Fambul Tok Peace Mothers’ Fish Trade Consultations Reveals Community Progress

KOINADUGU, KONO & SHENGE  – 28/01/2012 -Posted by Solomon Yarjoh

As a way to enhance community reconciliation, Fambul Tok thought it fitting to organize a consultative meeting with Peace Mothers groups from Kono, Koinadugu and Moyamba with the possibility of establishing a fish trade connection.  This initiative emerged from the cross-district visitation that was done in October 2011 with the Peace Mothers.  The Shenge community, Kargboro chiefdom in Moyamba district was the host, being one of the main fishing areas in Sierra Leone.

The meeting started with women singing and dancing, the speaker of the Shenge community gave a brief talk on Fambul Tok activities stating that “with the intervention of Fambul Tok, my community is now a peaceful place and whenever Fambul Tok calls for a meeting we are always willing and ready to attend.”

After introductions, Peace Mothers from all three districts spoke about the impact Fambul Tok has had in their communities and as individuals.

A lady from Kono was quoted as saying “Fambul Tok has given me a husband.”  She explained how after the war she was very poor and filthy and no man wanted anything to do with her.  She lost her husband in the war and was left with eight children to care for.  She had no means of survival, but with the intervention of Fambul Tok, she has regained her integrity and she is now married again.  She was able to send her children to school through the proceeds from the farm work.

Another Peace Mother from Kono also testified that because of the intervention of Fambul Tok, she was able to send her children back to school, and not only that, but the money from the proceeds of the farm helped them to give scholarships to eight children in their community in the Kundema section, Kono District. She said their yield was so great that they are planning on giving seed to other communities.

A Peace Mother from Koinadugu, said due to the intervention of Fambul Tok, they now know peace like never before.  After the war nobody cared about each other, everyone just cared about his or her own family, and all the money they had was spent on summoning each other to the chief, but since they had the bonfire and the importance of coming together was explained to them, they put thought into practice and today they enjoy a peaceful community.

Another Koinadugu Peace Mother was very happy to say that because of a Fambul Tok intervention she and fellow women in her community have seen reduced domestic violence.  They are no longer punching bags for their men, rather they now work together with their husbands for development in their homes and the community as a whole.

A Peace Mother from Kagboro (Shenge) talks of now being a real woman.  She used to work on the beach to help pick fish when the boats came in, but now Fambul Tok has changed her story completely. She now buys her own fish and even gives loans to the men who need to repair their boats and nets.

The sharing of uplifting stories could have gone on and on and on as the impact of Fambul Tok on these women’s lives is far-reaching.  However, for the sake of time, the women broke into smaller groups so they could discuss the fish trade issues which were the main issue of the meeting.

A lot was said about the impact of Fambul Tok and it was clear that our work was having a lasting and positive impression on the communities.