Eastern Africa

Building Peace Across Eastern Africa: Chairman’s Report on Progress in 2020

By April 16, 2021 April 26th, 2021 2 Comments


(By: Rev. Dr. Patrick Devine)


The core objective of Shalom-SCCRR is to attain conflict resolution and reconciliation for the people of Africa, evidenced by sustainable peace and holistic development. From a process perspective, this objective is underpinned by empirical research that engages the three analytical paradigms of Realism (Strategism), Structuralism (Peace Research) and Conflict Research. Based on the premise that paradigms evolve, these are complemented by what can be described as paradigmatic approaches to peacebuilding mostly in Africa today, viz, peacebuilding as social justice, peacebuilding as stabilisation, and peacebuilding as liberal governance. The research is followed by conflict transformation interventions at the individual, relational, structural / institutional, and cultural levels, leading to reconciliation forums.

Some local-based ‘Conflict Early Warning & Early Response’ committee members, trained by Shalom-SCCRR, active in a conflict environment near Arapal in Marsabit County.

From the standpoint of the humanitarian / peace / development nexus, it is self-evident that in conflict environments where people are killed, maimed and displaced persistently, essential social and religious values of peace, truth, justice and mercy cannot take deep communal root. These gospel values are of utmost importance for people to live normal lives aspiring to the fullness of sustainable peace and reconciliation.

Of equal significance within the same conflict environments is the fact that communities cannot experience sustained development because periodically schools, hospitals, religious amenities, formation facilities and other critical infrastructure become inoperable or totally destroyed. We will be forever rebuilding/rehabilitating development institutions, and be ethically indebted, if not legally obliged, to make humanitarian interventions and provide humanitarian aid insertions, if we do not address the underlying causes of conflict.

Comprehensive knowledge of the humanitarian / peace / development nexus interplay at an academic and practitioner level is imperative in policy making and implementation. This knowledge is essential if a more equal, equitable, peaceful and sustainable planet is to emerge. In line with the ‘Brundtland’ philosophy, sustainable development is oriented to meeting the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future ones to meet their needs.

Attending to issues of human security largely determines intervention dynamics within the humanitarian / peace / development nexus interplay. Human security is inextricably linked to environmental security and reconciliation. Bearing in mind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), human security is anchored in the realisation of basic and ontological human needs. From a human security perspective, structural violence variables related to core resources for survival, the political economy of ethical governance and infrastructure security need constant surveillance. History continues to tragically demonstrate that structural conflict left untransformed has a lethal potential to escalate into manifest violence.

The pursuit of reconciliation is an imperative in humanity’s quest for human security, living with dignity and environmental sustainability. The values of peace, truth, justice and mercy, holistically realised in conflict environments, are the oxygen of reconciliation. Reconciliation is ultimately oriented to having proper relationships with the ‘Divine’, humankind, oneself, and creation / environment. Shalom-SCCRR’s organisational work ethic centres on accompanying, enabling and inspiring people towards reconciliation in all of these interconnected domains.

Shalom-SCCRR receives United Nations (UN) Accreditation

During 2020, Shalom-SCCRR received accreditation by the United Nations. Our board, management and team members are delighted with this global recognition of our conflict transformation-peacebuilding strategy and methodologies. Our application for accreditation was strongly supported by the United Nations Centre for Information (UNIC) in Kenya, Uganda and the Seychelles, by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in eight countries with a population of around 300 million people in Eastern Africa, (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/igad-endorses-shalom-sccrr-for-united-nations-accreditation/), and by Tangaza University College in Nairobi.

This recognition of Shalom-SCCRR by the UN is an opportunity for it to work with the 1,500 associated NGOs in furthering the goals and objectives of creating a better and more peaceful world together. These NGOs also play an important role using their own communications platforms with their members and beneficiaries to highlight commitments made by governments and world leaders, such as the agreement by world leaders to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The United Nations Department of Global Communications has approved Shalom-SCCRR to be associated with the Department which works with diverse civil society organisations ranging from small groups to subsidiaries of large networks and academic institutions around the world. The organizations associated with the Department gain access to UN Headquarters in New York to attend meetings, events and informational sessions, and to network with other organisations and UN entities (https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40609).

