The Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) fosters south-to-south connections between peacebuilders and institutions to strengthen the network of peacebuilders. It is in this light that on Wednesday, 24 August 2019, MPI, together with Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia (Al Qalam) as its co-sponsor organized a Public Dialogue Session on Peace Work in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone at the Ateneo de Davao University. Guest speaker was Mr. Shecku Mansaray, an MPI alumnus from Sierra Leone who was in Mindanao together with his wife.
Mr. Mansaray shared his perspectives on the peace process in Sierra Leone and talked about his experiences and contributions to peacebuilding in his country. He also described the contributions of the Inter-Religious Council and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in building peace in Sierra Leone.
Quite a number of the around 25 MPI alumni and guests who attended the public dialogue came from the Bangsamora Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). They were especially interested in the challenges peacebuilders have been facing in the past nearly 20 years after the signing of the peace agreement in Sierra Leone. Those working the BARMM will certainly remember Shecku saying: “The road to peace has been painstakingly slow and bumpy.”