THESO USA Foundation creates positive resilience and sustainable change through CSOs capacity development and community engagement for development.
Through its programming and grantmaking, the Foundation strives to promote CSOs participation and involvement in sustainable national development of South Sudan. It does so by strengthening the capacities of civil society actors, so that they contribute to more inclusive, transparent, and accountable policy making and implementation of value-based results oriented developmental
programmes. If civil society capacity and sustainability is strengthened and viable mechanisms of participation are created locally and nationally, then citizens will be better able to enjoy their basics needs services as enshrined on national constitution human rights and freedoms articles and hold duty-bearers accountable. It is with this rationale in mind that the Foundation’s programs equip CSOs and civic activists with skills, capacities and resources to define and achieve positive outcomes for themselves and their communities. We employ a participatory approach, which allows civil society actors to determine the issues that are of importance to the communities and to develop interventions that will be effective in addressing identified needs – a critical factor in building a vibrant South Sudan. At the same time, THESO USA Foundation is mindful of rising threats to the country due to natural and man-made disasters and fundamental freedoms and mobilises communities and interest groups around specific issue areas to create demand for good governance, economic empowerment and resilience sustainable development.
The following core values guide and underpin the Foundation’s actions and decision making:
THESO Foundation encourages civil society organisations to create their own social enterprises as a way of improving their financial health.
Over the years, THESO will be supporting social enterprise development in South Sudan, to contribute to inclusive growth and increased financial sustainability of CSOs. Initially, given the novelty of the concept, the organisation will cooperate with other local and international players to promote the concept among the civil society sector and the broader public. At the same time, the organisation will be supporting CSOs in setting up and improving social enterprises, to create positive examples for both CSOs and the Government to emulate. As a result, representatives of different vulnerable groups will benefit from the potential to be employed in newly established or strengthened social enterprises, as well as from increased sustainability of the CSOs that serve these constituencies. THESO will continue supporting social entrepreneurship, as an additional tool for improving CSO capacity in South Sudan, providing technical and financial support to those CSOs that have created or are interested in setting up social enterprises as a means for diversifying their income and ensuring their long-term financial health.
THESO designs and implements needs-based thematic learning initiatives to support motivated civil society actors in improving their knowledge and skills.
As a developmental organisation that strives to promote community participation and developmental initiatives in South Sudan, the organisation believes that it is its mission and duty to strengthen the capacity of civil society actors, so that they can contribute to more inclusive, accountable, and transparent public policy making. Needs-based thematic capacity development is one of the cornerstones of this approach. The needs of the sector are identified through rigorous assessments, evaluations, and mapping studies, as well as through structured dialogue with partners, beneficiaries, and sector experts. In addition, the organisation encourages its grantees to internally identify their capacity needs and to seek local or international learning and experience sharing opportunities, which can be funded through their grants or directly by the organisation. Participation in the organisation-supported thematic learning initiatives requires CSO openness and commitment to improving their thematic capacities, which is why we have instituted an application procedure for participation in learning opportunities and require the requesting organisation to provide justification that describes their capacity development needs and suggests ways to address them.
To respond to the changing needs of the civil society sector in South Sudan, THESO conducts monthly CSO clinic to support CSOs and other civil society actors in their work.
On the first Friday of each month from 15:00-17:00, the organisation’s staff provide consultations to civil society actors that would like to develop strong project proposals that aim at promoting open and transparence development in South Sudan or to strengthen their institutional structures and processes for improved and sustained impact. During the CSO clinic, the organisation’s staff will also respond to questions related to mainstreaming gender and minority considerations in project design and implementation. THESO’s monthly CSO clinics will be utilised by well-established CSOs and media outlets, as well as those civic activists who are considering establishing a CSO or who work for a newly founded or grassroots CSOs.
Interested individuals can attend the CSO clinic (online)