(Reposted from: AllAfrica. September 26, 2023)
(Original article from Concord Times (Freetown))
By Mohamed Bangura (Intern)
In honor of International Peace Day, the West Africa News Network, in collaboration with three other organizations, embarked on a two-day training program for peace Ambassadors in various communities. The training, which took place from Tuesday, September 19th to Wednesday, September 20th, 2023, aimed to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to serve as ambassadors of peace in their respective areas.
During the workshop held at the Special Court Peace Museum hall in Freetown, Showers, addressing journalists, stated that the training focused on peace education and advocacy.
Rosaline Bundeh, a funding and partnership officer for West Africa Youths, explained that the purpose of the training was to develop individuals who could become peace Ambassadors in their communities. The selection process involved randomly choosing youths from certain communities and training them to represent those communities as ambassadors. Bundeh emphasized that the ambassadors, now equipped with the knowledge gained from the two-day training, would be capable of handling various issues that arise within their respective communities.
She further underscored the significance of training peace Ambassadors, emphasizing the need to foster a culture of peace and non-violence globally.
She further underscored the significance of training peace Ambassadors, emphasizing the need to foster a culture of peace and non-violence globally. Bundeh stated, “Peace contributes immensely to our sustainable growth, and we are all aware of what is happening in our country.” The program in Sierra Leone focused on networking and peace advocacy, with the aim of developing peace Ambassadors who would be issued certificates upon completion of the training.
Highlighting this year’s theme for International Peace Day, Bundeh explained that it is a call to action for every individual. The program received sponsorship from Maxwella Bondo, a German descendant who travels across different parts of the world to aid in the implementation of peacebuilding initiatives.
He emphasized that peace does not imply the absence of conflict, stating, “Even our arguments should be conducted in a peaceful manner.”Maxwella Bondo
In his statement, the Program Manager, Maxwella Bondo shed light on the importance of peace within our communities. He emphasized that peace does not imply the absence of conflict, stating, “Even our arguments should be conducted in a peaceful manner.” He further mentioned that International Peace Day aims to support and educate youth about the importance of their roles in peacebuilding, as it is ultimately their responsibility.
Bondo also mentioned the upcoming International Peace Day, which aims to educate and support young people in their roles as peace builders. He believes that the responsibility of building and promoting peace lies with the youth. September has been designated as International Peace Day, and Bondo hopes that during this time, the focus will be on fostering peace, resolving conflicts, and embracing individuals regardless of their background.
Advocate Juliet Kaikai, who supports women’s rights in Sierra Leone, raised concerns about the alarming rate of violence against women in society. She specifically highlighted incidents such as the August 10th Protests and September 11th Election violence, where women often suffer the most.
During the certificate awarding ceremony for participants, Andrew Chokpelleh, an official present at the event, commended the recipients for their dedication and effort throughout the two-day training. Chokpelleh urged them to refrain from engaging in any form of violence, reminding them that they have now become role models in their respective communities.
He encouraged them to make the most of the opportunities provided by the certificates, as a society free from violence is both desired by people and favored by God. Chokpelleh further underlined the importance of maintaining peace for a better future, particularly emphasizing the role of the youth as future leaders.
The two-day training program successfully equipped participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to become peace Ambassadors. With the certificates they received, the ambassadors are now empowered to contribute to peace, non-violence, and sustainable development within their communities.