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Building the voice of the voiceless in the Western Cape of South Africa

Catholic Welfare and Development is one of the largest and longest established NGOs [Non Governmental Organisations] in the country. After 45 years we have developed programmes responding to community needs across the Greater City of Cape Town.

Our aim is to develop people to rise out of poverty, with the major focus being on development work. This we do through five community development centres and a wide range of programmes which focus mainly on:

  • Engaging with communities to build capacity and solve problems
  • Early Childhood Services
  • Trauma and Healing Services
  • Counselling networks
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Disaster Response

Wherever possible, we work with provincial and local government to refine service delivery to the poor, homeless, children and others.

But we also need the support of corporate South Africa, funders and individual donors from all over the world ... all joining together to give people a hand-up towards self-reliance.




The organisation was founded under the auspices of the Catholic Church in 1970 by two social workers who could not turn a blind eye to the abject poverty and injustices suffered by under-privileged people under the apartheid regime. 

From the start, we engaged with these communities with the aim of helping them decide on priorities and find their own solutions.

Today, CWD works with people of all denominations and abides to the ethos and social teachings of the Catholic Church, and are proud to have as our patron the Archbishop of Cape Town, Archbishop Stephen Brislin.

“A leading, dynamic organisation professionally enhancing self-reliant communities

Catholic Welfare and Development (CWD) was established in 1970, in response to the need identified in the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Town for a welfare organisation to deal with the abject poverty and injustices suffered by under-privileged people under the apartheid system of the day. The agency operates primarily in the Western Cape of South Africa working with community stakeholders and partners towards eradicating poverty and seeking to address social issues in vulnerable communities. The essence of our work involves assisting in the social development of communities, preserving and advocating human dignity as well as making sure that people’s human rights are protected. CWD offers a diverse range of programmes to deal with a wide range of human rights issues  and is open to all people in need, regardless of background, including religious affiliation.


CWD’s interventions primarily target vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in Khayelitsha, Masiphumelele, Samora Machel, Tafelsig, Delft, Gugulethu, Atlantis, Phillippi and Blikkiesdorp.  CWD has an integrated and diverse range of social responses aligned to   government’s core development priorities in the context of a constantly changing and challenging environment.

With 45 years of development experience, CWD remains committed to developing the potential of individuals and communities with which we work. We strive to promote an integrated and inclusive approach that recognises human dignity in accordance with the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church while contributing towards the eradication of poverty through partnerships with communities and organisations.

                “We do our work with passion, love and a deep sense of commitment and accountability