community of Farato over the weekend celebrated their 3rd edition of Farato
international peace festival to advance the promotion of peace in their
community and the country at large. In attendance were hundreds of people from
The event was characterised by a march past led by the Police band and cultural performances including Mandinaka and Wolof weddings, Fulla acrobatics and mystical performances, Jula Kumpo and cultural display and Janba Jabali mystical performance.
A symposium on peace and Gambia’s social economic development was also held at Mindaw Senior Secondary and Yalding Upper basic schools on Saturday morning, which was characterised with debate by students and the community’s young people.
Director of Camik Angels Bakary Touray said at the event that British couples Stepinen and Alien Tony initiated the festival. “The idea came when Alien Tony returned to The Gambia and helped some poor and needy people,” he said.
Mr. Touray said they named the event as peace festival because Gambia is known as the smiling coast of West Africa and could be one of the countries that never experienced tribal or religious war. “This is the world looking for peace. So I call on government to help us in our good initiative to maintain peace within our tribes and religions.”
He said since the commencement of the initiative in 2008, they have made several intervention achievements including donation of 100 bags of cement to fence the Farato football field, support to Mindaw clinic, Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital, Serrekunda clinic and built Sitanuku, Brikama Madina and Busumbala nursery schools. “We have also supported Faraba Banta and New Jeshwang with medical equipment and sports materials. After the festival, we plan to build a laboratory at Mindaw clinic to complement government efforts in social development.”
Chairman of the organising committee and treasurer of Farato village development committee Saikou B.M. Njai said the festival targets to promote peace among the different ethnic groups in Farato.
He said Farato has diverse and rich cultures because it is a village with several tribes combined and living together in peace and harmony.
Mr. Njai appealed to the people of the community to continue their maintenance of peace and to cast away tribalism; saying identifying a person by his tribe should not be a problem because Allah has said in the Qur’an that he created all the people into tribe so that they can recognise one another.