Grandmothers: Africa's Unsung Heroes

Grandmothers: Africa's Unsung Heroes

Order your copy today!

A new book from three of our partner organizers offers Canadians a chance to hear directly from African grandmothers. Copies of the book are available for purchase through the Stephen Lewis Foundation for $15.00 (shipping included). All proceeds go to community-based efforts to support grandmothers affected by the HIV&AIDS pandemic.

Community-based organizations in sub-Saharan Africa are central to the lives of their communities, supporting grandmothers in every way imaginable. A key element of the support they provide is safe spaces for grandmothers to share their histories and break the silence created by the stigma of HIV/AIDS.

In 2010, the Stephen Lewis Foundation convened a Roundtable with fifteen of the African community-based organizations with whom we partner. The purpose of the Documentation Roundtable (as it became known) was to build the capacity of each organization to chronicle their work and share their experiences.

Three of these organizations – ROTOM in Uganda, PENAF in Kenya, and GAPA in South Africa – worked closely to capture the unique experiences, fears and hopes of the grandmothers they support. The result is a new book called Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes. The book uses storytelling, photography, and dozens of letters passed between African grandmothers to document a story of sisterhood across a continent. In the words of some of the participating grandmothers:

I found it much easier to talk about my problems. We share things that I don't even tell my own family... and we support each other."

When I attend fellowship with other grandmothers, I feel so at home like I am with my brothers and sisters and I am not ashamed of sharing my testimony with them so as to learn from me and I from them. We share freely with one another, learn different ways of coping with life challenges, drink, eat, sing and dance as a way of expressing our joy and appreciation."

As SLF’s executive director Ilana Landsberg-Lewis writes in the foreword to the projects’ new book:

No matter how much experts think they know the many dimensions of this pandemic, no matter what the statistics purport to reveal, no matter how you frame the issues, there is simply no substitute for hearing directly from those who are engaged in the daily and immediate struggle of life and death, and the rebuilding of their families and communities.”

For more information or to order your copy, simply call the Foundation at 1-888-203-9990 ext. 0 today.


LGBTIQ organizations in Africa reporting human rights abuses linked to COVID-19 May 19, 2020

Stephen Lewis Foundation / Canada, Press release

World will survive COVID-19 only if 'swift action' taken to help Africa, UN humanitarian says March 25, 2020

Matt Galloway and Idella Sturino, Toronto, Canada, CBC Radio: The Current

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