By: Paula Soumaya Domit
My name is Paula Soumaya Domit, and I am currently working as a Conflict Management intern at Shalom-SCCRR while pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Throughout my career, I have been driven by a deep passion for human security, positive peace, and their achievement through human-centric and data-driven approaches.
My journey into understanding the fundamental concepts of peace began with academic exploration. I became fascinated by the study of peace and its applicability beyond traditional conflict scenarios. My academic work on these topics included an intensive summer term at Oxford conducting independent research on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and Transitional Justice Possibilities in Mexico (through case studies of Colombia and Sierra Leone) and as an ambassador of the Institute for Economics and Peace. I worked with civil society organizations and research institutions around the world to produce robust analysis and strategic interventions aimed at fostering a more peaceful and less militarized world.
In my professional life, I have focused on applying these theoretical frameworks to address various threats to peace on an international scale. Specifically, I have been dedicated to advancing international peace and security through human-centric strategies within the realm of international law. I specialized in international disarmament processes at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, working on treaty negotiation and implementation on topics spanning the international arms trade, conventional arms in conflict zones, and regulatory frameworks for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and emerging technology.
During my Masters studies, I have sought to understand how these theoretical frameworks can drive change at the grassroots level, not only at the international legal level. I first learned of Shalom-SCCRR through a lecture event at Harvard in November 2022 at which Rev. Dr. Patrick Devine, was speaking. Shalom’s approach to conflict resolution and peacebuilding, firmly rooted in research theories of peace, resonated deeply with me. Working with the Shalom team in the conflict environment seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn how to translate my theoretical understanding of peace and knowledge into transformative interventions for populations affected by conflict on the ground.
Shalom’s work is a success story of combining intellectual rigor, human compassion, and an unwavering belief in the value of peace. For me, this was very attractive. I found this approach to be incredibly concordant with my values and my intellectual convictions.
After reaching out to Fr. Devine and the team, I was delighted to be invited to spend 10 weeks working with Shalom-SCCRR as a conflict management intern, observing and assisting the organization’s work in the urban informal settlements of Nairobi, in areas afflicted by inter-ethnic conflict and religious ideological extremism across Eastern Africa. Thanks to the generosity of Harvard’s Juster Fellowship, Cultural Bridge Fellowship, and Summer Internship Fund, and the warm welcome of the Shalom team, I have relocated to Nairobi for the summer to embark on this extraordinary experiential learning experience.
Author: Paula Soumaya Domit, Masters in Public Policy Candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
AUGMENTED PHOTOS BY THE COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
- Shalom- SCCRR. (2023) 2009-2022 Shalom-SCCRR Results and Achievements.https://shalomconflictcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/13-Years-of-Shalom-SCCRR-2009-2022-SV-20230624.pdf
- Devine, P. R. (2023). Shalom-SCCRR Chairman’s Report on Progress and Achievements in 2022. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/chairmans-report-on-progress-and-achievements-in-2022/
- 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). https://shalomconflictcenter.org/recalling-prof-wanakayi-k-omoka-phd-understanding-of-the-philosophy-and-work-of-shalom-sccrr-augmented-with-2022-shalom-sccrrs-achievements-and-results/
- Matt, M. (2020). Eastern Africa: Shalom-SCCRR receives United Nations (UN) Accreditation. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/3901-2/
- Moran, M. (2022). Shalom Chairman delivers lecture at Harvard Kennedy School. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/shalom-chairman-delivers-lecture-at-harvard-kennedy-school/
- Kibe, E. (2022). Shalom-SCCRR’s International Chairman, Rev. Dr. Patrick Devine addresses the Harvard Kennedy School, USA. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/shalom-sccrrs-international-chairman-rev-dr-patrick-devine-addresses-the-harvard-kennedy-school-usa/
- Shalom – SCCRR. (2016). Harvard Lecture Focuses on Model for Peace. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/harvard-lecture-focuses-on-model-for-peace/
- Okoth, G. (2023). Shalom-SCCRR Begins Interventions in Baragoi; A Hotspot Area for Inter-Ethnic Violence between the Turkana and Samburu Communities of Northern Kenya. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/shalom-sccrr-launches-in-baragoi-the-epicenter-of-inter-ethnic-violence-among-the-turkana-and-samburu-communities-of-northern-kenya/
- Adhiambo, V. (2023). “Transforming Manifest Violence >>> Negative Peace >>> Positive Peace. ” https://shalomconflictcenter.org/transforming-manifest-violence-negative-peace-positive-peace/
- Devine, P. R. (2017). “Radicalization and Extremism in Eastern Africa; Dynamics and Drivers”, published in the Journal of Mediation and Applied Conflict Analysis, 4 (2): http://mural.maynoothuniversity.ie/9086/7/PD-Radicalisation-2017.pdf
- Shalom-SCCRR. (2022). Shalom Empowerment Center (SEC) Addressing Violence against Women and Children: Concept Document. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/eastern-africa-shalom-empowerment-center-sec-addressing-violence-against-women-and-children-concept-document/
- Shalom-SCCRR. (2020). Shalom-SCCRR signs MoUs with The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute Queen’s University, Belfast, & Edward M. Kennedy Institute, Maynooth University. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/shalom-sccrr-collaborates-with-the-queens-university-of-belfast-edward-m-kennedy-institute-for-conflict-intervention/
- Moran, M. (2021). Kenya: Shalom Centre, Tangaza University College sign MoU. https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/42363
- Akedi, J. (2021). A report on the signing of an MoU between Shalom-SCCRR and Tangaza University College. https://shalomconflictcenter.org/a-report-on-the-signing-of-an-mou-between-shalom-sccrr-and-tangaza-university-college-by-ms-judith-akedi-ma/
- Irish Minister Visits Shalom, Praises Work for Peace https://shalomconflictcenter.org/irish-minister-visits-shalom-praises-work-for-peace/