Shalom-SCCRR’s Director of Research, Professor W. K. Omoka, pointed to the significance of formal recognition by the UN:

“It is no surprise to me that Shalom-SCCRs distinctive approach has been recognised by the UN. It has attracted the attention of some of the leading academic institutions worldwide, as well as the interest of authentic qualified social transformation practitioners working in conflict, underdeveloped and marginalised environments in Africa and beyond. The remarkable achievements of its mission implementation are directly related to its governance, management and international corporate stewardship. The vision, field experience, resilience and progressive leadership of the organisation are evidenced in peace, education as well as health development results, and growing international interest from scholars and policy makers”.

“At the heart of the organisation’s specialised modus operandi” he stated “are collaboration, empowering of local communities in conflict to be analysers, owners and architects of their own inter-dependent future of peaceful co-existence. It invariably uses bottom-up approach that contrasts with diagnostic solutions prescribed from top-down. It puts strong emphasis on efficiency, effectiveness, and delivery of value for money in our activities. In my reasoned judgement, as an academic and peace practitioner, having devoted my career to social transformation and integral human development in Africa, Shalom-SCCRR is unique in its modus operandi. The human and environmental security of Africa is an imperative for the peace, protection and progress of human dignity throughout the whole world”. (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Shalom-Article-by-Prof.-Omoka-PhD-2019-2020-1.pdf)

Shalom-SCCRR Objectives Operationalised

In line with the overall policy directions from the Shalom-SCCRR Board of Directors in Africa, the objectives were operationalised in 28 conflict zones where manifest and structural violence and religious ideological extremism needed to be transformed. Shalom-SCCRR’s humanitarian / peace / development / Covid-19 interventions concentrated mainly on inter-ethnic and inter-religious communities in Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Marsabit, Nakuru, Kisumu, Isiolo, Nandi, Uasin Gishu-Eldoret, Garissa, and Nairobi. Many of these conflicts are located where Kenya interfaces with the borders of Ethiopia, the Ilemi Triangle, Uganda, South Sudan and Somalia.

Mr. Godfrey Okoth, MA, Shalom-SCCRR Director of programs working with a local community in a conflict environment

In poor urban settlement areas, Shalom-SCCRR engaged substantively with the residents of Kibera, Kariobangi and Mathare Valley in Nairobi. One cannot over appreciate the generosity, planning, logistics, professionalism and hard work that were applied in these intervention processes whether you are a donor, organiser or peace practitioner on the front line in the conflict zones. The connectivity between Shalom-SCCRR’s conflict transformation / peacebuilding interventions, schools / educational developments, health care initiatives and countering Covid-19 is summarised on the next page. The programmes were designed with visionary activities to transform conflict, counter religious ideological extremism, counter Covid-19 and sustain peacebuilding progress through sustainable mutual development initiatives agreed on by ethnic communities who were previously in conflict.

Urban locations (slum environments) where Shalom-SCCRR also works. The conflict dynamics in these situations are linked to marginalization, ethnicity, religious extremism, elections, among other causes of conflicts.

We are grateful to all donors, partners and stakeholders all over the world who continue supporting the work of Shalom-SCCRR. Since the organisation’s founding in eastern Africa, its registered units and committees in the USA, Ireland and the UK-Northern Ireland have provided over 85% of our funding. This support continued to strengthen Shalom-SCCRR’s resolve and commitment to its vision and mission during 2020. We also continued the consolidation and updating of our organisational governance and range of policies to ensure good practice, accountability, effectiveness, transparency, and integrity. Institutional strength is critically important because it impacts directly the work we do in conflict environments. The whole work-ethic process within the organisation in constantly appraised in respect to performance, authenticity, growth and collaboration.

