Gogo Grandmothers

What We Do

This is profoundly simple . . .
Gogo Grandmothers provides for the orphans of AIDS in Africa
by assisting the grandmothers who care for them.
In America, and across the world, individuals and Gogo Grandmothers groups (often uniting women who are grandmothers themselves) gather monthly to pray and carry out fund-raising projects that provide what poor “gogos” (grandmothers) in Africa need to raise the orphans of AIDS.

In Africa, the “gogos” (grandmothers) who receive assistance in the villages gather monthly to be encouraged, to hear God’s Word, pray, dance, sing, and learn better hygiene, nutrition and child care practices.


Gogo Grandmother’s Newest Projects in Africa

Our Newest Project: Seeds of Soy and Joy

Jean Phiri knocked on Charlotte and Dick Day’s door a few weeks ago. She had just returned from a two year commitment away from her home to direct a program where village gardens were targeted to grow soy and improve the lives of malnourished children. It was very successful. She had just come that day to visit old friends, but left with the “Seeds of Soy and Joy Proposal” in hand to read. Jean returned last week and agreed to direct the program for us this year.

The Maize harvest in Malawi is just coming in, but teaching and preparing for this project will begin soon. Planting will begin next  October/November depending on when the rains start, but all the preparation and educating begins right after this harvest time. We are adding the monitoring of some malnourished children to the program too. 

The dried soy beans are roasted over an open fire on the ground in a clay pot (to take out the phytic acid which inhibits digestion and causes stomach aches); then it is pounded in the village mortar and pestle (they use for pounding maize, the staple food).  The pounded soy is then sieved with a locally made window-screen box for ‘flour’ which is then used for the feeding of the orphans & vulnerable children in the CBCC(Community Based Childcare Center)…the gogos also help cook the porridge for the preschoolers in the CBCCs, 5 days a week.

September Update for the Seeds of Soy and Joy Project

The Seeds of Soy and Joy project is targeting 3 villages: Simiyoni Kondanani and Kawiya this year. We have met with the 105, which includes gogos, child-headed households and single mothers.  Jean set up a criteria to be in the program.  Jean has directed the coordinators who in turn are meeting with the chiefs, ‘traditional authorities’ and the organizing committees in all 3 villages targeted…..so, the work is going on sooo well!  Keep praying as now they will be teaching good composting and getting the recipients to prepare their land well in advance since planting will not occur until the rains come in Nov, Dec.  We will start nutritional coupled with spiritual messages  and uses of soy beginning in August. 

A few weeks ago the SEEDS coordinators taught the 3 groups a type of ‘manure-composting’….hands-on with collecting, cutting twigs, husks, etc and mixing with ashes, etc…. and then counting off their land for planting and planning for hoeing the ridges.

The gogos are currently being trained on soya utilization. This process is very important because it will help them know how else they could use soya other than just seasoning porridge for young children and selling it for cash.  Comments have been from all participants that they ‘never knew’ how to use soya.  They now know how to make fritters, cornbread (Chikondamoyo=”love for life”!) and a sweet potato dish (futali) with soy.  They also learned to roast and grind for coffee and made soy milk from which the children will benefit.

Seeds of Soy and Joy Project Photos


Left: Pounding the roasted soy;   Right: Soy Milk

Seiving the roasted, pounded soy

Village oven

How you can pray for the Seeds of Soy and Joy Project

The fertilizer for the project has been purchased for the October/November time frame, pray that the Lord sends the rains so that harvest will be great!

Fertilizer Distribution Project

One of the things sponsorships of gogos in Malawi helps provide are the critical applications of fertilizer to assure a good maize crop, and food security all year for a gogo’s family of orphans and vulnerable children. All our registered gogos and the Community Based Childcare Center caregivers of the preschools receive money, to use with their government subsidy vouchers for fertilizer purchase. The amount given varies from year to year depending on the cost of fertilizer and what the shortfall is after the vouchers are given to the poor.  Just before the planting in November is when the first application is needed. 
Our investment is really in LIFE…as it provides the staple food, and a good harvest of enough dried maize for 10-12 months… and the gogos bring back enough for the Early Childhood Education and Orphans and Vulnerable Children feeding program at the CBCC in their village for the year.

In two villages where fertilizer was given last year, they returned 24 bags of corn which means over a ton….and provided hundreds of meals of warm porridge. So, the planting is very important and the fertilizer is crucial!

Blanket Distribution Project

‘Winter’ in Malawi….and it’s cold in the tropics!  But 461 very needy Gogos and other poor are now warm at night, due to the love and ‘warmth’ of the Gogos in the States.  How we as a SAFE team wish you could have been with us—sitting with the Gogos…reading the Word, praying, and then to see them going home with blankets on their heads… singing and dancing!   Blankets were given at Makungula, Simiyoni, Mwaiwandigwera, Kondanani, Kawiya Tadziwana, Kawiya Takonda villages  Some blankets were taken directly to the village huts of the ‘shut-ins’ and to the hospital.  Blankets will be given in the North Region, also. 

So many stories…. 

…. Gogo Nico Kajawa and his wife, whose son and daughter-in-law died, are caring for their 4 orphaned grandchildren, ages 1-11. Kim, Cathy and Char visited and gave them  blankets. Gogo Nico is very sick…with a gangrenous foot, and no means of getting to a hospital. With his wife who will be his caretaker/nurse, we have him now settled in Zomba Hospital awaiting amputation. At their home,we had a time of prayer

…sharing the Good News and Hope in Jesus. He is at peace and looking forward to the operation and a new life without pain

…. When giving out the blankets, we share the Word of God and as Mary Phiri spoke of Jesus as our Shepherd and His love for us, one Muslim man was heard saying, “Yes, that it what I need, that is what I want”. 

…As SAFE got such a good price for first quality blankets, we gave some to other very needy persons.  One little boy in the Malnutrition Ward  at Zomba Hospital went home with his gogo and a blanket.  That ward listens to the Word of God on a Proclaimer player….hearing of Jesus in their own language, Chichewa. 

…In Simiyoni village, the little woman chief captured the hearts of all the gogos as she spoke of the love of Christ shown to them from the US gogos 

…When doing data collection for the SEEDS Soy for Joy agricultural project, many of the gogos when asked what assets they had, they said, “Blankets”! 

“She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy” Proverb 31:20 

“Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!” Psalm 41:1 

To learn more about Gogo Grandmother’s other projects, visit their website at www.gogograndmothers.com

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