Caritas Lesotho was founded in 1970 and currently works to help to avert humanitarian crises that include severe food shortages and malnutrition combined with high rates of HIV/AIDS. The economy of Lesotho is largely agricultural, but only 10 percent of the country is fit for cultivation and recurrent droughts impede production.
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Caritas Lesotho provides aid relief in the form of food, clothing and seeds to over 8800 people annually.
Food supplements have targeted the communities most affected by HIV/AIDS. Beyond the aid, the agency facilitates developmental projects that establish community working groups, psycho-social clubs and 55 care groups to provide social support to communities. Caritas Lesotho promotes conservation agriculture, sets up community gardens to increase agricultural production and promotes savings and internal lending in communities.
Caritas Lesotho special concern for the estimated 140,000 orphans and vulnerable children living in Lesotho provides training on nutrition and vegetable production through the construction of keyhole gardens, which incorporate raised beds with closer spacing of plants to suppress weed growth and conserve moisture. Since 2011 the programme has benefitted over 6,000 people.
Caritas Lesotho helps over 20,000 people every year and the impact of its work is highlighted in successful food security programmes in two rural districts, which it is seeking to replicate across other areas.
Caritas Lesotho main office in Maseru and employs 30 staff and volunteers to carry out its services.
Caritas Lesotho a member of Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Africa and receives support from the global national Caritas members, such Catholic Relief Services USA