Peace Mothers in Bambara section,Upper Bambara chiefdom in Kailahun district are helping their section to go into commercial oil palm plantation.The idea was developed two years ago when peace mothers who have been very active in agricultural activity such as upland rice farming to go into another development alongside community members.
According to Peace Mothers chair lady, Yatta Bockarie the group was established in 2008. In 2017, Fambul Tok trained them to undertake the Peoples Planning Process in the section.
She said after the war, Fambul Tok came to talk to the section people to make bon-fire during which grievances were expressed and all and sundry reconciled. She explained that Fambul Tok helped women to be trained on various topics such as reconciliation, peace building and peaceful co-existence.
The chairlady said since that time with peace and unity, they have been able to solve many problems. They started with 20 women and 5 men. The current membership is 35 women and 15 men who have joined to help them in their work.
Yatta went on to state that the group had been involved in farming as they raised funds through contributions. In 2019, they planted three bushels of upland rice and harvested 18 bushels. In 2020, they planted 4 bushels of upland rice and 7 bushels of swamp rice apart from their individual farms. They provided group labour to do the farm work and help one another to do the private farms on the request of any member.
She said it was a very big surprise to Peace Mothers and community members in the section when a brand new rice mill was donated to the group through Fambul Tok in 2014(courtesy of US Embassy in Freetown). She stated that an information centre was equally provided where community members and strangers meet to read and find out information on certain issues
Another Peace Mother, Baindu Kortu said having worked so hard with their community members, in one of their general meetings, they resolved to find another means of outstanding way by working with community members to establish an oil palm plantation. She said Peace Mothers have been extending loans to themselves to help in tertiary education of their children and in time of illness and other needs.
The learning here is that as the Peace Mothers group gets older, its income generation efforts becomes more intensive and expansive. For example, this group has gone beyond sustaining peace. They have engaged in farming of various crops. They have now gone to commercial oil palm crop.