Caritas Lesotho was founded in 1970 by the Catholic Bishops of Lesotho as the official welfare and development arm of the Catholic Church. It works with vulnerable communities to prevent the negative effects of shocks induced by the socio-economic crisis and climate change. Its first mandate is to strengthen their livelihoods and resilience to better cope with these shocks. Caritas Lesotho is under the authority of the Commission for Christian Services of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Lesotho.
Its main areas of action are :
- Food and nutritional security: provision of agricultural equipment (seeds, fruit trees, tools), technical training on food production, education on nutrition and improved access to drinking water in case of drought.
- Microfinance: formation and implementation of savings and loan groups, training on business management and entrepreneurship, linking groups with formal financial institutions.
- Education: vocational training for orphaned and vulnerable children, awareness of educational institutions available in Lesotho and referrals.
- Child Rights and Protection: Child rights and protection training and references.
- HIV/AIDS prevention among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) by improving economic opportunities for their families and implementing programs to improve relationships between AGYWs and their caregivers to foster trust, as well as referrals to HIV and AIDS-related services.
Caritas Lesotho is headquartered in Maseru, the capital. As a member of Caritas Africa and Caritas Internationalis, it benefits from the assistance of international Caritas members, such as Catholic Relief Services USA.