What is the Stephen Lewis Foundation?

The Stephen Lewis Foundation is a non profit charitable organization supporting community-level organizations that are turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa. They provide care and support to women, orphans, grandmothers and people living with HIV and AIDS.  Since 2003, they have committed and distributed more than $100 million to 1700 initiatives, and partnered with over 325 community-based organizations in 15 African countries. To find out more  click here

Why have we decided to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation?
We are connecting with the Foundation because we feel confident that our help reaches the grandmothers and children most in need. For example, the Foundation helps grandmothers provide school fees for their grandchildren, secure food, provide opportunities to earn a living and assist them with counseling and much needed social and health care support.  To learn more about specific projects and how the money  is used to help community-based organizations click here to read Voices From the Frontlines

Calculating Administrative Costs
Many have asked how much of the money raised for the Foundation goes toward administrative costs. The Stephen Lewis Foundation is one of very few charitable organizations that is able to keep their administrative costs as low "as humanly possible".  Their costs have been broken down into three categories: core administration, fundraising or funds development, and program funding.  Click here to read a letter by Stephen Lewis himself on where the money goes.  


The Grassroot Grannies, launched in 2006, is part of the grandmother movement sweeping Canada. There are currently over 240 similar granny groups across Canada involving more than 10,000 people. To date close to $39M has been raised through the Grandmothers Campaign 

Did You Know?

In 2017, there were 36.9 million people living with HIV worldwide.  Since the start of the global AIDS epidemic an estimated 78 million have been infected and 35 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses. 

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to roughly 70% of all people living with HIV, but only 15% of the global population.

To read the most recent (2016) UN AIDS Fact Sheets
click here 

  Ottawa-Gatineau Region Grandmothers Network (O-GRGN)

The O-GRGN is a a loosely formed network of 19 granny groups in the Ottawa - Gatineau region spreading out from as far west as Perth, north to Deep River and Pembroke, south to Morrisburg and east to Metcalfe and Quebec in the towns of Aylmer and Wakefield.  The O-GRGN convenes meetings of key leaders in the regional granny groups, hosts the Granny Fest, a learning and sharing one day conference every 18 months and organizes from time to time information and awareness events.

The grandmothers groups share three goals
  • Raise funds to meet the needs of African grandmothers and children in their care
  • Raise awareness about the expertise and leadership of Africa's grandmothers and their struggle to secure a hopeful and healthy future their children in their care
  • Build solidarity among grandmothers in order to better understand and sustain the vital work being done at the grassroots to turn the tide of AIDS in Africa

GRAN's Hot Issues
GRAN is currently focusing on 3 major priorities
1. Access to Medicine
2. Education for All
3. Violence against Women

Grandmothers Advocacy Network - Mouvement de soutien des grands-meres, or GRAN is a independent, civil society organization dedicated to bringing about meaningful change that enhances the quality of life for grandmothers and children orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.  GRAN is a network of grandmothers and grand-others from coast-to-coast, advocating at the local and national levels. 

GRAN is a member of three Canadian coalitions: the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the Global Treatment Access Group and the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development, and routinely partner with other NGOs and CSOs to accomplish their work

For further information about the work of GRAN visit their website.

Did you know?  Only 10% of funds raised for the Grandmothers Campaign are used for administrative overhead.
Canadian grannies 
African grannies

 As the COVID-19 spreads across sub-Saharan Africa, the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s community-based partners are best placed to protect and support the most vulnerable populations. People affected by HIV and AIDS are particularly at risk, and must not disproportionately suffer the impacts of COVID-19. 

The Stephen Lewis Foundation needs your support to make sure that our grassroots partners have the resources they need to keep vulnerable communities healthy and safe during these challenging times. Learn more here

Since 2006, when the Grassroot Grannies first began we have raised $833,778 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

WELCOME to the Grassroot Grannies website.  

We hope you enjoy and learn more of what our grandmothers group does in support of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  

In this time of Covid-19 we have had to turn to virtual creative means of raising funds for the Grandmothers Campaign.

For this purpose we have set up a fundraising page at which donations can be made directly to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  Instantly, income tax receipts will be sent electronically for amounts of $20.00 and more.  To make donations click here

Many people have accessed the free facial masks that our grannies make and have made a donation for these masks on this fundraising site.  Last year, in 2020, this approach proved very successful as we raised close to $20,000 through this site.