Gogos to gather in solidarity

FROM 14 to 16 July, 300 South African gogos will come together for an historic “SA Grandmothers Gathering” in Durban. Taking place on the eve of the International Aids Conference, the gathering will unite grandmothers from across the country who, with little support, have shouldered the responsibility of caring for children impacted and orphaned by Aids, and who are at the forefront of rebuilding resilience in their communities.

Too often their rights are denied and their voices go unheard. Participants will discuss their pivotal roles in turning the tide of HIV and Aids, and will issue a statement calling for the provision of their human rights and the protection of their grandchildren’s futures.

On the closing day of the gathering (16 July) participants will be joined by additional grandmothers to march – 2 000 strong - to the Durban International Convention Centre - the location of the International Aids Conference - to present their statement.
Led by six South African grandmothers representing an alliance of 21 community-based organisations supported by the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the gathering will comprise a series of groundbreaking workshops run by and for grandmothers themselves.

The mobilisation of 2 000 grandmothers for the march has been facilitated by South African NGO, Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust. They'll be joined in solidarity by members of the Treatment Action Campaign.
In sub-Saharan Africa where 14 million children have been orphaned by Aids, grandmothers have been at the epi-centre of the response.

This gathering will ensure they are at the centre of #AIDS2016. An international delegation of grandmothers from Canada and Australia will also attend the South Africa Grandmothers Gathering representing the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign – an international movement of older women standing in solidarity with African grandmothers.

As well, a number of high profile guests will be in attendance for the march, including the United Nations' former special envoy for HIV/Aids in Africa, Stephen Lewis, and African Women's Development Fund CEO, Theo Sowa.

For more information or to join contact, Claire Hodgkinson, marketing and fund-raising manager, Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust, phone 031 765 5866 or email fundraising@hillaids.org.za

- Supplied.

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