Helping Grandmothers with Food Security

Helping Grandmothers with Food Security
By Wendy Elliott

For over a decade, a group of women from Kings County has aided over 25 Kenyan grandmothers raising their HIV/AIDS-orphaned grandkids.

The Kings-Kikima Grannies were inspired by the documentary The Great Granny Revolution. It chronicled the kinship between two groups of women an ocean apart: the women of Wakefield, Quebec and the grandmothers (gogos) of Alexandria, South Africa. Moved to help, the Nova Scotia group reached out to Acadia University graduate Ruth Kyatha in Kenya, who works in community development. With her guidance and knowledge, the Valley Grannies have been helping with food security, water, and education since 2008. There are no administration costs.

The Nova Scotian women were paired with 27 grandmothers raising 66 grandchildren. Fundraising efforts have consisted largely of selling donated ’previously loved’ jewelry, and an annual yard sale. Other community organizations have kicked in for special projects, such as water tanks and HIV/AIDS educational workshops.

The Kings-Kikima Grannies are committed to supporting the education of the children, but now many of the grandmothers need food aid. As the children get older, they have to leave the village to attend high school, leaving the aging gogos without their physical help. Many are increasingly unable to keep up with labour-intensive jobs, such as fetching water or tending crops. The aim of a new FundRazr page organized by the Kings-Kikima Grannies is to ensure that these aging women have sufficient food. Please help these worthy women. The FundRazr URL is:

Image: The grandmothers of Kikima, Kenya, shown receiving aid, have been supported by Valley residents since 2008.