The Shalom-SCCRR team are ever resilient in maintaining the organisation’s high operational standards that are recognised nationally and globally as evident in its accreditation by the UN, and in the Misean Cara 2019 report – Conflict Transformation and Peace Building, Kenya -which endorsed the high quality of the organisation’s work and administration stating:

“Mr. Mike Williams, an international development consultant appointed on behalf of Misean Cara recently concluded an effectiveness review of the programme on conflict transformation and peace-building conducted by the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation in Eastern Africa. The programme was awarded the highest possible rating with Mr. Williams stating that: “Shalom’s contextually driven, rigorous but adaptable and forward-looking methodology represents a model approach towards peace-building in highly complex situations, such as those that pertain in Northern Kenya. The approach, with its emphasis on community leadership, stakeholder participation, high technical competency, logic models, results frameworks, stories of change and advocacy linkages also reflects current best practice within both the Peacebuilding and development sectors”. We commend the integrity, leadership, and excellent work by Fr. Patrick Devine, Executive Chairman, Fr. Oliver Noonan, Country Director, and their team at Shalom. We confirm that Shalom is an organization in good standing in relation to financial administration and corporate governance and are pleased to have been associated as a donor with its pioneering work from 2011 to 2017’’.(https://www.miseancara.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Mission-Aid-June-2019.pdf).

Mike Williams with Shalom-SCCRR team members.

Core Values

Shalom-SCCRR’s core values grounded within a framework of human rights and the dignity of life, are non-violent societal transformation, integral human development and security, inter-religious tolerance, peace, truth, justice, mercy, environmental integrity, and respect for local culture and traditions. These core values are manifested in our policy documents, planning, design, outputs and results. Moreover, they underpin the choice and quality of our board, management, team members and partner institutions / collaborators / consulters around the world, (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Shalom-SCCRR-Who-We-Are-2020-2021.pdf).

Inter-ethnic conflict in semi-arid underdeveloped zones, as well as the contexts of religious ideological extremism, dictate that the interventions by Shalom-SCCRR involve extraordinary diplomatic, organizational and logistical efforts from the board, management, team members, and our support units around the world. Our core values are performance beacons for all involved. Much appreciation to each and everyone involved from the tens of thousands of people you have benefitted through our combined efforts.

Focus of Interventions in 2020

Some Shalom-SCCRR trained peace group leaders in the semi arid conflict prone ‘Ilemi Triangle’, participating in ‘Conflict Early Warning and Early Response’ workshops, and addressing issues to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Always mindful of interventions to achieve the objectives of the organisation within a quality theory / practice mind-set, and the environmental impact of COVID-19 on people’s survival, Shalom-SCCRR gave particular attention to the following issues in 2020:

a) Empowerment of community resource persons on conflict transformation, peace monitoring and countering the impact of Covid-19

b) Training of ethnic influential opinion shapers on negotiation and mediation leading to the establishment of specialised grassroot structures engaging in these processes.

c) Progression of the strategies and dynamics of advocacy and empowerment imparted to government institutions of administration and conflict management

d) Role of women in conflict transformation and peace building (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/shalom-sccrrs-contribution-to-women-in-conflict-transformation-and-peacebuilding/)

e) Methodologies to transform natural resource and environment related conflicts (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/briefing-paper-no-11/)

f) Researching and countering the underlying causes of radicalisation and extremism / terrorism (Radicalisation and Extremism in Eastern Africa: Dynamics and Drivers by Patrick. R. Devine: Journal of Mediation and Applied Conflict Analysis, 2017, Vol. 4, No. 2) (http://mural.maynoothuniversity.ie/9086/7/PD-Radicalisation-2017.pdf)

g) Developing inter-religious ‘Dia-Praxis’ conflict and development interventions (dialogue and practical project cooperation)

