Quite recently, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues was commended by Henry Bellingham MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office “one of the most important groups in Parliament.” That says a great deal about the energy and commitment of those who have contributed to building a strong platform for embedding conflict resolution within government policy.
The group has run a number of very interesting meetings over the last few years including a remarkable series of conversations between young Israelis and Palestinians about the world they want in 2031. I was very honoured to be asked to facilitate the joint conversation between the two groups in July this year. It was the first time such a conversation had happened in the Houses of Parliament.
Their next event is scheduled for Wednesday 12 October 2011 and if you live in or around London, you might wish to attend what is sure to be a very interesting evening hearing from Fambul Tok International. There will be a showing of an excerpt of their award winning documentary. (trailer below)
For security reasons, please contact the Secretariat by email to secure a place.
Here is the invitation:
You are cordially invited to a joint meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues,
The Forgiveness Project and Fambul Tok International
HEALING FROM WAR – promoting reconciliation in Sierra Leone
Wednesday 12 October 2011
Macmillan Room, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament
Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war are coming together for the first time in a remarkable programme of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Through reviving the cultural practice of Fambul Tok (Krio for ‘family talk’), over the last three years Sierra Leoneans have been building sustainable peace at the grassroots level and are beginning to see significant development benefits – succeeding where the international community’s post-conflict efforts have often struggled to have a durable impact.
This meeting will show an excerpt of the new award-winning documentary on Fambul Tok, followed by a brief presentation from two activists involved in Fambul Tok on the ground:
Paramount Chief Alfred Banya – Chair of Fambul Tok’s Moyamba District Executive Committee
Micheala Ashwood – National Coordinator of Fambul Tok’s growing network of peace mothers’ groups
The meeting will be an opportunity for participants to learn more about Fambul Tok and to discuss what is arguably the most neglected dimension of what those engaged in post-conflict peace-building call ‘transitional justice’ – the reconciliation dimension.
The entrance to Portcullis House is on Embankment, around the corner from Westminster tube station. We strongly suggest that you allow (at least) 15 minutes to get through security. A Fambul Tok representative will be at the entrance to provide assistance if needed.
In 2010 Fambul Tok International was created to deepen the reach and effectiveness of the Fambul Tok programme across Sierra Leone, and to explore the possibility of future co-operation with those who share its goals and values elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Fambul Tok now operates in five of Sierra Leone’s 14 districts and works with over 2000 grass-roots volunteers.
A film about the programme, called Fambul Tok, had its world premiere at SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas, in March, and has been screening since then at festivals and in theaters around the world. Fambul Tok received the Human Spirit Award and Honorable Mention for Best Documentary at the Nashville Film Festival; won Best Documentary at the Fort Myers Film Festival and Best of the Fest at the Global Social Change Film Festival in Bali. The film was also honored with the SIGNIS Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.
Want to learn more? Check out the Fambul Tok website or Facebook page.
Secretariat, APPG on Conflict Issues
The Secretariat to the APPGCI is provided by Engi, a social venture that aims to further effective, non-violent conflict management by strengthening links between peace-building and Parliament, government, civil society and the private sector. www.engi.org.uk