Fambul Tok International a non governmental organization based in Sierra Leone will release a Film and a Book next year focusing on the reconciliation process they are undertaking in the country. This was revealed yesterday, Monday, 3rd October 2010 at a press conference held at the Fambul Tok Conference Room at Robert Street in Freetown .
Giving the background of his organization, the Executive Director Fambul Tok, John Coker noted that Fambul Tok is a Krio word meaning “Family Talk” and it facilitates post-war community-owned reconciliation in Sierra Leone , with a long-term, gender inclusive process led by each community.
The national and district Fambul Tok Sierra Leone (FTSL) staff works with communities to create opportunities for confession, forgiveness and on-going reconciliation. He stated also that they have successfully initiated healing ceremonies and follow-up activities to sustain the reconciliation process throughout Kailahun, Moyamba and Kono Districts and have recently begun work in Koinadugu District. He revealed that the film which tells the story of victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war who came together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies.
Through the revival of the ancient practice of Fambul Tok (family talk), Mr. Coker continued, Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grassroots level - succeeding where the international community’s post-conflict efforts failed. Mr. Coker further stated that the film is filled with lessons for the west, as it explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities. He used the opportunity to note that the approach they are using in the reconciliation process reflects on Sierra Leone ‘s “family talk” tradition of discussing and resolving issues within the security of a family circle.
“Fambul Tok is a distinctly Sierra Leonean initiative, rather than being rooted in western concepts of crime and punishment, it reflects communal African sensibilities that emphasize the need for communities to be whole with each member playing a role,” the Executive Director noted.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.