h) Post-election reconciliation in the aftermath of sporadic violence

i) Ongoing review of Shalom-SCCRR educational peace manual for school curriculums

j) Dynamics between conflict transformation and the development of inter-ethnic and inter-religious schools (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/the-girl-child-shalom-sccrr-impacting-the-lives-of-young-girls-in-marginalized-and-remote-locations-in-eastern-africa/)

k) Dynamics of pastoralist nomads transitioning to arable farming

l) Development of competent conflict transformation strategies for women and youth organisations in the slum areas of Nairobi

m) Engagement with the conflict warriors in conflict behaviour transitioning

n) Transformation of identity based inter-ethnic conflicts to reconciliation

o) Course content on ‘Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation’ taught at Tangaza University College.

Shalom-SCCRR has funded the training of medical personnel working in remote marginalised communities and provided relevant equipment to prevent and treat the spread of Covid-19.

Shalom-SCCRR condemns the abominable crime of human trafficking and financially supports interventions to counter this evil. Of significance also is the continuing Shalom-SCCRR peace-advocacy and development interventions in Sudan and South Sudan (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/briefing-paper-no-8/).

Shalom-SCCRR’s Director of Research, Prof. W.K Omoka PhD, supported by the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Learning team (MERL), led by Francis Mwangi MA, are assiduous in respect to research methodology and ensuring the organisation’s interventions are kept to the optimum level. The continuing enthusiastic and voluntary participation of government, religious and civic society organisations in Shalom-SCCRR conferences, conflict transformation, countering Covid-19, peace training programmes, research collection methodology, advocacy on justice, peace and reconciliation issues, inter-religious Dia-Praxis initiatives fostering of inter-ethnic and inter-religious education, institutional developments, confirms the importance of our organisation’s contribution.

Shalom-SCCRR trains key security personnel in different project areas. Above is Joseph Korikmul, an Assistant Chief from Kases, Turkwel Gorge, with other influential opinion shapers.

Shalom-SCCRR personnel collaborate in numerous project initiatives with governments and IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) personnel, on humanitarian / peace / development interventions. Particular attention has been applied also to training skills in CEWARN (Conflict Early Warning) in all the places we work. We continue to advocate for the Great Green Wall across Northern Africa; this is the construction of a 15 kilometres wide barrier of trees and other cultivations to prevent the spread of the Sahara Desert southwards, and associated desertification conflict problems. The Great Green Wall initiative in the interest of peace and development is a reaction to a huge environmental challenge stemming from a combination of the vagaries of climate and the activities of humankind, namely the observed southward movement of the Sahara Desert. Having been approached by United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) consultative personnel on the issue, we were asked to prepare a briefing paper on the conflict elements of the project. The paper is titled, ‘Building the Sahel Great Green Wall in the Face of Localised / Cross-Border Conflict: How Shalom-SCCRR’s Peacebuilding Methodology Can Bear on the Conflict’,(Briefing Paper No. 5: A Proposal By Shalom-SCCRR For Conflict Transformation Around The Building Of The Sahel Great Green Wall – Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation | SCCRR (shalomconflictcenter.org)

We are constantly monitoring the impacts of environmental degradation, climate change / global warming, structural violence, among others on peace and conflict quotients. I have addressed this issue at public events and lectures in Africa, Europe and the USA. The advocacy role of Shalom-SCCRR in these processes involves specialist expertise, and this is one of the reasons that all our team is required to have a minimum of a MA qualification in relevant academic disciplines.

