With support from USAID, through the REWARD project in Bombali, Kailahun, Kono and Pujehun districts, the women embarked on various community engagements activities such as chiefdom and sectional meetings; convening youths, women folks and traditional leaders to talk on preventing violence before and after elections
In Pujehun for instance Peace Mothers in Pessekeh Section, Kpanga chiefdom, were helping to control people in the queue and encouraged restless voters to be patient. They also assist the aged to reach voting centres.
In Tankoro chiefdom in Kono district, Peace Mothers in their pre-election messages preached non violence and their presence was felt at some centres in the chiefdom on Election Day talking to people to remain calm. They did similar work in Gbense, Nimiyama and Gorama chiefdoms.
‘Instead of organizations wasting money unnecessarily on failed projects during this period, they should focus on ensuring peace and stability in communities. This USAID REWARD project has created impacts in our communities more than any other project in Kono District’ says Kathy Changa, Peace Mother in Faada, Gbense chiefdom
In Bombali, both Community Welfare and Mediation Committee (CWMC) members in collaboration with Peace mothers worked together on various activities. In Bombali Shebora chiefdom, the women went out very early in the morning on Election Day calling on voters to be peaceful. They encouraged those in queues to allow disabled, aged, pregnant and suckling mothers to vote first and not to stand in the long queues for long. Other chiefdoms including Paki Masabong, Makari Gbanti and Biriwa also designed activities for polling day.
Peace Mothers and CWMC in Kailahun district especially in Upper Bambara, Njaluahun, Luawa and Kissi Teng stirred the reins in mobilising communities to remain peaceful in a district identified as elections hot spots.
However as the presidential runoff scheduled for March 31, 2018 approaches, Peace Mothers and CWMCs are in top gear to ensure communities remain peaceful.