Caritas Freetown’s “peace campaign” to Push for Nonviolence ahead of Sierra Leonean Polls

Fr. Peter Konteh, Executive Director of Caritas Freetown in Sierra Leone. Credit: Fr. Peter Konteh/Facebook

The “peace campaign” that Caritas Freetown has launched in partnership with other entities and individual personalities has the objective of advocating for nonviolence in Sierra Leone ahead of the country’s general elections scheduled for June 24.

In a message shared with ACI Africa on Tuesday, June 13, the Executive Director of the humanitarian and development arm of the Archdiocese of Freetown in Sierra Leone, Fr. Peter Konteh, also highlights ways in which Sierra Leoneans can “actively participate” in the campaign.

“Caritas Freetown in collaboration with various community groups and concerned individuals, is launching a peace campaign to advocate for harmony, discourage hate speech, and prevent the spread of divisive propaganda,” says Fr. Konteh.

He adds, “This campaign aims to reinforce the principles of democracy and ensure that the upcoming elections are conducted freely and fairly, without any disruptions caused by violence, animosity, or hatred.”

He says that Caritas Freetown is “committed to supporting this peace campaign by organizing awareness events, distributing educational materials, and collaborating with local partners to encourage citizen participation.”


Fr. Konteh reminds Sierra Leoneans of their shared heritage and collective goals which he says “are far more significant than our political differences."

To participate in the campaign, the award-winning Catholic Priest, who has expressed the desire to see the June 24 general elections bring an end to violence, hatred, and discord in the West African nation urges Sierra Leoneans to shun hate speech and verify every piece of information before acting.

He says, “Words have power, and it is crucial that we choose them wisely. Let us refrain from engaging in hate speech or spreading inflammatory messages that may fuel division within our society. Instead, let our words be a reflection of our desire for unity and understanding.”

“Before sharing any content, take a moment to verify its authenticity and consider its potential impact on the community”, he says, adding, “Sharing reliable and verified information will help build trust among citizens and foster a peaceful atmosphere.”

Fr. Konteh also urges Sierra Leoneans to only engage in healthy discussions and constructive debates which he says are essential for a vibrant democracy. He underscores the need to listen to one another while engaging in dialogue that promotes understanding, respect, and empathy.

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Sierra Leoneans can also participate in the campaign by supporting election transparency, he says, adding that the cornerstone of democracy is free and fair elections, which he says can be realized through civic education, and ensuring that the electorate have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote without fear or intimidation.

“Small acts of kindness and compassion can have a significant impact on fostering peace within our communities. Let us come together and embrace our shared values, celebrating the diversity that enriches our nation," the member of the Clergy of Freetown Archdiocese says.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.