Shalom-SCCRR persistently addresses the causes and negative effects that environmental degradation and climate change have on communities, their livelihood and animal welfare

Elections and Violence

We operate against a background where, during post-election violence in Kenya in the past decade, over 1,300 people were killed, tens of thousands maimed, and hundreds of thousands displaced. In 2013, the peaceful election process resulted in numerous narratives of appreciation for Shalom-SCCRR for its role in preventing election violence in many locations. In 2017, after the decision to repeat the Presidential election process, we highlighted a few potential hotspots which unfortunately proved accurate. One location was where the Luo and Kalenjin ethnic communities interfaced with each other. Since then Shalom-SCCRR continues to intervene intensively with analytical and reconciliation processes, working with the key influential opinion shapers from both ethnic communities accompanied with government administrative personnel (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Briefing-Paper-No.-7.pdf)

This has already led to significant results on a road map to sustainable peace ameliorated by joint development initiatives. Shalom-SCCRR’s professionalism received wide ranging attention and coverage from media outlets in Africa, and globally, such as BBC, Voice of America (VOA), Germany’s Deutsche Welle, several Irish media outlets, Xinhua News Agency in China, Terry Collins and Associates-Global Media Relations in Canada, Living in Faith in India, Independent Catholic News in the UK, and many other news media.

Elections in different countries in eastern Africa invariably leads to conflicts causing deaths, displacement, destruction of property and cycles of violence

Governance and Fundraising

The highly qualified board of Shalom-SCCRR (Africa) were dedicated and meticulous in providing leadership, oversight, expertise and wisdom during the year. This strong structure and leadership underpins our performance, growth, authenticity and collaborations in delivering on the organisation’s vision, mission, methodology and core values. The independently audited accounts are a core instrument in demonstrating the quality of governance and administration within the organisation. In 2020, Shalom-SCCRR showed itself to be an exemplary, resilient and robust organisation in all its relationships, transactions and engaging with Covid-19 challenges. Sincere thanks to our board members.

External fundraising, in collaboration with the contributions of local communities, to facilitate the realisation of the vision and mission of Shalom-SCCRR is critically important for success. Through the generosity of donors offering funding, labour, time, and prayer to our work, we are able to operationalise the objectives of the organisation. The support and solidarity of the African people where we work is also much honoured.

During 2020, we continued our close relationship and support to the fundraising efforts of our affiliate branches around the world. The emergence of COVID-19 certainly hampered the fundraising efforts but through the ingenuity of our various boards and committees, our personnel on the ground in Africa were able to progress with our work as seen from the outputs referenced earlier in this report. We welcome the ever-increasing number of individual donors to our support units. The gratitude of Shalom-SCCRR in Africa and that of our beneficiary communities is immense.

Appreciation to our Management and Team Members

Our gratitude goes to Shalom-SCCRR’s management and team members for their accountability and dedication to high standards during the year. The board again offers its deep appreciation to Fr. Oliver Noonan MA, Executive Director, for exemplary professionalism in stewardship, project oversight and the financial administration of the organisation. The board also wishes to thank the Director of Program’s, Godfrey Okoth MA, Prof. W. K. Omoka PhD, the Director of Research, assisted by Program Managers Paulson Erot Tadeo MA, and Joyce Wamae MA, for their roles in research, design and project implementation.

Prof. Omoka and Fr. Noonan, MA, engaged in seminal field research with women and men, within the marginalized conflict prone ‘Ilemi Triangle’ (located on the borders of South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia) (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/shalom-sccrr-department-of-research/)

Our appreciation extends to our finance department of accountant Kipkoech Kipruto ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), and his assistant accountant Remy Ndiema CPA (Certified Public Accountants), B. Com, and all involved in auditing our accounts, for their integrity, professionalism and rigour. Our gratefulness is due to the whole Shalom-SCCRR team, and all organisational partners for their research, fieldwork, and the quality of progress achieved during the year.

Our delivery in conflict transformation achieved stability and progression of sustainable peacebuilding, human / environmental security that is emerging, and interventions to treat and counter the spread of Covid-19; visible proof of your exceptional contribution towards Shalom-SCCRR’s life-changing / saving work. As a result of the past ten years’ work, the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women, children and families, living previously in dire situations, have been constructively transformed. You have positively influenced livelihood resilience of present and future generations with hope and human security. Because of the work of Shalom-SCCRR, it is innumerable the number of individuals, families, and communities who are alive and well today, experiencing the fulfillment of living in more just and stable societies. They are increasingly able to meet their basic human needs, actualize their potential, and interact with the ‘Divine’ in a wholesome, tolerant and inclusive manner.

