Grandmother smiling (Photo by Alexis MacDonald)


The AIDS pandemic has left millions of children orphaned by AIDS. Without hesitation or complaint, Africa’s grandmothers have stepped in to care for them. In fact, in many countries throughout southern Africa, it is estimated that between 40-60% of orphans live in grandmother-headed households. After burying their own adult children, they take on the responsibility of caring for their grieving grandchildren, often with little to no support and while coping with their own deteriorating health. 

Yet through all this, African grandmothers have risen to become the linchpin of survival for their families and communities: they have become activists and advocates pushing for theirs and their grandchildren’s rights and protection; they are becoming small business owners in order to earn a living for their families. 

Grandmothers are now recognized as community experts and agents of change by governments and international aid agencies. They nurture, feed and put their grandchildren into school. They work to educate their grandchildren about HIV prevention care and treatment, tend to the sick in their communities, help the recently bereaved, set up support groups, harvest the crops, and advocate for women’s rights.

To find out more about the creative and effective community-based projects supporting grandmothers, please visit the Where We Work section.

To learn more about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, click here.


African women are on the frontlines of the fight against HIV/AIDS November 29, 2015

The Sunday Edition, CBC Radio

Grandmothers on the march for HIV/AIDS awareness October 8, 2015

Catherine Byaruhanga, BBC Africa

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Ask Her Talks: Toronto December 1, 2015

Toronto, Ontario

Hope & Strength: Benefit Concert November 30, 2015

St. Catharines, Ontario