You are viewing an archived version of HEAL Africa. - To view the current site, click here

HEAL Africa provides holistic care for the people of Democratic Republic of Congo
Home »

Training for grandmothers saves the lives of hundreds of HIV orphans in the city of Goma.

75 women over 50 years old from the town of Goma in North Kivu are working together to improve their lives and those of their grandchildren75 women, each over 50 years of age, from the town of Goma in North Kivu are working together to improve their lives and those of their grandchildren whose parents died of HIV/AIDS.

What does this include? Reinforcement of training for grandmothers in vocational skills like weaving placemats, baskets, embroidery, small business skills, and literacy. The women sell their products in order to have revenue to pay school fees and medical care for their orphaned grandchildren. In addition to the skills, these women, formed into eight groups, benefit also from economic reinforcement through a grant which gives them capital for a small business. They also learn to save for medical expenses.

The first six months of this one-year project (made possible by a grant from the Stephen Lewis Foundation) made a positive visible difference in the lives of the beneficiaries. Some of those women who were weak and discouraged, have become stronger and more capable. They are certainly encouraged! This makes a big difference in the lives of the children they care for.

There are many orphans in the city of Goma. When parents die, grandchildren are often taken in by their grandmothers. Many of the grandmothers aren’t able to provide for the many basic needs necessary for the survival and the education of their grandchildren. So, many of these children grow up in the street, without hope of a promising future. Vocational and income generation skills help these women save these orphans and give them a different future.

Mama Noella Katembo is the coordinator of this work, and according to her, “The training and awareness these women are getting, and the solidarity groups that bring them together on a regular basis is helping these women. Many of them were living in despair; I’ve seen them take courage and regain their taste for life in spite of the heavy burdens they carry.”

HEAL Africa - Media Department


Goma, le 07 Juin 2010