Posts Categorized: Blog

What We Make Space For, Emerges

Why do I tell this story now? Because it shows how creative, expectant, appreciative perspectives from outside a community in conflict can support that community as it works to build peace from within. 

It was November 14, 2007. John Caulker and I gathered with a handful of trusted colleagues in the Carlyle Hotel in Washington, D.C. to plan the launch of an as-yet-unnamed program of community reconciliation in Sierra Leone. John ….Keep reading this post >

Inside-out peacebuilding puts local women in the lead

The rural women of Sierra Leone suffered the most during the war. And now they are showing the world that they are so much more than victims ⎯ they are mighty peacebuilders, and mighty leaders. And they are healing their communities, and themselves, in their role as Fambul Tok Peace Mothers.

When the local people and communities most impacted by war are given the chance to lead in building the peace after ….Keep reading this post >

Faith and Peacebuilding: Faith Into Action

We have been interested in mobilizing religious resources for peace since our founding, and specifically in the process of truing to the highest and best of our faith commitments and translating them into practices and programs that help build peace in the world. We commit to that work individually and organizationally, and invite those we work with to do the same. We believe this process of ‘truing’ and ‘translating’ brings transformative ….Keep reading this post >

Storytelling in Post-War Sierra Leone

Fambul Tok Director/Producer Sara Terry speaks eloquently about filmmaking that tries to let a culture speak for itself⎯being mindful of a Western audience, without imposing Western assumptions on the story itself or how it gets told. Her Director’s Statement, copied below, illuminates CFP’s approach to storytelling⎯responding to Ben Okri’s call for a ‘new seeing’ of Africa, that can help ‘reveal its brightness, its brilliance, its beauty.’

The Power of Forgiveness: Truth-Telling ….Keep reading this post >

The Nuts and Bolts of Making Community Ownership Work

Fambul Tok in Sierra Leone has pioneered a large scale, but fully locally-owned and led post war reconciliation and community building process. The key to local local ownership is in the PROCESS Fambul Tok uses facilitate community agency, collective decision making, and collective action.

So – how exactly does that process work?

Download our How It Works chart here [PDF].

The first step of any Fambul Tok process is a consultation. Sierra Leone ….Keep reading this post >

Leadership for community-ownership

Adapted from the original written by Jina Moore.

Good leadership is critical to the success of any program. But when a process is meant to be community-owned and led, the kind of leadership required to support and sustain that process is unique.

Listening to community stakeholders in Pujehun District, Sierra Leone

Fambul Tok has pioneered living out this kind of leadership in practice for over 8 years, so it exemplifies the ….Keep reading this post >

Interweaving peacebuilding and film

Interweaving peacebuilding and film yields transformation.

There are occasional moments in this work when people, activities, resources, and timing all align, and there’s a powerful experience that grabs you in the pit of your stomach, leaving you feeling – This is what it is all for.  Thursday, May 10, 2012 was one of those moments for me, with the workshop Fambul Tok held in Waterloo, just outside of Freetown (Sierra Leone), for a group ….Keep reading this post >

Portrait in Local Peacebuilding Leadership: Chief Ndolleh

 Adapted from the original written by Jina Moore.

Maada Alpha Ndolleh is the town chief of Kailahun town (the capital city of Kailahun District).  He is also the first District Chairman for Fambul Tok’s community reconciliation program in Kailahun, elected by his district to head the all-volunteer District Executive that oversees Fambul Tok there.  In village after village, since Fambul Tok started working there in 2008, he has opened honest conversations ….Keep reading this post >

How can we catalyze peace?


Catalyst for Peace is not just a collection of individuals asking that question for ourselves individually. We are interested in answering that question collectively – programmatically and organizationally. How can we BE and CATALYZE a community of peace?

We would say that programs and organizations catalyze communities of peace when they:

Allow the courage, grace and the will of ordinary people in the midst of the most difficult circumstances to provide leadership ….Keep reading this post >