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Approximately 14.8 million children under 18 have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In many African countries, 40 to 60 percent of these children now live in grandmother-headed households.

As part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, UJAMAA GRANDMAS works to raise awareness for these tens of thousands of African grandmothers who are struggling to raise their orphaned grandchildren.

Learn more about the issues by booking a UJAMAA GRANDMAS speaker for your group or organization, or via the resources below.
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Photo: Liz Marshall/Stephen Lewis Foundation
Two UJAMAA GRANDMAS members can be available on request for a 30- 60 minute, multimedia presentation to your service club, church, book club or any community group interested in learning first-hand about the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the work of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. Our presentations are designed to enhance your group’s awareness of the issues faced by the African grandmothers, the measures being taken to address these issues and the UJAMAA GRANDMAS activities which support these efforts.

Our presentation will include information on:
  • The current state of HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Stephen Lewis Foundation’s 300+ grassroots projects in 15 countries.
  • How the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is making a difference.
  • UJAMAA GRANDMAS projects in support of the Foundation.
  • How YOU can help!
We will provide handouts on the Foundation’s work for interested parties. If necessary we can provide our own equipment - laptop and multimedia projector. All we need is power and a wall or screen on which to project.

Fundraising for the Foundation’s African projects is an important component of our work. We will have a collection basket for donations and if requested could bring some of our local creations and/or Kazuri jewelry. We will also be prepared and delighted to sign on any members of your group who are interested in joining our efforts. Membership is free and carries no obligations.

For more information or to schedule a presentation contact us at:
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We Are All the Same by Jim Wooten. 2004
Nkosi Johnson was the face of children with AIDS in South Africa. Given a home by a white South African family, he was given the opportunity to speak about living with AIDS at a time when the South African leaders were ignoring the crisis in their midst. Articulate and self-possessed, he talked about our shared humanity and needs. ‘We are all the same’.

Wooten interweaves the story of Nkosi with the history of blacks in South Africa and the stories of other Africans with AIDS. By giving AIDS in South Africa a face, Nkosi makes it impossible for the reader not to feel compassion for all the children suffering like this.

This book provides the stories to humanize the crisis in Africa.
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Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis. 2004
Binti, a thirteen year-old girl in Malawi, is very happy with her life. The youngest of three children, she stars in a radio show called ‘Gogo’s Family’, attends a private school and mocks her older sister for being madly in love with her boyfriend. Her mother has died some years earlier and her father runs ‘The Heaven Shop’, a coffin-making business which shows no sign of ever being short of work.

Her world is turned upside-down by the illness and subsequent death of her father. Her family is separated and it is only when she goes to live with her grandmother that things begin to improve.

This is a Young Adult book which deals honestly with some of the ways that young girls can be infected with AIDS and the consequences of this devastating disease. It’s a quick read which explains why the Stephen Lewis Foundation is doing all it can to help the grandmothers of Africa.

Recommended for those who want an introduction to AIDS in Africa.
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Damned Nations - Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid by Samantha Nutt M.D.
This is a very readable and fascinating book written by a quite amazing young Canadian doctor with almost twenty years of experience working in many of the most war torn regions of the world. Samantha Nutt unflinchingly chronicles many of the reasons for ongoing conflict and instability and gets us in peaceful Canada to think about our own actions and deeds with our investment political and aid choices. She states that "the last decade has witnessed an extraordinary and devastating shift towards militarism and a growing public belief in its primacy in solving global problems".

However, she offers many well thought out suggestions for change, both for nations who promote huge arms sales and for humanitarians who could think more strategically about how we as developed nations and we as citizens can provide aid which can become part of the solution and not enhance the problems.

Highly recommended and reinforces the approach of the Stephen Lewis Foundation to supporting local initiatives working toward long term goals of self sufficiency.
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The Wisdom Of Whores ; Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS by Elizabeth Pisani
When was the last time you read an epidemiology book that was a great read; actually have you ever read an epidemiology book? This was a first for me and I found it really interesting, often funny, irreverent and extremely informative.

