“Solidarity with South Sudan”: Report Difesa interviews the Vice-President of the Organisation at the International Multilateral Conference



The important International Multilateral Conference entitled “The Role of Women in the Diplomatic Intermediation of Conflicts” was held a few days ago in Rome, at the Palazzo della Cancelleria, and was attended by important personalities and authorities from all over the world.

Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS) took part, a project born in 2006 at the request of the Bishop of South Sudan, who came to Rome at the meeting of the Union of Major Superiors of Italy to ask for aid, at a time when the country still did not have any.

In 2008, the Organisation was born, based on the management of a teacher training institute, a health training institute, agriculture, with an outreach programme and pastoral services, operating, moreover, in a context of extreme poverty.

The organisation’s aim, therefore, is to give a voice to those who have none. As is often the case in African countries, women still lag far behind, so much so that violations of women’s and children’s rights are still seen in some contexts as trespassing. The project’s task is to intervene in their education, so that they can emancipate themselves, find work and, consequently, return to their communities as an example by which other women can be inspired.

Report Difesa had the opportunity to interview Sister Maria del Carmen Ocon, Vice President Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS).

“Although I don’t physically work in South Sudan, I am the vice-president of this organisation called Solidarity with South Sudan, the only one in the world where religious men and women live and work together. The communities of the different congregations are both male and female. – specified the vice-president of the organisation – In order to help the country and the church itself, capacity building (or capacity development, an investment of time and resources to improve the performance of a non-profit organisation), the training of teachers, professors, nurses, in particular the training of midwives, has been requested. The students who participate come from all over the country”.

“We also have a sustainable agriculture project. – continued Sister Maria del Carmen Ocon – A very specific programme, especially for women. In addition, there are pastoral projects, which are part of the training of the pastoral agent. In addition, we in the project organise programmes to heal the so-called ‘trauma healing’ caused by the war”.

“With regard to the current situation in the country, the country had a war with Sudan for many years, then became independent in 2011 and a civil war broke out in 2013” – said the Vice-President – “Today, there is a lot of struggle with the establishment of peace. However, the contribution of the Catholic Church, of Pope Francis in particular who met with the leaders of the country and the Anglican Church, is very important. All of this, in fact, has made a great contribution to the peace process, which at the time was still very weak, but which today is being managed, allowing this process to take on an increasingly clear configuration”.

Credits to: Report Difesa, original italian text HERE


Date Published:

31 Oct2022


Claudia Nicolò, Office Manager

Article Tags:

Latest News, South Sudan, Solidarity, Conference,  Women, Role of the Women, Peace

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