About Shelvis & Nancy Smith-Mather
“I was born in war and now I am growing old in war,” a common story for South Sudanese, does not discourage the local church. Through a Christian organization called RECONCILE, divided groups unite for peace. RECONCILE trains grassroots leaders across South Sudan and in refugee camps, building their skills in conflict transformation and trauma recovery. As Principal of the RECONCILE Peace Institute, Shelvis implements initiatives helping communities reflect on tragedy, reconcile broken relationships, work together to transform conflict, and heal. In addition, he researches and designs comprehensive peace practices for South Sudan through Oxford University.
Even during war, the education of children remains a top priority for the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS). Convinced that education reduces poverty and can promote reconciliation, PCOSS provides schools. Nancy coordinates a program with PCOSS and RECONCILE equipping communities to improve schools, developing teachers, championing the education of girls, and promoting peace.