Caritas Zimbabwe was founded in 1972 as the Commission for Social Services and Development (CSSD) by the then Rhodesian Catholic Bishops Conference to carry out the social work of the Church. In 1984 the commission was renamed Catholic Development Commission (CADEC) as its work shifted from social welfare to development. In 2009, the commission adopted the name Caritas being a member of Caritas Internationalis and in line with its work that is to make God’s love visible in the world. Thus, Caritas works under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) to carry out development and humanitarian work in the Diocese of Chinhoyi without regard to religion, race, gender and ethnicity. Its mandate includes integral human development, emergency relief and welfare, sustainable development, advocacy, peace building, respect for human rights, and support for proper stewardship of the environment and resources.
In partnership with other Catholic agencies such as MISEREOR, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CAFOD, TROCAIRE, Caritas Australia, Caritas Denmark, Jesuit Missions Germany and Austria, Caritas has implemented various life changing interventions. In addition to the Catholic agencies, Caritas Chinhoyi has also partnered with UNICEF, UNIFEM, IOM, UNHCR, HOSPAZ and Zimbabwe Orphan Foundation Trust in its mandate to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. Caritas Chinhoyi responds to communities’ needs through the following key thematic areas: Food security, livelihoods, water and sanitation, capacity building and Relief and Welfare.