BASE Awards Participants of National Peace Message Competition

By Alvin Lansana Kargbo

The Building Accountability Systems Through Empowered Communities (BASE) Project in Sierra Leone took a significant step towards promoting peace and unity with the hosting of the National Peace Message Competition Award Night which was geared towards honoring participants that took part in the competition.

Held at the prestigious Freetown City Council Hall in Freetown on March 23, 2024, the event brought together various stakeholders committed to fostering community well-being through enhanced public awareness of the crucial role of peace.

Comprising five local organizations, namely the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), the Center for Accountability and the Rule of Law (CARL), 50/50 Group, the Independent Radio Network (IRN), and Budget Advocacy Network (BAN), the BASE Project aims to empower communities and increase citizens’ participation in governance processes.

The consortium’s head, Rev. Diamond Suma, expressed gratitude for the participants’ dedication to promoting peace and unity through creative expression. He underscored the competition’s goal of strengthening national cohesion for sustainable development and highlighted the guidelines set for submissions, emphasizing originality, relevance to the theme, emotional impact, and artistic execution across various categories.

During the event, Henry Savage, representing Taking Drum Studio, introduced the esteemed panel of judges, comprising individuals with diverse backgrounds in academia, civil society, media, arts, and peace-building. The judges were tasked with developing evaluation criteria, reviewing entries impartially, and selecting winning entries based on criteria such as creativity, clarity of message, and potential impact. A total of 84 entries were received across four categories: audio, video, written work, and visual arts, showcasing the creativity and commitment of participants in promoting peace through various mediums.

The judging process prioritized impartiality, thorough review, and adherence to established criteria to select entries that best exemplified creativity, relevance, and potential impact in promoting peace and understanding. Despite the challenges faced in evaluating the diverse range of submissions, the judging panel remained steadfast in their commitment to identifying entries that resonated with the audience and demonstrated a deep understanding of the peace-building theme.

Following a rigorous evaluation process, the winners were announced, with the first and second place recipients receiving cash prizes, certificates, and national recognition. Additionally, the top ten participants were awarded Certificates of Participation, acknowledging their contribution to promoting peace and unity in Sierra Leone.

The event served as a poignant reminder of the country’s history of civil conflict, underscoring the devastating impact of political instability and social unrest. However, amidst past challenges, the resilience and strength of the Sierra Leonean people shone through, reaffirming the collective call for unity and solidarity to overcome divisive forces hindering progress.


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