Caritas Swaziland was founded in 1977 to empower communities and reduce the chronic poverty as 70 percent of the population lives in poverty. Because of drought and disease, one in four struggle to have enough food. Since its inception, the agency has helped half a million people in a country with high unemployment and the highest HIV and AIDS rate in the world.
Caritas Swaziland programmes and social services provides assistance to over 23,000 beneficiaries every year.
Caritas Swaziland participates in Caritas Internationalis “HAART” campaign, Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment, a campaign launched by Caritas in 2009 to provide medicines to keep HIV infected children healthy.
Training includes capacity-building to ensure institutions are in place to sustain development work, and monitoring and evaluation to improve projects. Loans and grants have helped the setting up of small enterprises. More immediate aid has included food and clothing.
Caritas Swaziland sees its main challenges in tackling the social inequalities that also contribute to poverty, and arresting the HIV infection rate.
Caritas Swaziland main office in Manzini employs 27 staff and 225 volunteers to carry out its services. The main office works closely with the 1 Caritas diocesan and 15 Caritas parishes.
As a member of Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Africa, Caritas Swaziland receives support from the global Caritas network, such as Catholic Relief Services USA, Caritas Italy and Caritas England and Wales-CAFOD.
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