Some people have questioned whether there is a need these days for an International Women’s Day. Why in 2019 are we still discussing inequality between the sexes? Because in 2019 Reach the Children is still supporting impoverished grandmothers, who needed help to grow food to feed their grandchildren and who struggle to send the children to school, especially the girls whose role is to get water, care for siblings and then go to school. The future is helping grandma and her children into economic empowerment, self reliance and independence.
This photograph is of some of the grandmas at the Luwero Centre in Uganda gathering as members of the Grandmas Gardens Board. The Board, which guides the grandmas in this community, is able to identify their primary needs as they seek to feed, clothe and educate their grandchildren. The grandmas were left to bring up their grandchildren as a result of civil war and HIV AIDS. Reach the Children has supported them, over the last 14 years, in their efforts to improve health and food security in the rural community through the allocation of land and support for growing food to improve nutritional value, and enabling surplus to be sold to cover educational costs.
The grandma in blue at the front of the picture is Florence, Chair of the Board. She is 81 years old, had 18 children and over 150 grandchildren.
These grandmas are the backbone of Africa, working tirelessly for their grandchildren despite huge challenges, and on this of all days we salute them.