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Empower Grandparents and Orphaned and Vulnerable Children

Fight poverty and HIV/AIDS through support groups, training, and income-generating activities.
 

GAPA: Grandparents Against Poverty & HIV/AIDS

What:

The GAPA Project (which stands for Grandparents Against Poverty & HIV/AIDS) launched in 2011 thanks to seed funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Secure the Future Fund. GAPA empowers grandparents and orphaned and vulnerable children to fight poverty and HIV/AIDS through support groups, training, and income-generating activities. Grandparents currently in GAPA range in age from 27 to 83 years old.

 
Photo by Chelsea Dee Photography
 
Why:
 
GAPA focuses on grandparents who are not just facing the grief of losing their own children but must now face the additional psychological hardship of raising their grandchildren with little to no economic resources. In many cases, grandparents inherit the additional responsibility of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children of friends and relatives. GAPA aims to combat poverty among the 150 grandparents through sustainable entrepreneurship skills to improve livelihood.

How:

  • GAPA reaches this target population through income-generating activities, psychosocial support, and training on management of orphans and vulnerable children.
  • Improve quality of community health through the integration of health education, HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, capacity building programs and continued support through income generating activities.
  • Income-generating activities within support groups include: gardening, poultry keeping, goat keeping, sheep keeping, charcoal selling, farming and bead work. We have also recently added liquid soap making and mat making to the list of activities.
  • 56 grandmothers trained on soap making & mat making and 80 grandmothers trained on beadwork for bracelets
  • 34 homes have been reconstructed or improved for the health and safety of the grandmothers
  • 39 grandmothers so far have accessed microloans to start income-generating activities
  • With 465+ known dependents on record, each grandparent cares for at least 6 children.
  • 7 total support groups for grandmothers and grandfathers, with around 20+ grandparents in each.
  • Increased access to basic education for participating grandparents to promote development.
  • Table banking: a small scale microfinance program within each support group, which gives each grandparent the opportunity to launch income-generating activities based on their skill sets.
  • Home based check-in and care packages for those clients who are bed-ridden to ensure that they are receiving proper treatment, nutrition, water, etc.

 
Further Reading:
 
Partners:

HIV/AIDS Program Director Charles Wachira, interviews GAPA member Cucu Jane on the impact of the program.