A one day peace gala ended last week in the border town of Torado, Kissi Teng, Kailahun district, eastern Sierra Leone. It was organized by Forum of Conscience, a non governmental human rights organization through its FAMBUL TOK community reconciliation project and PLAY 31, a Danish organization.
It attracted three Mano River Union countries, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Over 1,000 spectators from all works of life graced the occasion.
According to FAMBUL TOK District Coordinator, Peter Mboyawa, the gala was organized for the fact that communities in Liberia and Guinea have earlier expressed interest in the activities of Fambul Tok which is healing community wounds sustained during the war. It has succeeded in bringing people together, especially victims and perpetrators.
He recalled a football match in Sierra Leone when Liberians and Guineans walked on foot to watch. He said “after the game our Liberian and Guinean brothers and sisters developed interest in the reconciliation/peace match and asked to be included in the near future”.
‘We got daily calls from both countries to organize a gala for the three countries’ Mboyawa said “since Fambul Tok walks alongside communities we decided to stage the gala”
The District Executive Chairman, Fambul Tok, chief Maada Alpha Ndolleh mentioned the good relationship among the three countries.
“When something happens to Liberia or Guinea it affects Sierra Leone that is why Fambul Tok walks with communities to ensure that peace prevails”Chief Ndolleh said.
In the first match, Sierra Leone’s female team defeated their Liberia counterparts 3-0.
In the male category, the Liberia team, which was well prepared and determined to teach the Guineans a lesson entered the pitch with vigor. In the first half, Liberia dominated Guinea and their accurate passes earned them three goals as their opponents struggled to get a goal.
In the second half of play, the Guineans did not relent and in the first fifteen minutes, they showed Liberians that they are not strangers to soccer. They ran all over the field and as they were cheered by spectators, they developed more energy to score but luck was not on their side as they lost many chances.
After twenty minutes, the Liberians displayed their talents once again as they dominated the match completely. Due to the poor goal keeping of the Guineans, the Liberians took great advantage and before the referee blew his whistle, the score line read 5-0 in favor of Liberia.
The second was between host team Sierra Leone and Liberia. Even though the Liberians have earlier played and they seemed to be very tired, they were still determined to win.
In the first half they went all over, attacking from all fronts but the host team proved to them that the green, white and blue flag should always be defended. The first half ended 0-0.
In the second half, both teams were anticipating victory but it seemed luck was not on either side. The match ended 0-0.
Speaking to the captain of the Liberian team, Fayia Johnny, he said he was grateful to Fambul Tok for participating in the reconciliation gala. He said they have been yearning to see the three countries come together to play.
“We want Fambul Tok to also organize similar match in Liberia before the end of the year” Johnny said.
The Guinean captain, Charles Lelanu said even though they lost, the match was very interesting. ”We made new friends and met old ones, if Fambul Tok continues such venture every year then peace will continue to strive in the three countries because we don’t want youth to be involved in violent activities any longer”
The Sierra Leonean captain was full of praise for Fambul Tok. He said if youths are engaged in productive activities they will not be misled by hungry politicians.
After the games, the Section Chief of Kuudu, Kissi Teng, and Sahr Folleh said the gala was not a competition but geared towards peace building in the three countries. He said that was why there was no trophy.
Also a disco was staged in Torado free of cost during night hours for everyone irrespective of age.