Between 1991 and 2001, a brutal civil war in the central African nation of Sierra Leone resulted in the deaths of about 50,000 people. Rape and maiming were deliberately used by soldiers as weapons to spread intimidation and fear. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced from their homes and many became refugees in Guinea and Liberia. No one was unaffected. Neighbors were pitted against neighbors. Entire communities were disrupted.
Following overthrow of the military dictatorship, how could communities so damaged restore a sense of peace? To answer this question requires asking questions like, "What is justice?"
Further, who is responsible for justice? How can communities be involved in deciding how to do justice? How does justice in those communities work, as a practical matter? Here is a six minute introduction that explores some of these concepts and how they are being applied through Fambul Tok to heal the wounds of war in Sierra Leone:
In the Sierra Leonian language of Krio, the term Fambul Tok means "Family Talk." The organization Catalyst For Peace, a Portland, Maine, organization headed by peacebuilder Elisabeth Hoffman, has spearheaded ongoing and fruitful peacebuilding in this African nation.
A full length documentary (film trailer HERE) has been produced, along with supplementary educational materials, which can be purchased HERE. Consider having your church, synagogue, Mosque, or community organization host a showing of the film and discussion. Consider how family talk concepts might be applied in your (our) own, local communities.