Posts Categorized: Blog

Honoring Sheku, Remembering Wi Na Wan Fambul

The sudden passing of Sheku Koroma, a founding staff member of Fambul Tok, not only stunned his colleagues at Fambul Tok and all of us at Catalyst for Peace (CFP), it raised the question of how to honor the life of a beloved family member who, in a heartbeat, was no longer among us.

One way is to remember Sheku by telling the family’s story – the larger ‘fambul’ he helped ….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 >

We are ALL “outsiders” …and all “insiders”

We don’t see sustainable peace being led from the bottom-up, or from the top-down–but rather, from the inside-out.

Making visible the concentric circles of roles in the peacebuilding system, and the international aid system more generally, allows us to see the multiple points of action and impact, and the complete set of relationships, necessary for sustainable peace. Each level is important, and interconnected.

In our approach, we examine relationships between each level ….Keep reading this post >

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 >