Fambul Tok forms partnership for national reconciliation

Fambul Tok International-Sierra Leone has formed a partnership with other civil society organizations from across Sierra Leone, including Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Search for Common Ground, Advocacy Movement Network (AMNET), and the Centre for the Coordination of Youth Activities (CCYA). The initiative, known as the “Wi Na Wan Fambul” National Unity Campaign (NUC) is to create a platform for national reconciliation and unity that will lead to peaceful elections in Sierra Leone in 2012.

Speaking at a  press conference at Fambul Tok International Global Headquarters in Freetown on Wednesday, February 2,2011, Chairman for NUC who is also the Executive Director of Fambul Tok International, John Caulker, said the campaign intends to consolidate the process of reconciliation and peace at the grassroots level leading to a national reconciliation movement and resulting in a violent free elections. He went on to state that NUC intends for Sierra Leoneans to feel and express more unity before, during and after the 2012 elections.

He said the campaign will be launched on March 22,2011 with the national premier of Fambul Tok film. Caulker said it is planned that the event will be simultaneous in all twelve district capitals and in Freetown at the national stadium.

Spokesperson for the Campaign, Marcella Macauley of Campaign for Good Governance, said  the 2012 election is critical, adding that they as civil society organisations decided to team up with Fambul Tok to ensure a violent free elections. She said Fambul Tok has done a lot of work toward reconciliation and therefore it is of importance to join hands together and work toward national reconciliation. She stated that the campaign will be in three phases: phase one will be the launch of the campaign, phase two will entail community dialogue forums in all 149 chiefdoms and phase three will focus on how the activities will be sustained.

One of the members of CCYA, Ngolo Katta said youth play a vital role toward elections and therefore NUC will work with various groups to achieve a violent free election. Ambrose James from Search for Common Ground said posterity will judge them if they sit by and allow Sierra Leone to be on fire through electoral violence. “That is why we have decided to work as a team to achieve sustainable peace and national reconciliation in the country,” he stressed.

The Fambul Tok film will have its world’s premier at the prestigious South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas, USA, in mid March. An 82-minute feature-length documentary by US foundation Catalyst for Peace it is directed and produced by Sara Terry, and produced by Emmy award-winner Rory Kennedy and Libby Hoffman. It documents the incredible stories of Sierra Leonean communities working through the difficult but rewarding process of reconciliation and unity drawing on their culture and tradition. The stories are compelling and stir dialogue.

The film screenings across Sierra Leone will provide an opportunity for all Sierra Leoneans to address vital issues of diversity, tolerance and promote trust whilst building a sense of nationhood.