Eastern Africa

Prof. Wanakayi K. Omoka’s Understanding of the Philosophy and Work of Shalom-SCCRR Recollected; Augmented with 2022 Results by the Dept. of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL)

By February 24, 2023 March 7th, 2023 No Comments

By: Prof. Wanakayi K. Omoka PhD,

Shalom-SCCRR team members, led by Dr. Peter Linus, Director of National Strategy, observing and monitoring Shalom trained community facilitators engaging with warriors on conflict transformation and negotiation road maps.

“Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR) is an inter-religious peacebuilding non-governmental organisation that works in Africa.  Specifically, the eastern Africa member countries of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).  Its vision is a society where peace, justice and reconciliation prevail throughout Africa.  Its mission is to work for a society free of physical violence and unjust social structures in Africa.  Its main objective is to attain conflict resolution for all people in Africa through empowering local communities engaged in inter-ethnic conflict, and/or wherein religious ideological extremism is espoused, to be architects of their own interdependent future of reconciled co-existence.

Where Shalom-SCCRR works; Shalom-SCCRR’s team members, Mrs. Judy Akedi MA, and Ms. Esther Kibe MA, engaging women leaders from the Turkana community in Sarima, Marsabit County
An Ariel view of Kibera slums; one of Nairobi’s informal settlements where Shalom-SCCRR works

Shalom’s inter-faith staff not only have postgraduate qualifications that befit the theoretical and practical demands of peacebuilding but also possess practised skills in building trust between antagonistic neighbouring communities and attenuating religious ideological extremism. Shalom’s vision, mission, and objectives are legitimated by the sacredness and dignity of all human life, human rights, environmental security, and an appreciation for ethnic and religious diversity.  Shalom-SCCRR’s peacebuilding work comprised of a set of structured and functionally inter-related initiatives and activities within the purview of inter-ethnic conflict along with a need to attenuate/obviate religious extremism. The initiatives/activities were as follows:

  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 conflict through empirical research on which to base peacebuilding initiatives/activities, and which also lends itself to informing government/IGAD policy practices in the context of localised inter-ethnic/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-ethnic/inter-communal peaceful co-existence.

At the heart of the Shalom-SCCRR specialised modus operandi are collaboration, empowering of local communities in conflict to be analysers, owners and architects of their own inter-dependent future of peaceful co-existence.  Shalom-SCCRR invariably uses bottom-up approach which contrasts with diagnostic solutions prescribed from top down.  Shalom-SCCRR puts strong emphasis on efficiency, effectiveness, and delivery of value for money in all of its activities.  Shalom-SCCRR is grateful indeed to all its donors, partners, and stakeholders who continue to support its peacebuilding effort in Africa.”

Specific humanitarian-peace-development outputs – January through December 2022 – were as given below.

Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding Results and Achievements 2022

  • 125 Conflict transformation and Peacebuilding training workshops for 36 significant Shalom-SCCRR Peace Groups of influential opinion shapers in the urban informal settlement conflict hotspots, marginalized areas of northern Kenya and at the Kenya-Ethiopia-South Sudan-Uganda interface.
  • 3,551 Members of Shalom-SCCRR Peace groups empowered with conflict analytical skills for designing and implementation of locally driven and sustained conflict transformation and peacebuilding initiatives.
  • 17 training workshops on prevention of Religious Ideological Extremism in 5 project areas located in Nairobi and Mombasa informal settlements/slums in Kenya.
  • 105 Shalom-SCCRR trained and supported Community Peace Resource Persons (Group Animators, Community Facilitators and Conflict and Peace Monitors) active in implementing locally established Conflict Monitoring Intervention (CMI) Mechanisms in 36 conflict locations (Kenya-Ethiopia-South Sudan-Uganda Interface, northern Kenya arid-areas, and urban informal settlements/slums) for timely and effective conflict interventions.
  • 30 Prevention of Electoral-violence Workshops conducted in conflict hotspot areas – pre-Kenya’s 2022 general elections. Shalom-SCCRR trainers equipped its Peace groups with necessary skills to identify election-related conflict risks and to apply proactive conflict prevention interventions.
  • 43% Women active involvement in Shalom-SCCRR local peacebuilding initiatives, a 7% increase compared to 2021 statistics.
  • University Elective Course offered by Shalom-SCCRR at Tangaza University College, Constituent College of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa; ‘Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation’, attended by Students of Theology and Islamic Studies from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Mr. Godfrey Okoth MA (PhD Candidate), Shalom-SCCRR Senior Project Officer, facilitating a Conflict Transformation workshop at Koru Ethiopia, Eastern Africa – a semi-arid desert violent terrain.
Shalom-SCCRR personnel training government officials (security agents) on methodologies and processes to bring about a society free of physical violence, structural violence and the promotion of positive peace among communities.
Shalom-SCCRR’s Senior Project Officer, Godfrey Okoth MA (PhD Candidate), engaging Samburu women in Northern Kenya on peace and development strategies for them and their families

