Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Grandmothers Campaign, and GANG Fact Sheet

April, 2021

The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF):
● The Foundation was established in 2003 with one main goal: to turn the tide of HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.
● The SLF operates in 15 African countries: Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho,
Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia,
● The SLF has funded over 1700 initiatives, partnering with over 324 community-based organizations that have
been hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic.

Facts about HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa:
● 14 MILLION children have been orphaned by AIDS.
● 38 million people are currently living with HIV worldwide.
● Sub-Saharan Africa is home to roughly 70% of all people living with HIV but only has 15% of the
global population.
● Adolescent girls and young women are 5 times more likely to become infected than young men.
● AIDS related deaths have been reduced by 60% since 2004.
● Globally, approximately 67% of people living with HIV have consistent access to antiretroviral therapy
(ART). When medication is taken consistently and correctly, people living with HIV can lead normal,
healthy lives and do not transmit the virus to others.

The Grandmothers Campaign (established in 2006):
● Motto: “We will not rest until they can rest”.
● Goals:
⮚ raise awareness
⮚ build solidarity
⮚ mobilize funds for community-based organizations that support African grandmothers and the
children in their care
● Groups now established in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
● Canadian Grandmothers/Grandothers stand in solidarity with African grandmothers.
● The African grandmothers are strong, creative, and compassionate, know the issues, get things done, and
are committed to hope for their grandchildren.
Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) in Sub-Saharan Africa
● Provide grandmothers and the children in their care with supports that include: food, educational
supplies, uniforms and school fees; medical care; home-based health care to sick and vulnerable; HIV
counselling and testing; adequate housing and bedding; counselling and support groups.

The GANG (Grandmothers of Alberta for a New Generation):
● August 2006, Edmontonians Roz Shepherd, Marion Rosborough and Vicki Strang, attended the pivotal
Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) Toronto Grandmother Gathering.
● Stories of loss and grief, as well as challenges of parenting their grandchildren and other orphans in their
communities, told by 100 African grandmothers.
● Upon returning home, they began meeting monthly, inviting a few others to join them.
● Liane Faulder’s article in the Edmonton Journal, January 2007, introduced the GANG to the broader
community → overwhelming attendance at an information session.
● The new group received grants from the Riverview Rotary Club and the New Horizons Fund.
● Bylaws and organizational structures were developed, outlining a focus on fundraising, education and
● GANG members from the greater Edmonton region were encouraged to become active in one of these
● GANG was incorporated under the Alberta Societies Act as a non-profit society.
Next stage
● Education Committee developed a Speakers Bureau to accommodate requests from community groups
and churches.
● Members displayed the work of the GANG at conventions and community events.
● 2009 – GANG members became guest readers during ‘Read In’ Week in Edmonton schools → continues
to be integral to the GANG’s outreach in schools and fundraising projects.
● Fundraising Committee held craft sales, a motor bike rally, garage sales, bake sales and fashion shows
and a highly successful Good Words for Africa Scrabble event (later changed to The Power of Words). The committee also published Stirring Memories: Reflection and Recipes.
● Advocacy Committee engaged in activities to highlight the need for more global funding for the African
AIDs pandemic and the grandmothers’ devastating experiences with it. Subsequently the advocacy
committee discontinued due to CRA regulations limiting advocacy activities in non-profit organizations.
● GANG participated in SLF events including Afro Grand Caravan, Celebrating African Grandmothers, a
juried art exhibit, Ask Her Talks, and Flash Mobs.
● 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015 → four GANG members visited selected SLF supported projects and
participated in gatherings of African grandmothers in various African countries.
● The group has moved to project-based structure with awareness raising integral to each fundraising event.
● Monthly board and general meetings for all GANG members.
● New projects such as Fabulous Fabric Frenzy sale and Shakers and Makers Craft Market were initiated and
have become signature fundraising events.
● A partnership with the local Old Strathcona Antique Mall was developed and has flourished; (
● The “Power of Words” Scrabble event shifted and became centered in schools.
● Successful partnerships were developed with local junior and high schools; presentations from GANG members focused on awareness raising about the SLF and the GANG.
● The GANG has continued to be innovative during COVID, successfully navigating ZOOM for regular
meetings, monthly book clubs and an annual Christmas celebration.
● We created a successful Online Craft Store and continue to sell COVID masks at the Old Strathcona Antique Mall.
● In 2021 the GANG celebrates their 15th Anniversary having raised more than $1.1 million for the work
of the SLF in partnership with the African grandmothers.