The Solidarity with South Sudan Story
It all began in 2008 with a request from the Sudanese Bishops’ Conference. The response came from women and men religious, representing the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), and Union of Superiors General (USG), respectively. The keyword was “solidarity”, and the focus was on South Sudan: hence the name of the project.
In the ﬁrst ten years alone, between 2008 and 2018, Solidarity with South Sudan succeeded in training 475 primary school teachers, 190 nurses and midwives, over 1000 farmers, and more than 1500 pastoral agents.
19 members of Solidarity with South Sudan currently offer their time and talents in 4 communities. They come from 13 different countries, include both religious and lay people, and represent 14 Catholic religious congregations. A total of 260 congregations, private donors and international agencies, support the project with funding, personnel and expertise.
Working closely with the local church, the project runs a teacher training college, a health training institute, a sustainable farm with an outreach programme, and pastoral services.
While continuing to respond to the social and economic realities that impact peoples’ everyday lives, Solidarity with South Sudan intends concentrating its efforts on establishing even more sustainable programmes.
That’s because the new keywords are “peace” and “reconciliation”. Solidarity with South Sudan is committed to consolidating these goals by accompanying the people, and providing them with the skills and knowledge they need: to overcome the traumas of the past, and to build a healthier and more just society for the future – together.
Solidarity with South Sudan aims to create self-sustainable educational, health and pastoral institutions and programs that will help to empower South Sudanese people to build a just and peaceful society. Solidarity is a collaborative commitment of religious institutes of men and women, members of the Unions of Superiors General and the Church in South Sudan working in partnership with the Sudan Catholic Bishop‘s Conference.
Through Solidarity with South Sudan’s focus on sustainable farming, teacher training, nursing and midwife training, and pastoral services, the organization has three inter-related criteria at the heart of its vision:
01. To offer educational and capacity building opportunities to the people of South Sudan, helping them to become dedicated and service-oriented teachers and practitioners throughout their country.
02. To guarantee the unique collaboration and commitment of religious congregations, together with highly trained people representing diverse cultures and working together in community, to provide the capacity building skills and values needed.
03. To create a strategy, based on collaboration and experience within the country and at Solidarity’s Rome headquarters, to gradually hand over the programmes to the local Church and to religious institutions present in South Sudan.
Juba is home to the Solidarity with South Sudan Administrative Community and the Pastoral Team. It is also where the Executive Director, the Project Ofﬁcer, and the Financial Manager live.
Yambio is the center that coordinates Solidarity with South Sudan’s Education Programmes for primary school teachers. Students beneﬁtting from these programmes come from all over the country.
Wau is South Sudan’s second largest city. This is where the Health Education Programmes are developed and delivered. The programmes train nurses and midwives coming from every state in the nation.
Riimenze is about 30 kilometres from Yambio. The community here works hand in hand with the local Christian rural population, focussing mainly on agriculture and pastoral activities.
The Governing Board represents the members of the Solidarity with South Sudan project. It meets regularly in Rome to provide direction and directives for the project on behalf of the Religious Congregations and the South Sudan Bishops.
Its responsibilities include: reviewing the strategic plan for Solidarity’s mission, applying appropriate policies and protocols, appointing qualiﬁed personnel to senior management positions, and promoting fundraising initiatives.
The General Assembly meets in Rome once a year. It is the competent authority for approving the annual budget and all expenditure, thus guaranteeing accountability to donors. It is also responsible for the appointment of Board members.
Juba – South Sudan Headquarters
The South Sudan headquarters are housed in the Diocesan Palica compound in Juba. The Executive Director, the Financial Manager, and the Pastoral Team, have their ofﬁces here.
Their primary responsibilities include:
- Coordinating the various aspects of the project.
- Maintaining internal communication with the Directors of Solidarity with South Sudan.
- Convening and Board meetings and applying the decisions taken there.
- Establishing and maintaining an effective ﬁnancial system, combining all Solidarity with South Sudan accounts in order to guarantee the dual criteria of transparency and accountability.
Rome – International Headquarters
The Rome Ofﬁce is a stone’s throw from Vatican City, across the River Tiber. The Rome Ofﬁce Manager, the Finance Ofﬁcer, and the Director of Fundraising, work here.
The primary responsibilities of the Italian Onlus include:
- Maintaining connections with religious congregations, donors, and ofﬁcial institutions, both in Italy and around the world.
- Organizing public events to build awareness and promote fundraising efforts.
- Developing promotional materials and coordinating communications strategies.
- Organizing international Board meetings.
We count ourselves very blessed to have a wide and diverse network of supports. Growing this support base is of primary importance to us and so we invite all interested individuals, groups and organisations to consider joining our growing support community to further enhance our potential to serve those on the peripheries.
There are more than 260 congregations supporting this project in different ways.
Institutions & Donor Agencies
We are forever grateful to the ongoing financial support of all our benefactors.