New Leaders: Solidarity with South Sudan

New Leaders: Solidarity with South Sudan


Father David Gentry
Mission Promoter, Solidarity with South Sudan


New Leaders Campaign


The Catholic Church is the largest humanitarian organisation on the planet. But why? What motivates people to reach out in so many acts of care – in educating the young, ministering to the sick, supporting the poor, and so many other areas of life? The answer, quite simply, is that Catholicism is a radically “incarnational” religion. God in Jesus becomes flesh and blood, and so flesh and blood are sacred, the “earthen vessels” of divinity. We are motivated to care for  others because we see each person as a unique and unrepeatable expression of some aspect of God’s own beauty, truth and goodness. And we want that expression of the life of God, in a person and a culture, not only to survive, but to thrive and flourish.


Solidarity with South Sudan is founded on the model of capacity building. Our projects are not involved in direct services, like staffing schools for the young or hospitals for the sick. Instead, we seek to educate and train the people of South Sudan to take on these roles for themselves, so they do not become dependent on “charity” from afar, but rather come into possession of their own powers, in order to be agents of their own history.

The situation in South Sudan is challenging: we see massive poverty and illiteracy, a lack of functioning institutions for education and healthcare, a lack of critical infrastructure leading to a lack jobs for people to support themselves and their families, tribal and ethnic conflict,  political dysfunction and paralysis. The people of South Sudan need to be accompanied by those of us who have something to share, but they also need to be challenged to rise to the occasion and become agents of their own future.

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