International Engagements and Academic Lectures

The Shalom-SCCRR humanitarian / peace / development nexus of interventions continues to attract attention worldwide. In Kenya, Shalom-SCCRR personnel continue to lecture at various third level colleges, such as the MA course on Social Research and Statistics at Hekima University College, and the course on Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Tangaza University College where Fr. Oliver Noonan, MA is the lead lecturer. During the year, I was appointed to the Council of Tangaza University College. Other members of the team were involved with Strathmore University College in Nairobi.

Unfortunately, the lecture I was scheduled to deliver in March 2020 at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Public Policy had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, I was able to honor a commitment to lecture at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute of Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University in February before the Coronavirus crisis escalated. The fulfilment of invitations from other international universities remain on hold. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), partnerships and collaborations with IGAD, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University, the Senator George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queens University Belfast, AMECEA (Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa), ACWECA (Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa) and the Society of African Missions (SMA) are valued relationships for Shalom-SCCRR. We were delighted to renew our MoUs with Queens University and Maynooth University recently.

Some of the students at Tangaza University College with Fr. Oliver Noonan MA, where he provides a course on ‘Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation’

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Context of Peace

SDG No. 16 aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. It asks “how can a country develop – how can people eat and teach and learn and work and raise families – without peace? And how can a country have peace without justice, without human rights, without government based on the rule of law?

That goal is specifically focused on positive peace in societies where sustainable development can take place and be effective. All of the SDGs are inter-linked and predicated on a minimum of negative peace and the potential for the realisation of positive peace. They recognise that sustainable development without sustainable peace is not possible.

Teachers and students with Frs. Oliver Noonan, and Patrick Devine, outside a Shalom-SCCRR constructed school.

The UN Sustainable Peace Initiative places preventive action and post-conflict peace-building on par with peace-keeping. The report by the Secretary General to the High Level Meeting on Sustaining Peace held in New York in April 2018 has laid the groundwork for an important policy-breakthrough, empowering civilians with new tools, better management practices, and hopefully new financial resources to contribute to a more integrated and coherent framework for global conflict management that delivers positive peace.

Important features of the Initiative are:

  1. It elevates the role of civil society and regional organisations in sustaining peace.
  2. It stresses that the UN development system and development practitioners in general are central to conflict prevention and sustaining peace.
  3. It buttresses the case for “more predictable and sustained financing” for civilian-led peace-building through a proposed Funding Compact with Member States, against the backdrop of declining development assistance to conflict-affected countries as a share of global aid (from 40% in 2005 to 28% in 2015).

We welcome the elevation of the role of civil society in sustaining peace, and support the case for “more predictable and sustained financing” for civilian-led peace-building. We are well placed to play a leading role within civil society and in collaboration with other actors.

Need for Focus on Peace-Building

During 2018, the government of Ireland issued a public consultation paper seeking ideas and suggestions for consideration in its new overseas aid programme. Based on our professional knowledge and practical experience, a substantial submission was presented, advocating that Ireland’s new aid policy should include focus on peace-building and conflict transformation (https://shalomconflictcenter.org/submission-to-public-consultation-on-the-irish-aid-white-paper/)

While we were delighted to see our contribution reflected in the final document, we continue to advocate that more emphasis be applied to the substance and methodology necessary for conflict resolution and reconciliation within a framework continuum of, ‘humanitarian interventions / conflict transformation / negative peace / development / positive peace’. Peacekeeping as a priority focus alone as a response reaction to manifest and structural violent conflict is extremely limited in terms of its contribution to achieving conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Kenya and Ireland took up non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council on 1st January 2021. Ireland along with Mexico will chair the Women, Peace & Security Forum of the Council, and Ireland will co-chair along with Niger the Climate Forum for which a priority area will be the Sahel region of Africa mentioned earlier in this report. In a webinar hosted by the Irish Peace and Security Network on 2nd February 2021, Ambassador Sonja Hyland, Head of the Political Division in the Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade indicated that the Department will be engaging with civil society around its policies and input to these fora and the Security Council.

