The One World Challenge is a fundraiser championed by the Ottawa-Gatineau Regional Network of grandmother groups.
The Network is made up of 19 groups who raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers Campaign, many of which are participating in the 2021 Challenge. In Canada, there are some 160 grandmother groups who have responded to the HIV and AIDS pandemic that left African grandmothers caring for some 15 million orphaned children and youth.
Africa’s grandmothers nurture, feed, and send the children to school. They teach them about HIV prevention, care and treatment. As community leaders and experts, grandmothers mobilize and advocate for their own human rights, and for the rights of the children in their care.
To date, Canadian grandmothers have raised more than $36 million to support these courageous older women who have lost their own children and have taken up parenting again with few resources.
Since 2003, the Stephen Lewis Foundation has partnered with over 325 community-based organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. It has funded more than 1,800 initiatives in the 15 countries that have been hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic. These organizations are helping grandmothers, the children and youth in their care, and others infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, to reclaim their lives and overcome the ravages of the disease with dignity and determination. Their work is the key to turning the tide of HIV and AIDS. In addition to delivering life-saving medication and health care, they are also restoring hope, dignity, and possibility. This is what the Stephen Lewis Foundation calls ‘the resilience effect’ and it’s the great untold success story of the grassroots response to the pandemic. Such gains are an outcome of the efforts of grandmother groups across Canada.