Canada: A Gathering of Grandmothers at International AIDS Conference
August 11, 2006
Among the thousands of participants at next week's 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto will be a group of grandmothers -- 100 from Africa and 200 from Canada. The women will hold workshops on a variety of issues with the goal of helping the Africans care for their orphaned grandchildren.
Three of the women -- Matilda Mwenda, Cherry Matimuna and Priscilla Mwanza -- are caring for dozens of grandchildren, nephews, nieces and unrelated children orphaned by AIDS. The epidemic "has disrupted everything," said Mwenda. "Now we have gone back to those old days when we used to wash [diapers], feed the kids, take the kids to the clinic. Just think. You take a small baby on your back, with grey hair."
Matimuna hopes the gathering will develop fresh ideas for generating income and dealing with the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS. "By putting our heads together with our friends, maybe we can resort to another thing that we can go and implement," Matimuna said. "What we don't want to be is fed today and have nothing tomorrow. We want something that will be more constant. And that activity must be given to our grandchildren so they continue in life even if we die today."
08.11.06; Sheryl Ubelacker
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.