The West Africa Network for Peace Building and the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at Fourah Bay College in partnership with Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict, has started a two-day mediation training for student leaders of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.
The seminar is geared towards training student leaders to handle issues of conflict in their communities as well as during their academic life and to also mediate in a conflict situation. The student leaders are carefully selected from (camps) as in the case of Fourah Bay College, and in various societies and Departments, specifically at Fourah Bay College. FBC is the target for the first leg of the training because of the fact that over the years, there have been reported cases of students’ violence particularly during sport meetings, student union elections and other evidences of hate and disparaging behaviors during those exercises. Edward Jombla of WANEP stated that it is a critical issue, as the students are the future leaders of this nation, and they are expected to make a change in their communities after they shall have left the institution. Mr. Jombla also said that the vision of the exercise is to see students playing a remarkable role in nation building by enabling excellent performance in their academic work, ensuring implementation of their knowledge in the minds of the young and then add value to the sustenance of peace in Sierra Leone.
It is the belief of the programme that higher institutions of learning should be a place of building positive character and not a breeding ground for barbarism and mayhem perpetrated against each other.
A communiqué is expected to be drawn up after the seminar and some actions that the leaders would take back to their various camps and political settings to discuss some of these issues and to see how best forthcoming student union elections and related activities would create a lively environment.
The same drive is going to be replicated in the near future in other colleges like Njala University, Institute of Public Administration and Management, COMAHS , Milton Margai College of Education and Technology and other teacher training institutions and polytechnics around the country.
By Poindexter Sama