SHALOM-SCCRR WORK FOR CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION AND SCHOOL DEVELOPMENTS
For someone who understands what a challenging career can be like, I want to express how grateful I am that the dream of achieving my educational goal is within reach, thanks to the immense support I am getting from Shalom-SCCRR. Presenting myself as one of the beneficiaries among thousands of students particularly from Kenya, who are benefiting from such opportunity and yearning each year to complete and achieve their academic objectives, Shalom-SCCRR has bridged the gap with Educational and Development Projects to assist thousands of students in conflict zones with ways to continue and complete their education. Some programs are even tailored to address certain issues and provide extra support.
Back in the year 2007 at the age of 17, I felt like my educational dream had been wiped out when the prevailing circumstances forced me to drop out of school, hence, I could not complete my secondary education. This made me to join a local technical/vocational training center where I qualified and worked as a mechanic for five years.
In 2016, my strong work ethic helped me to get a job with Shalom-SCCRR working in the conflict environments as a driver, mechanic and logistic assistance. It created a good platform to attend most of the peace training workshops that were organized in different remote project conflict zones in eastern Africa, hence, made me not only to attend, but also to take part in more than 479 Shalom-SCCRR activities (Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation & school educational/Development programs) that have been conducted from 2016 – 2020. This has helped me enormously to gain self-esteem, to cope and a have a ‘drive’ to keep learning.
In addition to the workshops facilitated by highly qualified and dedicated Shalom-SCCRR team, I had much to learn on conflict transformation and peacebuilding by interacting and learning from key community leaders and other local partners in the social-development sphere. Fr. Patrick Devine, PhD, Shalom-SCCRR International Chairman, and Fr. Oliver Noonan, MA (PhD Candidate) inspired and encouraged me to return to secondary school at the age of 27 and complete my secondary education. They continued to monitor my progress. It was demanding for many reasons including the fact that I was still working with Shalom-SCCRR in dangerous conflict environments.
However this work and watching the Shalom team making tremendous peacebuilding/educational development progress helped me to develop critical awareness and understanding of social needs and the necessity for self-development. These factors were ultimately the greatest incentives that inspired me to return to complete my secondary education with the aim of engaging further in conflict transformation and project management in order to help people have better lives. This is truly such a gratifying feeling and I am extremely content with the way I am taking every step to achieve these personal goals, something I yearned for years to do.
The chance to return and complete secondary school has been the foundation to further my study in Project Management (Diploma Level) which I anticipate to complete in 2021. In addition to short-online courses that have taken in livelihood sustainability towards poverty reduction. As a result, the course is offering a great opportunity to understand the principles, processes and knowledge areas in project management and peace building in conflict affected environments.
Although, it was the most challenging yet rewarding thing I have ever had, my capacity in terms of knowledge, skills and experience is progressively increasing and enabling me to undertake more technical tasks in the Shalom-SCCRR peace building projects.
Shalom-SCCRR has worked since its inception to address educational disadvantages in most inter-communal conflict affected counties in Northern Kenya (Marsabit, Samburu, West Pokot, Isiolo, Turkana) and in urban informal-settlements (Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu-Nandi). To date, Shalom-SCCRR educational/development and peace education programs, have benefitted more than 155,790 pupils and students in both primary and secondary schools respectively.
In terms of sustained impact, my experience with Shalom-SCCRR is an approach that is anchored on a humanitarian-peace-development nexus reflected in every program design and implementation. This has helped to maximize the size of the available pool of potential educated workforce, particularly from families with less privileged backgrounds and often poverty-stricken.
Shalom-SCCRR also enhances stakeholders with requisite skills to ensure continuity and sustainability of the established projects. This has built a wider movement of members who share the Shalom-SCCRR vision, mission and objectives, which seek
s to transform individuals and communities through physical infrastructural development and capacity towards self-mobilization for inter-dependent/inter-communal future.
Just like thousands of students and community members who are benefiting from this program, I am grateful for the support Shalom-SCCRR has offered towards my educational achievement. The whole Shalom team has assisted my education, experience in peace work and created an environment for ongoing personal growth and development.
My sincere thanks also goes to friends, donors and supporters who give generously to make sure that the work of Shalom-SCCRR continues and remains committed in the transformation and development of communities by being the beacon of hope to the least privileged communities. Shalom-SCCRR’s methodology and achievements have been widely appreciated by local communities and international observers. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been positively transformed.
I can without a doubt say that the return for every US dollar invested in Shalom-SCCRR’s interventions is second to none. Ultimately, Shalom-SCCRR’s work has enabled communities to embrace inter-ethnic and inter-religious education, adopt alternative livelihoods, and enter into inter-communal cooperation for joint-development, consequently, enhancing interactions and re-building broken relationships leading to peaceful co-existence.
Do not hesitate to continue to support Shalom-SCCRR’s remarkable work. I am one among thousands that you have enormously impacted for the better. Many more just need an opportunity to improve their lives. May God’s Blessings be always with you.
By: Kennedy Oduor,
Project Assistant, Shalom-SCCRR.
Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation
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