Eastern Africa

Wonderful Welcome and Experience with the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR)

By July 10, 2023 July 11th, 2023 No Comments

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.

In the conflict zones with some marginalized Turkana Women in Marti, Samburu County in Northern Kenya.

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.

Rev. Dr. Patrick Devine, Shalom-SCCRR’s International Chairman welcoming me to the Shalom-SCCRR Team in East Africa.

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.

Participating in an inter-ethnic Conflict Transformation training workshop in Marti, Samburu County.

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.

With some of Shalom’s team members at our Eastern Africa headquarters.

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.


Paula empowering key influential opinion-shapers from Morijo, Samburu County on how they can use policy to influence structural transformation in their community.
Paula engaging  Shalom Peace Club members from Morijo Primary School Samburu County on the effects and impacts of conflicts within their schools and communities, and their role as peacebuilders.
Paula alongside Shalom-SCCRR team members Judith Akedi MA, and Mr. Moses Osiro MA, during a community engagement activity in Mathare Slums where Shalom-SCCRR works.
Paula facilitating a training session with women from Riruta urban informal settlements on the procedures and skills in Negotiation.
Paula alongside Shalom-SCCRR’s Ms. Esther Kibe MA, and Ms. Ilhan Ali BA, (MA Candidate)engaging women leaders from Riruta Informal Settlements/slums on their invaluable role in resolving all forms of conflict.
Paula with Shalom-SCCRR’s Arthur Magero guiding women from Kawangware urban informal settlement in an interactive group discussion on the existing frameworks for conflict prevention in their areas.


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