War Child Holland in Sierra Leone, on Sunday celebrated the International Day of Peace (“World Peace Day”) to provide an opportunity for individuals and organizations to share practical acts of peace.
In Bombali and Port Loko, the day was celebrated with the children and youth, their communities, and representatives from local government by creating a living peace sign.
For this celebration, the participating children and youth, other active community members, public officials and invited guests came together at Malal Conteh, Kagbathama, Bamoi, Maghata in Port Loko district and Rogboreh, Kagbere, Rokulan, Rogbin in Bombali district, where War Child Holland has been implementing a psychosocial programme.
As part of the celebrations the communities held a candle light parade and both soccer and volleyball matches.
Together with the communities, War Child Holland displayed peace messages and demonstrated the need for peace in homes.
“War Child Holland helped communities develop ‘Child and Youth Support Structures’ which have the capacity to resolve conflicts that may be related to child rights”, said Saidu Mansaray, Field Location Manager of War Child Holland in Port Loko. “As a result of the programme, community members have reported a reduction in cases taken to the police.
The communities have increased their capacity to resolve conflicts themselves.”
Other celebrations also took place in Makeni town, where a living peace sign was created by people of all layers in society at the Makeni City Hall. “World Peace Day is very important because it is an opportunity for us to ask people to look back at their lives since the end of the conflict”, said Lawrence Forde, Field Location Manager of War Child Holland in Bombali. “People should ask themselves how peace affects development, and what role they play themselves in providing and keeping the peace.”
The International Day of Peace was chosen by War Child Holland to emphasize the importance of community cohesion and solidarity between people in the consolidation of peace.
By doing this War Child Holland hopes to stimulate these communities to continue their good work.