Photo by Edward Echwalu

First National Grandmothers' Gathering: Uganda


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October 5–7, 2015: 500 grandmothers from every region of Uganda congregated for the First National Grandmothers’ Gathering! They came together to discuss urgent issues, deliberate, and march. Together, they expressed their grief, outrage, resilience and hope for the future. They formulated their demands ­— directed at government, media, and the international and donor community ­— culminating in a powerful call to action: the Ugandan Grandmothers’ Statement.

The Grandmothers Speak Out

Over the three days the grandmothers explored issues ranging from HIV & AIDS, to economic empowerment, to social protection.

First National Grandmothers' Gathering: Uganda

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Thanks to everyone! The Grandmothers are moving forward!

Profound thanks to Gary and Donna Slaight of the Slaight Family Foundation, who had the vision to support this Gathering, and the momentum that Ugandan grandmothers have created for meaningful change.

The Grandmothers’ Gathering was made possible by the leadership, insight and determination of its organizing committee, a powerful group of Ugandan community-based organizations: ROTOM, PEFO, Reach Out Mbuya, Nyaka AIDS Foundation, St. Francis Health Care Services, and Kitovu Mobile AIDS Organization.

Their dedication brought everyone three glorious days of discussion, debate, renewed commitment, newfound resolve, a launch of the first book of African grandmothers’ stories, nights of dancing and singing, and joyful networking with tea on the lawn. The Committee has registered a new entity with the government (“The Grandmothers Consortium”) to keep moving the grandmothers’ agenda forward in Uganda.

Ugandan grandmothers were also supported in solidarity by delegates from abroad: women from Canada and the UK representing the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, from Kenya representing PENAF, from South Africa representing Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS, and from the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

At the gathering’s close, the Ugandan grandmothers issued their Statement, setting out an agenda for change. The grandmothers closed the meeting strong and unwavering in their resolve, and their community-based organizations are with them every step of the way. The SLF is proud to join them.


Next: Ugandan Grandmothers' Statement >>

Previous: << A message from Stephen Lewis

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