In 2007 a group of women from the Comox Valley was inspired by their African sisters who had risen so willingly to the challenge of bringing up their grandchildren, after their own children had died from HIV & AIDS. Since then, the Glacier Grannies have raised over $530,000 dollars for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Learn more about us here.
The Grandmothers of Sub-Saharan Africa are a resilient and heroic group of women. After caring for their own children as they died in the HIV & AIDS pandemic, they have taken on the role of raising their orphaned grandchildren, caring for their physical and emotional needs, and putting them through school. As they grow in self-confidence, they have become pivotal members of their communities, participating in income-generating programs and leading the fight against HIV & AIDS: teaching prevention, supporting those living with the condition, and battling the stigma that still surrounds the disease. Grandmothers have also become advocates for change, fighting for their human rights and those of their families. Through grassroots community-based organizations, The Grandmothers Campaign supports them every step of the way.
As many grandchildren grow older, some are joining with other youth to become leaders in programs to support young people living with HIV & AIDS. In 2017, teenage girls were the largest group to become infected.
Canadian grandmothers have pledged not to rest until their African sisters can rest!
The Stephen Lewis Foundation tells us that “as COVID-19 spreads across sub-Saharan Africa, the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s community-based partners are best placed to protect and support the most vulnerable populations. People affected by HIV and AIDS are particularly at risk, and must not disproportionately suffer the impacts of COVID-19”. To learn more, please click here.