By Oliver Noonan
Shalom has completed 34 workshops to date in conflict regions in Kenya. Participants have been trained in analytical skills in identifying the causes of conflict and enhancing their abilities to transform these conflicts. This has seen positive transformations at the psychological, spiritual and relational levels of people moving away from manifest violence to pro-active individual and programmatic involvement in reconciliation initiatives. The advocacy skills for pro-active institutional change are being actively implemented in the conflict environments to enable all parties to better meet their human needs and actualize their potential. Issues where culture is legitimizing violence are also being addressed.
The trained beneficiaries have competently taken on initiatives aimed at preventing, managing and transforming conflict. This can be demonstrated from the various factual stories of change that have been collected by SCCRR and found on our website, Facebook page and monthly newsletter.
Shalom works in some of the remotest and dangerous places in Northern Kenya along the borders of South Sudan and Ethiopia during the last months as well as populated conflict prone urban centers in Nairobi and Nakuru. Six hundred and sixty male and five hundred and seventy nine females have attended these workshops. These workshops have revealed factual stories of women and men engaging and intervening in preventing conflicts and promoting reconciliations in their communities. These people trained by Shalom have created and implemented action plans to engage local leaders and local authorities in peace-building between communities.
Shalom works with marginalized communities in conflict environments of East Africa to make education accessible to the needy children in this area. SCCRR is in process of implementing 22 school projects across the region – construction and rehabilitation. The Shalom solar lighting project brings lasting changes to social–economic problems in communities that live below the poverty line by giving their children opportunity to access education like any other child.
In addition to providing solar panels, a major development by Shalom is the publishing and introducing a Peace Syllabus/Manual which can assist children in nurturing a culture of peace from a young age – mtoto umleavyo ndiyo atakuavyo a Swahili proverb meaning, “the way you rear the child is the way he/she will be.” Isn’t it true the world over?
SCCRR has introduced the Peace manual in eight schools – two examples are:
- Tuum Primary School, situated in the north of Samburu County in an area which has seen an escalation of violence over the last year. The students are predominantly from the Samburu community: the population of the school is 437 with 235 boys and 202 girls.
- Parkati Primary School is located on the border between Samburu and Turkana counties in an isolated location with very difficult access. It is a Turkana community with the school population of 272, 158 boys and 114 girls.
These children are learning through the manual dynamics of peace, greater appreciation of the need to attend school while grateful for the opportunity to learn under good lighting in the evening time, supplied by Shalom. These school projects funded by our SHALOM FAMILY worldwide are bringing life, hope and opportunity to thousands of our brothers and sisters across East Africa.