Brief History

Photo by Scott Morgan
Photo by Scott Morgan

The Stephen Lewis Foundation initiated the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign on International Women’s Day, 2006 in response to the emerging crisis of the AIDS pandemic faced by the African grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa.  These grandmothers were raising millions of children orphaned by AIDS.

In August 2006, the Stephen Lewis Foundation hosted 100 African grandmothers and 200 Canadian grandmothers for a Grandmothers’ Gathering in Toronto.  The concluding statements of the African Grandmothers   “We will not raise children for the grave” and the Canadian Grandmothers’ response “We shall not rest until they can rest” continue to move the Grandmothers Campaign.

This social justice initiative galvanized Canadian Grandmothers and the Campaign grew to 120 groups in the first eight months.  It now stands at over 240 groups throughout Canada with 19 groups in the Atlantic Provinces. Canadian grandmothers participate in regional and national networks to support fundraising efforts and each other’s development.  Together they have raised over $33 million for the Grandmothers’ Campaign from 2006 to 2019.