From Peace to (People-Centered) Development – tracing the journey

Catalyst for Peace’s work with Fambul Tok in Sierra Leone has shifted from its initial focus on post-war community reconciliation. As we have written about elsewhere, building on the lessons of that work, we are focused now on creating spaces for communities to lead in their own development, supported by an inclusive governance infrastructure. Simply stated, the work has moved from peacebuilding to development (and inclusive governance) – while still ….Keep reading this post >

Growing Inclusive Governance Nationally: A learning and planning retreat in N. Ireland

In the last week of March, Catalyst for Peace and our partner Fambul Tok moved further towards partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in Sierra Leone to help grow inclusive governance throughout Sierra Leone. Together with Ulster University, CFP, FT and the Ministry convened a gathering in N. Ireland to imagine and think through how to design and operationalize a national policy that would support a truly ….Keep reading this post >

Wake Up Sierra Leone Interview – The People’s Planning Process

In November, Catalyst for Peace and Fambul Tok hosted an Inter-District Learning and Sharing Conference – Growing Inclusive Governance in Moyamba, Sierra Leone. The conference consolidated learnings from the People’s Planning Process (PPP). The PPP started as a post-Ebola recovery and planning initiative. It soon became the foundation of District-wide efforts to put communities at the center of peace and development with support from local and national government and organizations. The conference created a ….Keep reading this post >

Inviting Women’s Leadership in Peacebuilding and Development

We believe the strong, visible, invited, respected leadership of women in peacebuilding and development is essential everywhere in the world. When women share their authentic selves and voices and work together, they take on activities that support the whole community. Women, invited to offer their wisdom and capacity, think and act holistically and when fully participating in structures with men and women, offer ways of working that create inclusive, creative ….Keep reading this post >

People’s Planning Process – a map

The People’s Planning Process as Fambul Tok has developed it in Sierra Leone works from the village to the district level with extensive meetings, sensitization and the establishment of platforms that will be long-term mechanisms for organizing at the section, chiefdom and district levels. It involves representation of all stakeholder groups and is carried out in partnership with traditional leaders and local government. Throughout the process, Fambul Tok staff compile ….Keep reading this post >

Growing Inclusive Governance – From the Inside Out

CFP continues its decade-long partnership with Fambul Tok (FT) in Sierra Leone to support communities in post-Ebola healing that leads to engagement in healthy partnerships for long-term peace and development. The People’s Planning Process places people and communities in the very center of recovery and on-going development. The PPP is growing from village to section to chiefdom to district to, ultimately, the national level. Using an inside-out approach, this process is ….Keep reading this post >

Tribute to Fambul Tok colleague, Sheku Koroma

This morning 4600 miles away, my colleague Sheku Koroma passed on after a short illness. I didn’t even know he was sick. I was stunned, shocked and in disbelief. I had just emailed him to ask for clarification about content for a manual we are working on together. Catalyst for Peace and Fambul Tok, where Sheku has worked since its inception, have been partner organizations, and the staff of both ….Keep reading this post >

Grateful To Join Catalyst for Peace

“Each of us will die one day –  

it doesn’t matter.  

More important is to practice living.”

These lines from a poem in my new book – Light Reading: Poems from a Pilgrim Journey – have everything to do with why I feel privileged to join Catalyst for Peace as Senior Partner and Poet-in-Residence.

Why? Because I can’t imagine a better place for me than CFP to practice living. I’m invited to ….Keep reading this post >

Joining the CFP Staff

by Amy Potter Czajkowski

I am deeply grateful for the invitation to join the Catalyst for Peace staff.  I have had a number of consulting and other relationships with CFP over the years, but I’m now officially on board. I love working for an organization grounded in values and led by a strong sense of vision and purpose. CFP embraces whole people and whole systems peacebuilding and has been pioneering in ….Keep reading this post >

Local women lead in preventing Ebola

Local people – and especially local women – are the real experts in keeping their communities Ebola-free. Fambul Tok’s “Peace Mothers” – local women who have been leading their communities in healing the wounds of Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war – have used their networks, skill and commitment to provide critical leadership in preventing the spread of Ebola. They show how working locally and over the long term helps create resilient ….Keep reading this post >

Ebola Response: Strengthening the local, building strategically

“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 if Ebola comes again, we’ll have structures in place to deal with ….Keep reading this post >

Focusing Ebola aid LOCALLY and LONG TERM builds ‘social immunity’, says CFP president

In her article in the Building Peace Forum, CFP President Libby Hoffman shows how fostering community agency in peacebuilding as well as in national health crisis response (like the current Ebola crisis in West Africa) builds ‘social immunity’, leaving communities stronger for handling the next crisis:

Empowered, trusted local voices and leadership magnify the success of prevention efforts, and they do so while strengthening community capacity for the post-Ebola ….Keep reading this post >

CFP Senior Fellow John Caulker on Ebola in Sierra Leone

John Caulker, Senior Fellow at Catalyst for Peace and Executive director at Fambul Tok, appeared on MidPoint to give an update on Ebola in Sierra Leone. He discussed the impact of the disease and how groups like his are handling the marathon fight of against it, as well as what’s happening with children orphaned by Ebola.

Blog banner image (c) Sara Terry for Catalyst for Peace

Libby discusses “Forgiving the Unforgivable” at TEDx

In Libby’s TEDxDirigo talk on “Forgiving the Unforgivable,” she describes the values and processes at the center of Fambul Tok.

From her introduction:

“Most of the media coverage we are privy to portrays Africa as a place of darkness, despair, disease, conflict, and  savagery in many respects. On somewhat of a flip-side of that, we also hear a lot about how we have a ‘save Africa.” We see lots of stories about move ….Keep reading this post >

Community-Driven Action is needed for effective Ebola response: Libby Hoffman in the Building Peace Forum

CFP founder and President Libby Hoffman wrote an article for the Alliance for Peacebuilding’s Building Peace Forum, linking inside-out, community-owned and led peacebuilding to effective Ebola response. Her article highlights the powerful impact of Fambul Tok’s Peace Mothers groups in preventing the spread of Ebola and helping communities respond constructively.

An excerpt:

This ‘inside-out’ approach holds great promise for effective Ebola response, as Fambul Tok’s newly-empowered community leaders are showing ….Keep reading this post >