Grandmothers are emerging as leaders in their communities, and mobilizing across the African continent. Supported by strong and expanding networks, grandmothers hold positions on local land councils, educate community members about HIV and AIDS, and press elected officials to prioritize older person’s rights.
The Centre for Widows and Children Assistance (CWCA) empowers marginalized women and children and advances their human rights, in Tanzania. They provide legal aid and paralegal services to widows, women and children who cannot afford to hire private lawyers; they provide funding and paralegal services to widows, women and children who cannot afford to hire private lawyers; they provide funding and training to women to initiate income-generating activities and develop business ventures; they support orphans and vulnerable children with school fees to remove barriers to education; and they engage in education, awareness, and research on legal, gender and human rights issues.
CWCA also engages in ‘student dialogues’ by visiting schools to promote dialogue with students and teachers about HIV and AIDS, gender-based violence prevention, and sexual reproductive health. School clubs are a forum for young girls and boys to discuss violence against women, and to challenge stereotypes and behaviours by considering equality and equity in their own day-to-day lives.
“Grandmothers stand with orphans, but who stands for us? We must not be left alone to raise the next generation. These orphaned children are society’s future leaders…”
From the Tanzania Grandmothers’ Gathering Statement