The AIDS epidemic has left millions of children orphaned by AIDS. Without hesitation or complaint, Africa’s grandmothers have stepped in to care for them. In fact, in many countries throughout southern Africa, it is estimated that between 40-60% of orphans live in grandmother-headed households. After burying their own adult children, they take on the responsibility of caring for their grieving grandchildren, often with little to no support and while coping with their own deteriorating health.
Yet through all this, African grandmothers have risen to become the linchpin of survival for their families and communities: they have become activists and advocates pushing for theirs and their grandchildren’s rights and protection; they are becoming small business owners in order to earn a living for their families.