Elizabeth Pisani is a former reporter who now has a doctorate in epidemiology and has ended up specializing in "sex and drugs", working around the world gathering facts pertaining to the spread of the AIDS pandemic. Huge amounts of money and political capital have been expended on this disease; vast amounts of which have been wasted and meanwhile 40 million people are living with HIV and 28 million have died when we have the knowledge, funds and means to wipe out 90% of the disease in the world. Of interest to us who are raising funds for projects in south and east Africa are her theories on why these countries are the most infected in the world.

It's a complex, frustrating and fascinating picture that Pisani paints, writing as well about her personal journey working with various UN and other agencies tracking and trying to explain the disease and how to best deal with it.
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28 Stories Of AIDS In Africa by Stephanie Nolen
When we think of the grandmothers we are working to help in Africa, their children, grandchildren, families and friends, how much can we grasp of the impact of HIV/AIDS on their lives from our sheltered viewpoint?

Stephanie Nolen was the Globe and Mail correspondent in Africa for six years and wrote this very readable book of personal encounters with 28 different lives which I found extremely helpful in my efforts to be better informed.

Yes, the book was written in 2007 and many advances have been made in the ensuing years but along with miracle drugs has also come worldwide economic turmoil which has meant the situation and root causes remain largely unchanged. The book is available in the Calgary Public Library.

Get more information from the short video below.
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Twice a year, the Foundation publishes Grassroots which is available on their website. Read it online or sign up to have every new edition of Grassroots come directly to your mailbox HERE.
Seeking Justice at the front lines of the AIDS crisis. The trailer for this 40-minute video is available on Vimeo. If your group is interested in viewing the full 40-minute movie, contact us at to schedule an event.
WATCH the TRAILER by clicking HERE.
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This is a teaser - a rough-cut for the purpose of raising the funds required to finish a full-length documentary for broadcast - of the video taken during the Tribunal and the Regional Gathering in Calgary in September 2014. This teaser is from Habitat Media, Portland Oregon.

You will recognize some of our own UJAMAA GRANDMAS.

View the trailer below.
A member of the Regina Grandmothers' Group who participated with our own Alison Longson in the Africa trip sponsored by the Stephen Lewis Foundation is featured in this short (under 5 minutes) clip on Global News. The clip manages to cover all the bases - why we get involved, the challenges faced by the African grandmothers, and the solidarity between grandmothers living thousands of miles apart.
In recent years the Gogos (Zulu word for Granny) have started playing soccer, netball and other sports, as a way to keep fit and healthy and to promote healthy living to their grandchildren and the broader community. In 2011 the first ever Gogo olympics took place, attracting widespread media coverage and community interest. 2014 was the biggest Gogolympics yet, with over 1,000 Gogo participants!
Watch this a wonderful documentary about the seed that started the Grandmother to Grandmothers Campaign. The mini-documentary made by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation details the origins of the Wakefield Grandmas group.

See it HERE.
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Funds raised by UJAMAA GRANDMAS go to support the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation to help AIDS orphans and their caregivers, often grandmothers, in Africa.

To learn about the funded projects and how decisions are made check the Foundation web site.
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There are approximately 240 Grandmothers to Grandmothers groups across the country.

You can:
Sign up for national Granny Bulletin
Find out about Beds Without Breakfast across Canada
and much more on their web site.
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GRAN encourages and provides tools and information to help individuals to advocate with government on issues that affect grandmothers and AIDS orphans in Africa. For example, Bill C-398 which seeks to reform the Canadian Access to Medicines Regime is now before Parliament and GRAN is mounting a campaign to support passage of this bill.

Learn more about what they do at their web site.

GRAN is on no way affiliated with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign or UJAMAA GRANDMAS. Learn more about the relationship between GRAN and the Stephen Lewis Foundation HERE.
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Advocating for more urgent and effective global responses to HIV and AIDS

AIDS-Free World web site features weekly one to five minute Video commentaries by Stephen Lewis, addressing the latest news and developments in the global response to HIV and AIDS - a new topic every week.