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Today, millions of grandmothers throughout Africa have buried their own sons and daughters and now care for the children left behind. Known as nyanya, these women are revered above all others, because their strength and love has always held families together and set a standard for entire communities. But the devastation of AIDS has overburdened that love, and that strength is at the breaking point.
The Nyanya Project creates sustainable, grandmother cooperatives in villages and cities throughout Africa. Grandmothers of orphaned grandchildren come together to learn skills; earn, manage and reinvest income; serve as moral leaders to their families and communities; and keep their loved ones safe, healthy, educated and loved.
The grandmothers find new strength. Their families find new hope. As one grandmother of six orphaned grandchildren in Kenya said, "Grandmothers are the roots and the light." The Nyanya Project supports working cooperatives made up of these remarkable women. Sustenance is provided for today's needs. Dignity and power lights the future for their loved ones. Roots deepen. Light spreads.
The Nyanya Project organizes grandmothers into cooperatives that ensure their long-term economic sustainability by:
- generating, managing and reinvesting income
- distributing funds for the women's immediate needs
- setting an example of leadership for younger women in their villages and neighborhoods
- Kerry Penland
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