Shalom was founded by Jean de Dieu Basabose and Cori Wielenga in 2007. Both are former students of the Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies department of the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. They completed post-graduate studies which focused on sustainable peace in the Great Lakes region.
Basabose Jean de Dieu directs Shalom and is based in Kigali, Rwanda. He holds a Masters degree in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies, and his dissertation focused on the role of the ombudsman. He has five years experience as a peace practitioner in the Rwandan context, working primarily as a trainer.
Cori Wielenga is one of Shalom’s co-directors and is based in Pretoria, South Africa. She completed her doctorate in Peace Studies, with as topic reconciliation in Rwanda. She holds the position of post doctorate fellow in the Politics department at the University of Pretoria.
Mary Coffman, another of Shalom’s co-directors, comes to us from the Americas – growing up in the North (USA), studying in the South (Argentina), and currently residing with her husband in the Center (Costa Rica). In 2008, Mary was awarded with a Rotary World Peace Fellowship to study a Masters degree in International Relations and Peace and Security Issues at Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mary’s interests in the peace field include peace education, reconciliation work, and the language of peace.