Forty eight participants from Tobanda settlement and the host communities of Yaweima, kpetema and Bandawo in Small Bo and Niawa chiefdoms in the Kenema district haave benefited form a one-day workshop on peace building organized by NaCSA.
Personnel from the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) facilitated the workshop, which took place at the Gender Based Violence (GBV) centre at Tobanda.
Welcoming participants NaCSA’s relief and resettlement monitoring and evaluation officer, Salieu Koroma, commended the host community members in the Tobanda area for their hospitable reception of the Liberian refugees since the establishment of the Tobanda settlement in March 2003.
He said the workshop was organized to improve on the ability of the host community members and the refugees to leave in peace and harmony in their various communities of settlement under local integration.
Mr Koroma said though peace already existed in these communities it was vital that the refugees and the host communities members were brought together and being sensitize on their communal and civic responsibilities to each other for amicable co-existence.
Presenting a paper on conflict and peace the MRD regional coordinator East, Patrick Adu, said conflict always occurred as a result of divisibility, bad governance, prejudice, and disregard for individuals’ rights.
He said, “the only way to avoid conflict is by living in harmony accepting and respecting other people’s dignity”.
Mr Adu said peace existed in an environment where there was an absence of disorder and lack of forgiveness for each other.
An MRD facilitator, Abdul Wahab Wann, presented a paper on reconciliation which he said was pivotal for lasting peace; adding that reconciliation was not a process to manage.
He said suppressing memory in reconciliation would delay a healing process, and emphasized that reconciliation enhanced wholeness, help and security of the community.
Highlight of the workshop was the performance of skit on conflicts and resolutions by the participants.