Tok staff and volunteers are working hard to respond in practical and meaningful ways. We have led community education and prevention efforts since the beginning of the outbreak last spring. And we continue to move forward courageously with Fambul Tok’s core mission of community healing and reconciliation even during the countrywide lockdown.
Fambul Tok has been working closely with the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) to reach rural communities and teach people how to stop the spread of the virus. Because of our groundbreaking grassroots peacebuilding efforts we have the asset most needed to do this successfully – the trust of the people of Sierra Leone. As a result, these critical messages are heard, and heeded, in even the most remote villages, where others have been met with suspicion and distrust.
And yet Fambul Tok staff and community volunteers on the ground in Sierra Leone are yearning to do more. And it is the women of Fambul Tok—the mighty Peace Mothers—who are are leading the way.
PEACE MOTHERS MAKE SOAP FOR SIERRA LEONE
To keep Ebola from spreading, hands and surfaces must be washed constantly. But in many of the rural villages, critical prevention tools like soap, bleach and buckets are luxuries. Many of Fambul Tok’s Peace Mothers already make soap in community collectives and they are now ramping up their production and distribution efforts to help keep their people safe.
Peace Mothers-produced soap is being distributed free of charge to all the villages in Fambul Tok’s network (now numbering over 2500), and Fambul Tok is working to educate these communities on Ebola prevention techniques. And as fear of the outbreak and grief over the sick and dead tear at community networks, we are training our community leaders in peace-building and conflict resolution, and in the process continuing to build whole and healthy communities.
This is the Fambul Tok way: to accompany and support community-owned and led solutions, while strengthening the community networks that keep these communities strong and healthy even in times of crisis. Our efforts are focused on investing in women’s leadership and local, women-owned businesses. We believe that we should confront the issues facing us today by working to fortify and strengthen communities for tomorrow.
FAMBUL TOK EBOLA EFFORTS IN THE NEWS
- Fambul Tok blog: Facilitating a Community-led Response to the Ebola Crisis [December 3, 2014]
- Interview with John Caulker on NewsMaxTV [November 14, 2014]
- John Caulker interviewed on NPR Weekend Edition [November 1, 2014]
- Washington Post profile on John Caulker [October 10, 2014]
- Coverage of Fambul Tok in The Independent [October 15, 2014]