The Grandmothers Campaign is an initiative of the Stephen Lewis Foundation

In 2007 a group of women from the Comox Valley was inspired by their African sisters who had risen so willingly to the challenge of bringing up their grandchildren, after their own children had died from HIV and AIDS. Since then, the Glacier Grannies have raised over $600,000 dollars for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Learn more about us here.

The Grandmothers of Sub-Saharan Africa are a resilient and heroic group of women. After caring for their own children as they died in the HIV and AIDS pandemic, they took on the role of raising their orphaned grandchildren, caring for their physical and emotional needs, and putting them through school. As they grew in self-confidence, they became pivotal members of their communities, participating in income-generating programs and leading the fight against HIV and AIDS: teaching prevention, supporting those living with the condition, and battling the stigma that still surrounds the disease. Grandmothers have also become advocates for change, fighting for their human rights and those of their families. By supporting grassroots community-based organizations, The Grandmothers Campaign is with them every step of the way.

As many grandchildren grow older, some are joining with other youth to become leaders in programs to support young people living with HIV and AIDS. In 2017, teenage girls were the largest group to become infected.

Canadian grandmothers have pledged not to rest until their African sisters can rest!

  International Grandmothers Gathering  

October 24 – 27 2023

Canadian Museum of Human Rights, Winnipeg

Kate R. writes: From October 24 to 27 of this year I was privileged to attend the 2023 International Grandmothers Gathering. I wanted to know: how are our African sisters doing? Where are they in the HIV/Aids battle? And how are they coming on achieving the rights they have been denied for so long?

We received an overwhelmingly positive answer from Mama Darlina of South Africa on the first morning as she triumphantly declared, “WE HAVE WON….BUT THERE IS STILL MORE WORK TO DO” Over the next three days we heard from Grannies and community leaders from the 11 countries that held simultaneous gatherings in sub-Saharan Africa. A few were present with us in Winnipeg, many more spoke to us on Zoom. The news was so encouraging. HIV and AIDS transmission is down by 80% since the beginning of the Foundation's Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign. This is largely due to national governments finally supplying free anti-retroviral drugs. The work still to be done consists of improving distribution to rural areas, strengthening health networks and hospital infrastructure, and breaking through the barriers of racism and gender inequality so that the ARV’S are available for all.

Over 100 Canadian grandmothers were inspired through stories of community leadership in Africa, talks by the Foundation staff, our own round table discussions and the opportunity to contribute to a Grandmothers Statement reflecting our wishes for and commitments to the Grandmothers of Africa.

You can read the keynote address from Meg French, Executive Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation here.

  Upcoming Meetings  

Glacier Grannies meetings are a time for the entire membership to get together to celebrate successes, plan upcoming projects, learn about the work of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, and enjoy friendship and refreshments.

Scheduled Meeting Dates for 2024

Meeting times are 1:30 PM at the Comox United Church, 250 Beach Drive

Monday, September 23

Monday, November 25

Join Us
african dinner
You are welcome to come to a meeting to find out more about us.

fblink  Our Face Book Page


Would you like to be informed of our upcoming events? Please send us a note by clicking on Contact Us and completing and submitting the form. You will be reached by email only.

“We are the backbones of our communities. We form the core of community-based care. With our love and commitment we protect and nurture our orphan grandchildren. Africa cannot survive without us.”  -  African Grandmothers in the 2010 Manzini Statement