GLOBAL HEALING COMMUNITY
Earth Treasure Vase for Margibi County, Liberia
Margibi Peace Hut Dedication Ceremony
In 2009, we took our first Earth Treasure Vase to Africa at the invitation of the organization, Everyday Gandhis who were doing peacebuilding work with traditional elders and activists in post civil war Liberia. The Earth Treasure Vase was buried in the worst fought area of the war, in a village outside of Voinjama. The ancestors informed us in ceremony that this was where the Vase was to be planted. Our Earth Treasure Vase ceremonies were held with participation from people coming from three countries of that region of West Africa – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Since that time, our nonprofit, Alliance for the Earth, has been partnering with a team of Liberians to build Peace Huts in conflict-prone regions, starting in the village where the Earth Treasure Vase was buried. Our Liberian friends formed their own NGO, the Peace Hut Alliance for Conflict Transformation (PHACT) and this story is about the dedication of their fourth Peace Hut and the burial of a second Earth Treasure Vase for Liberia, in Margibi County.
The Peace Hut in Margibi County is very important because of the level of atrocities and violence against women and children that went on there during the war, leaving most women vulnerable. This Peace Hut has been dedicated to help reconcile the women who have suffered so much with the entire community. The Margibi Peace Hut will be used to rebuild integrity, perform reconciliations, and bring lasting peace among the community members. The hut will also be used for arbitration without involving any judicial means, with the practice of mindfulness.’’
– Harper M. Karmon, Executive Director of PHACT
The Liberian Peace Hut is a traditional round shaped structure set aside as a place where people meet locally in the Country. In the past, the Peace Huts provided a place for communities to find redress to many problems. Nowadays, the Peace Huts, which are managed by local women community leaders, are used as a place for prayer and now for mediation, which helps us to better solve and transform conflict in the communities without involving the court and police. Therefore, many people have embraced the function of the Peace Hut because they believe in the capacity of the women to perform effective interventions inside the Peace Huts.
The Earth Treasure Vase Ceremony & Burial
Christian Bethelson opens the ceremony and Madame Esther J Clarcke offers the final prayers into the Earth Treasure Vase.
Prayers from Esther J Clarcke (the head of rural women of Margibi County), Mrs. Martha Sayklon
and one of many other women present for the ceremony.
When the Earth Treasure Vase was ready, the women marched with the vase in a hand-made wooden box made by a local carpenter in Margibi. It was buried beside a “Lion” kola-nut tree in front of the Peace Hut indicating that the prayers of these women will be as powerful as a lion and peacefully welcoming as a kola nut. Gospel songs were sung since the majority of this community are Christian, along with traditional songs that express the joy of the heart.
This ceremony and the presence of the Earth Treasure Vase is very important to the work of the Peace Hut Alliance for Conflict Transformation (PHACT), because it is believed that the powerful prayers of these local “Sheroes and Heroes” will help to calm the minds of their traumatized, struggling society and bring peace to the hearts of many. It was very significant to have a second vase placed in Liberia now, because of the early warnings we are having as a result of the breakdown in the economy causing much suffering for the people.
Presently (2018), it is difficult for ordinary Liberians to even find food for their families. School fees have increased, safe water and electricity are unaffordable for ordinary people, and the price of gasoline has significantly increased affecting transportation and the cost of all goods sold in the country. Liberia is struggling in so many ways, but with the trainings in mindfulness we are offering under the Peace Huts, the women are keeping calm and not allowing themselves to get involved in any form of violence, because they know this will never bring a lasting solution but only increases and prolongs the problems. Our work and that of the Earth Treasure Vase is bringing awareness and alternatives for a brighter future for the women and their children.
Helping the Liberia Peacebuilding Project
‘’People we work with across the country have accepted the teachings and are gradually transforming through the practice of mindfulness. This practice really brought healing during the Ebola crisis in Liberia. We feel that the intentions and prayers put into the first Earth Treasure Vase that Cynthia brought and we buried in Telewoyan Village in 2009, have radiated to all parts of the country and therefore we can now say that we are growing from one level to another level. As a result of the vase and learning the practice of mindfulness, , requests have been made by the women of Grand Cape Mount County (where Christian comes from) for another Peace Hut–our fifth! The demand for this kind of traditional gathering place, and our community peacebuilding practices are in high demand all across Liberia.
Considering the present security situation of Liberia and the high expectation of citizens for our services, it is increasingly important to the communities we serve under the Peace Huts that we continue to teach mindful awareness in peacebuilding, which we see as a more and more indispensable tool to be adequately prepared for future challenges. This cannot be achieved without your funding and support to keep us going. We do not have access to such support in Liberia where everyone is struggling just to survive.’’
To help Bethelson and Harper continue to reach the people of Liberia and save lives in these struggling
communities click here and choose the Liberia Peacebuilding Project.
Peace Hut Alliance for Conflict Transformation – www.earthtreasurevase.org/liberia-peacebuilding-project