Address: Roman Catholic Mission, Catholic Secretariat, 1 Kairaba Avenue, Serrekunda, The Gambia
Postal Address: P.O. Box 2366, Serrekunda, The Gambia
Telephone: +220 43 90 998 Fax: +220 44 98 003
Email: /

The Catholic Development Office (CaDO) was established in 2001 as the development wing of the Catholic Diocese of Banjul, The Gambia, charged with the responsibility of coordinating its economic, social and development work that is aimed at achieving a more humane and just society irrespective of creed, colour, race or ideology.

CaDO’s main areas of intervention include:  HIV and AIDS care and support, primary health care, malaria prevention, strengthening the capacities of parishes, water and sanitation, agriculture and horticulture, fisheries, emergency relief, peace-building and income-generating activities. Through parish priests, parish pastoral councils and development committees, village heads and committees, etc., CaDO tries to maximise community capacity building by encouraging local initiatives, via support in planning, implementing and judicious and effective management of available resources for the benefit of communities, especially the marginalised and economic poor, women, youth and children. The structure consists of one diocese and 22 parishes.

CaDO implements projects in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Gambia, Hands On Care, National AIDS Secretariat (NAS), Action Aid International The Gambia (AAITG), government ministries and departments, and international and local organisations, to help poor and marginalised people lead full and productive lives. CaDO continues to reach out to the remote and hard-to-reach communities in all the four regions of the country through its activities which include:

  • Global Fund HIV and AIDS community sensitisation and awareness campaigns, voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), and laboratory tests for HIV and AIDS, which coupled with home-based care, have dramatically reduced the prevalence of HIV infection and improved the lives of those who are living with the disease. CaDO provides these services through three of its units in the CaDO Basse HIV AIDS Project (Upper River Region – URR), the Saint Lazarus Clinic in Fullabantang (Central River Region – CRR), and the Mission Mobile Clinic in Brikama (West Coast Region – WCR). Apart from HIV and AIDS activities, the Saint Lazarus Clinic provides basic health care services for Fullabantang and its satellite communities, as well as neighbouring Senegalese border villages. The mobile clinic also provides general outpatient and antenatal care, RCH and vaccination.
  • Global Fund Malaria ITN Project based in Soma, LRR. Services include distribution of long lasting insecticide nets (LLINs), advocacy and behavioural change practices, targeting children under five, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. This project has registered remarkable achievements nationwide.
  • A UNICEF-sponsored programme for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs), providing them access to education, health care, nutrition and psycho-social support by distributing nutrition supplements, books, toiletries, uniforms, bags, etc. and payment of school fees. A total number of 500 OVCs are presently benefiting from this programme in URR and CRR. CaDO also ensures these children’s births are recorded and registered so they can have birth certificates.
  • A training and agricultural centre in Bwiam which has served various communities in the Fonis in the West Coast Region, providing training for farmers in different modern agricultural techniques, poultry and pig farming, marketing, and sustainable peace and livelihood development (for refugees). The centre also engages in gardening, seed cultivation, pig breeding, accommodation and hall hiring. The aim is to equip youths and women with skills and also contribute to curbing migration from the rural to the urban centres.
  • The Saint Pope John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel provides CaDO with funds to support community-based projects that are approved by the Foundation. CaDO then coordinates the disbursement of these funds in phases, monitoring implementation, and reporting.

Since its inception, CaDO has maintained relations with Caritas Africa, Caritas Internationalis and other Member Organisations.

CaDO is also linked with other Diocesan Units – Gambia Pastoral Institute (GPI), Diocesan Secretariat (DS) and the Catholic Education Secretariat (CES).

Other CaDO partners include: UNICEF, United Purpose, Saint John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem based in Sweden, and the World Mercy Fund.

Updates from Gambia