Shalom-SCCRR intends to use that opportunity to advocate for greater focus on conflict transformation and peacebuilding based on our research and our practical experience across Eastern Africa over the past decade. Our ongoing work to transform the underlying causes of inter-ethnic conflict and religious ideological extremism is inseparable from the ethos of peacebuilding that permeates Shalom-SCCRR’s interventions. We will also be engaging with the Discastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development in the Vatican headed by Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson from Ghana, and with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See at the UN in New York.

Engaging the future with optimism, judiciousness and dynamism

The living generic meaning of ‘Shalom’, and its cognates Salaam, Salem, and Salamu, centres on peace, truth, justice and mercy being holistically integrated as reconciliation actualised. As a process, ‘Shalom’ is about achieving integral human development and security among and between people. All of us, together, can bring about deep-rooted transformation and resolution of conflict generating factors and structures, through rigorous research, conflict management training, justice and peace education, problem-solving workshops, developing inter-ethnic and inter-religious educational institutions and other ‘human rights’ edifying projects.

Mrs. Judy Akedi, MA, delivering Shalom-SCCRR funded educational materials to schools in impoverished urban locations; a joyous life-changing occasion for so many hope filled children, families and teachers.

The Shalom-SCCRR vision points to adherence to the right long-term policies in our approach to conflict resolution and reconciliation, resisting to settle for ‘short term quick fixes’ or the transient gains of myopic insular politics. Many people in remote, violent and poverty-stricken environments are waiting to experience ‘Shalom’. Right long-term policies should always take precedence over the lure of best short-term politics; this philosophy will continue to be at the core of our intervention objectives which are:

  1. Equipping purposively selected locals with analytical skills and peacebuilding techniques for use in conflict problem solving and reconciliation workshops.
  2. Generation of sound knowledge of why/how there is inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflict through empirical research on which to base conflict transformation-peacebuilding initiatives/activities, and which also lends itself to informing government/IGAD policy practices in the context of localised inter-ethnic/inter-religious/inter-communal conflict occurrences.
  3. Augmenting the conflict transformation role capacities of religious organisations, civic organisations, and non-governmental organisations.
  4. Training local government administration and security personnel in conflict analysis and procedural peacebuilding approaches to settle and resolve conflicts.
  5. Constructing and equipping inter-ethnic and inter-religious schools and institutions with requisite facilities for the purpose of countering, among other things, distrust of ethnic other as well as harbouring or tending to perceive hostile intentions in the behaviour of ethnic other, thereby fostering inter-communal peaceful co-existence.
  6. Responding to humanitarian, infrastructure supports and conflict transformation implications arising from the emergence of Covid-19 in Eastern Africa.
Shalom-SCCRR contributing to education in northeastern Kenya: desks, sanitary towels and water amenities etc. Above is Marodille School in Garissa County, an area where terror attacks in educational institutions are far too frequent

Through our social media outlets, we continue to make public and transparent the processes engaged in, outputs generated and results accomplished while demonstrating lessons learned and strategic improvements going forward. Once again, our deep-felt gratitude to all our donors for their involvement in the progress of this humanitarian / peace / development nexus. May the blessings of peace be experienced by all who are involved in the vision, mission, fruits and goodwill of Shalom-SCCRR.

