Eastern Africa

“Harmony Amidst Chaos: Shalom-SCCRR’s Quest for Sustainable Peace”

By February 23, 2024 No Comments

By Dominic Wabwireh,

This article was first published by the Society of African Missions (SMA) International on February 19, 2024 (Posted on: Mission stories)

In a world fraught with conflict and uncertainty, initiatives like Shalom are beacons of hope, resonating not only locally but on an international scale. Under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Patrick Divine, the impact of Shalom in the Horn of Africa is sending ripples across the continent and beyond. As conflicts persist, the imperative for understanding their roots and strategically engaging stakeholders becomes increasingly evident.

Julie L Butler[1], a freelance writer, delves into the story in her article ‘Empowering Grassroots Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding’, initially published by Independent Catholic News on January 8, 2024. Butler sheds light on the recent invitation extended to Rev. Dr. Patrick Divine, the International Chairman and Founder of the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (Shalom-SCCRR), to Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. There, Rev. Dr. Divine, alongside Paula Soumaya Domit, a Harvard Master of Public Policy (MPP) Candidate and International Consultant for Shalom-SCCRR, discussed the organization’s unique approach to conflict resolution in eastern Africa.

Rev. Dr. Patrick Divine’s journey is as inspiring as it is extensive. Ordained as a priest of the Society of African Missions (SMA) in 1988, his commitment to peace and development in Africa led him through a path adorned with academic accolades and leadership roles. In 2009, he founded Shalom-SCCRR, an inter-religious NGO dedicated to addressing protracted conflicts in eastern Africa.

The essence of Shalom-SCCRR lies in its belief that peace extends beyond the absence of violence; it encompasses reconciliation and addressing fundamental human needs. Since its inception, Shalom-SCCRR has trained thousands in conflict transformation and spearheaded numerous community development projects, earning recognition from institutions like the United Nations.

Rev. Dr. Divine’s teachings have transcended borders, reaching universities worldwide, while Shalom-SCCRR’s methodologies have garnered attention from global leaders and aspiring peacebuilders alike.

At the heart of their discussion at Harvard was the acknowledgment of conflict’s enduring memory and the necessity of combating distorted narratives. As Paula Soumaya Domit shared her firsthand experiences with Shalom-SCCRR, it became evident that the organization’s impact extends far beyond theoretical frameworks—it transforms lives.

Rev. Dr. Divine’s vision extends beyond immediate conflict resolution; it encompasses sustainable development and empowerment at the grassroots level. In a world marred by migration crises, Shalom-SCCRR offers communities the tools to thrive where they are, fostering self-sufficiency and resilience.

As the world grapples with uncertainty, the work of Rev. Dr. Patrick Divine and Shalom-SCCRR serves as a testament to the power of peacebuilding and reconciliation. Through education, community engagement, and unwavering dedication, they pave the way for a future where conflict yields to compassion and understanding.

[1] Julie L Butler is a freelance writer who lives in Northwest, CT. She is a Pontifex University Doctor of Theology candidate, and a Franciscan University of Steubenville Spiritual Director candidate. She has completed a MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College & Seminary, and a BS in Speech Communications at the University of Utah.

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