Grandmothers in Central Alberta and across Canada staged a nation-wide series of flash mobs yesterday to call the world’s attention to the scale of the global AIDS epidemic, and the herculean role African grandmothers are playing in the response.
Red Deer’s flash mob took place at the Collicutt Centre in recognition of World AIDS Day.
Officials say across sub-Saharan Africa today, there are roughly 13 million children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. In some countries, up to 60% of these orphaned children are cared for by their grandmothers.
With support from community-based organizations, these older women are restoring hope and health to whole communities. They are providing home-based care, engaging in income-generating projects, ensuring their orphaned grandchildren’s access to education, and so much more. African grandmothers are indeed “doing it for themselves,” but they shouldn’t have to do it alone.