Spotlight: MasterPeace Sierra Leone

We’re paying special attention to MasterPeace Sierra Leone (MPSL) today in recognition of how much they’ve accomplished since they were founded—just six months ago!—in September 2011.

MPSL started out focusing on a longstanding conflict over land between two towns, Grafton and Kossoh. This conflict has led to deaths and casualties, and the government of Sierra Leone has had little success trying to resolve it. MPSL planned a mediation event for the day of their official launch, the International Day of Peace 2011, and they wisely began preparing not only themselves but also the two communities well in advance. MPSL started by holding meetings with both communities. Grafton’s victims, community leaders, and youth leaders signed an agreement to commit to reconciliation with Kossoh, and to trust MasterPeace to make this goal a reality.

A week before the official launch day, MPSL coordinated several media events on radio and television as well as mediation sessions with both communities to better understand the conflict and the possible way forward. Finally, on 21st September itself, MPSL collaborated with One Family People (an organization that advocates for the rights of disabled Sierra Leoneans) on a major launch event that doubled as a Peace Day celebration. The celebration helped bring the two communities together through several peace-oriented, fun activities.

Since then, MPSL has been extremely busy, working with some amazing partners. The Club has:

  • Hosted a BBC World radio program along with the Anti-Violence Movement and Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth. MPSL’s role was discussing the 2012 elections and how the country’s youth can be part of a peaceful society in the future.

  • Worked with Peter Penfold, the former British High Commissioner for Sierra Leone, on a workshop for Grafton and Kossoh. The workshop dealt with the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Charles Taylor trial.
    
Celebrated International Human Rights Day (10th December) 2011 at the invitation of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone.

  • Helped organize an upcoming Peace Museum National March for thousands of activists, NGOs, and ordinary people as well as government ministries. The Peace Museum is a national memorial for Sierra Leone’s ten years of war as well as a part of the Special Court’s legacy.
    
  • Given a statement alongside representatives of the government, various political parties, religious leaders, and other major figures at a National Music & Dinner event coordinated by gospel artist Alpha Bassy.
    
  • Worked on the official launch of the National Youth Commission of Sierra Leone.

Most recently, MPSL has been given the honor of attending as an official witness at the judgement in the Charles Taylor trial at The Hague on 26th April, 2012. MasterPeace
congratulates MasterPeace Sierra Leone on accomplishing so much in such a short
time! You are an inspiration to all of us.
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The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect MasterPeace's values.

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