In thanking our donors, those who offer prayers and well-wishers, let me assure all that Shalom- SCCRR will continue to be diligent in fulfilling our objectives to the highest standards. The people we work among and our donors are ever on our minds and deserve our absolute fidelity. We should never forget that all that is needed for evil to triumph, whether in the form of violence, injustices, lies, maliciousness or envy, is for good people to do nothing. From a short and a long-term perspective, being an armchair general or parasitically sitting on the fence while millions suffer from conflict and marginalisation is an appalling indictment.

There are no limits to the positive interventions that can be made to bring about sustainable peace, development and reconciliation. We all need continual assistance, education and formation in order to know what makes for peace! The road to peace is not easy but the quest is essential in order to ensure human rights and dignity, environmental security, and the opportunity to experience the ‘Divine Spirit’ in all its vitality. As the Man from Nazareth once said, ‘if this day you only knew what makes for peace’!

Our conflict transformation, peacebuilding and integral human development interventions going forward will center on acknowledging the past, reframing the present, and envisioning a future built on the authentic realisation of Shalom-SCCRR’s vision, mission and objectives.


Fr. Patrick Devine, PhD

Chairman, Shalom-SCCRR, Kenya


Board of Directors

Rev. Dr. Patrick Devine MA, BD, BA, D.MS, Chairman

Prof. Robert Mudida PhD, MSC, MA, BD, Board Member (Kenya)

Dr. Michael Comerford MA, BD, BA, Board Member, (South Sudan)

Rev. Oliver Noonan, MA, BD, D.MS, (PhD Candidate) Board Member, (Eastern Africa)

Ms. Rosaline Serem, MBA, BA, Board Member, (Kenya)

Mr. Sean White, MSC, BA, Board Member (Kenya)

Rev. Janus Machota, BD, BA Board Member, (Tanzania)


Rev. Oliver Noonan, MA, BD, D.MS, Executive Director

Prof. Wanakayi K Omoka, PhD, MA, BA, Director of Research

Mr. Godfrey Okoth, MA, BA, Director of Programs

Ms. Joyce Wamae, MA, BA, Program Manager (Urban Settlements Program)

Mr. Paulson Erot, MA, BA, Program Manager (Northern Kenya Program)

Mr. Francis Mwangi, MA, BA, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator

Ms. Judith Akedi-Linus, MA, BA, Program Officer, Team Leader

Mr. Austin Ngacha, MA, BA, Program Officer, Team Leader

Mr. Arthur Magero, MA, BA, Program Officer, Team Leader

Ms. Esther Kibe, MA, BA, Program Officer, Team Leader

Mr. Kennedy Odhiambo, MA, BA, Program Officer, Team Leader

Ms. Asha Said Awed, MA, BA, Program Officer

Mr. Kipkoech Kipruto, ACCA, (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), Finance Administrative Manager

Mr. Remy Ndiema CPA (Certified Public Accountants), B.Com, Assistant Accountant

Mr. Ken Otieno, Transport / Logistics Coordinator, Further Studies

International Volunteer Consultants

Mr. Patrick Geysen, MA, Senior Advisor to IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development – 8 Countries) Former Deputy Head of the EU delegation to Djibouti.

Ms. Matilda Brolin, L.L.M. (Harvard Law School, Swedens Ministry of Foreign Affairs, D.R.Congo)

Ms. Fabiana Pardi Otamendi, L.L.M. (Harvard Law School, UN Human Rights, White & Case LLP, France)

Mrs. Nancy Mirara, MA, Counselor-Psychology, Embul-bul Education & Counselling Center (Kenya)

Ms. Sheena McMullen, MA, (Peace and Reconciliation Studies, N. Ireland/UK)

Dr. Conrad Bosire, PhD, MA, BA, (Constitutionalism and Devolution, Kenya, East Africa)

Rev. Michel Savadogo, MA, BA, BD (Shalom, Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa)

Rev. Dr. Michael McCabe, BA, BD (Ireland; Inter-Faith Dialogue)


Shalom Center

Shalom Center

Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation - contact Fr. Oliver Noonan for more information.


Leave a Reply