Schools/ Educational Development Projects Achievements/ Peace Dividends 2022

  • 52 School/Educational Development Projects completed, emerging from Conflict Transformation interventions.
  • 14,500 Pupils and Students benefiting from Shalom-SCCRR funded projects: Classrooms, Accommodation facilities, Solar lighting systems, Gender sanitary items, Books, Desks, School Water systems, Science Laboratory Equipment etc.
  • 18,096 Pupils and Students benefiting from Shalom-SCCRR Peace Education Syllabus implemented in primary and secondary Schools located in violent conflict zones.
  • 49 Shalom-SCCRR established and supported SHALOM Peace Clubs, implementing conflict transformation activities in areas affected by interethnic conflicts/religious ideological extremism and marginalization.
  • Shalom Empowerment Center (SEC) for Addressing Violence Against Women and Children Offering Education/ Training on Peacebuilding techniques, Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation and, Holistic Livelihood Resilience Capacities.
Fr. Oliver Noonan MA (PhD Candidate), shalom-SCCRR Executive Director with Mr. Ciaran King assessing the progress of Shalom-SCCRR funded classrooms construction project at St. Peter’s Nursery and Primary School, Turkana County
A delivery of desks and lockers by Shalom-SCCRR logistics team at Santur Primary School in Loiyangalani, Marsabit, Kenya. The school was experiencing an acute shortage of sitting places for the learners.
Shalom-SCCRR’s Esther Kibe MA, having an interactive peace education session with students from Marti Secondary School. Shalom-SCCRR has also supported the school with desks, solar lighting systems, and the construction of standard classrooms and toilet facilities hence improving the teaching and learning environment in the school

Shalom Empowerment Center (SEC) Addressing Violence against Women and Children Achievements 2022

  • 760 Women from informal urban settlements (slums) Empowered with analytical skills and Peacebuilding techniques, for Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation.
  • Shalom-SCCRR Empowerment Center (SEC) participants predominantly come from the informal urban settlements (slums) located around Nairobi (Riruta; Waithaka; Dagoretti; Kibera; Mathare; Kariobangi; Korogocho; Kangemi; Kawangware; and Huruma), as well as in marginalized conflict regions in the semi-arid terrains where Kenya interfaces with Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda https://shalomconflictcenter.org/
  • 1,628 Women in acute conflict situations in Slums Empowered with Holistic Livelihood Resilience Capacity in 86 Training Workshops. Visit: https://maryandjosephlifecenter.org/
Shalom-SCCRR’s Ilhan Ali Salah BA (MA Candidate), guiding women from Riruta urban informal settlement in an interactive group discussion on the existing frameworks for conflict prevention in their areas.
Esther Kibe MA, Shalom-SCCRR Project Officer on the ground with women from marginalized communities in Northern Kenya.
Shalom-SCCRR’s Project Officer for Women and Children Program, Judith Akedi MA, engaging women from Mathare Informal Settlements/slums on the dignity and rights of women and their invaluable role in resolving all forms of conflict.
Shalom-SCCRR’s Godfrey Okoth MA (PhD Candidate), facilitating a training session with women from Kawangware urban informal settlements on their role in peacebuilding.

Impacts of Shalom-SCCRR, 2009 – 2022

  • Reduction of inter-ethnic based violent conflict incidents by an average of 67% in Shalom-SCCRR engaged project areas.
  • Operational and effective locally developed and sustained Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanisms preventing more than 60% of looming conflicts.
  • More women participation as negotiators in peace processes among traditional ethnic communities (43% participation) in contexts where peace processes have been a preserve of the male-folk.
  • Improved peace and security by 58% in areas where Shalom-SCCRR is intervening based on the monthly conflict incidents tracking. Thus, creating a supportive environment for development of local economy, stable and safe human settlement, health centers, and other social facilities.
  • 90% success of uninterrupted learning in schools where Shalom-SCCRR is implementing conflict transformation and peacebuilding projects.
  • Improved levels of trust, cooperation and collaboration between rival ethnic communities leading to joint development in areas such as: education, and livelihood activities.
  • Prevented youth radicalization and religious ideological extremism in the urban slums through broad stakeholder engagement and capacity building trainings to local communities’ key influential opinion shapers, religious leaders, local government administrators and civil society actors.
Prof. Wanakayi K. Omoka Director of Research and Fr. Patrick Devine PhD, working on one of Shalom-SCCRR position paper concerning Human rights.
Rev. Oliver Noonan MA (PhD Candidate), Shalom-SCCRR’s Executive Director with Prof. Wanakayi K. Omoka carrying out empirical research in the conflict-prone Ilemi Triangle.

Prof. Omoka, an academician, peace practitioner and devoted to social transformation and integral human development in Africa, observed that;

“Shalom-SCCRR is unique in its modus operandi.”

According to him, “Shalom-SCCRR distinctive approach has attracted the attention of some of the highest 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.” Shalom-SCCRR remarkable achievements of its mission implementation according to him are directly related to its management and international corporate stewardship. Prof. Omoka further observed that, “the vision, field experience, resilience and progressive leadership of Shalom-SCCRR’s international chairman, Rev. Dr Patrick Devine, are inspirational, evidenced in peace and development results, productive team work, growing international interest from scholars and policy makers, among other positive life changing dynamics.”

Fergal Keane (left), the legendary BBC international affairs correspondent and Africa Editor, when internationally reporting on the conflict transformation and peacebuilding work of Shalom-SCCRR in eastern Africa, said, that

What they do here matters to all of Africa.”

“I couldn’t agree more. It is indispensable that personnel and organizations involved in peace and development work (or planning to do so) are up to performing what the effort calls for as well as being authentic in their commitments. Their motivations and interventions should neither get short-changed by parasitic inclinations and/or abuse of the interventions to the disadvantages of African people. Shalom-SCCRR esteems itself on the pledge of its personnel to the letter of the organizational vision, mission and values. Shalom in 2020 continued to deliver while expanding its efforts to counter the spread of Covid-19, particularly in remote poverty stricken rural locations and urban slum settlements.  The human and environmental security of Africa is an imperative for the peace and progress of human dignity throughout the whole world.”

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