Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids

©Eric Miller

Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids (GAPA) is a non-profit organisation that supports grandmothers from low-income households affected by HIV/Aids and poverty.

GAPA goal is to uplift these women in their communities and create a healthy, safe and happy environment for them.

GAPA was established in 2001 as a direct result of the implementation phase of a research project funded by Bristol Myers Squibb undertaken by the Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Ageing in Africa at the University of Cape Town. An occupational therapist organised workshops and support groups for grandmothers who were affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic. 

The intervention program was designed to meet the needs articulated by grandmothers who were part of the study. Grandmothers who participated in the pilot project felt that the information and support that they had received was too valuable to end with the completion of the pilot program. They formed a committee with the occupational therapist, Kathleen Brodrick, and made plans to spread the information and support to others.

Since its inception, GAPA has expanded to other areas such as Gugulethu and Nyanga, which allows the organisation to help more grandmothers. Workshops and weekly meetings are held at designated places where grandmothers can meet and share their stories, as well as learn new skills, organise religious or celebratory events and access information on HIV/Aids.

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