Khayelitsha is a low socioeconomic area approximately 20 kilometers outside Cape Town. It is home to approximately 850 000 people. Homes in Khayelitsha are either brick structures or shacks or a combination of both. All homes have access to water and most have access to electricity.
GAPA was started in Khayelitsha in October 2001 as a direct result of the implementation phase of a research project funded by Bristol Myers Squibb undertaken by the Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Ageing in Africa at the University of Cape Town. An occupational therapist organised workshops and support groups for grandmothers who were affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The intervention program was designed to meet the needs articulated by grandmothers who were part of the study. Grandmothers who participated in the pilot project felt that the information and support that they had received was too valuable to end with the completion of the pilot program that they formed a committee with the occupational therapist, Kathleen Brodrick, and made plans to spread the information and support to others.
In May 2003 a full time project manager, Ms Mandisa Mafuya was employed to manage and monitor the activities of the members of the project. In 2004, through the generous donation of I&J the GAPA multi-purpose centre was opened which allowed for the expansion of GAPA’s intervention in the township. In March 2006 a project manager for Gugulethu, Ms Zimkhita Ndayi, was employed to oversee the formation a GAPA program in Gugulethu. In July 2007 a full time Executive Director, Ms. Yolisa Vivienne Budaza, was appointed to oversee the running of all the programs and to make plans for future expansion. Ms. Budaza is presently still leading the GAPA team which consists of office staff (including an occupational therapist, a project coordinator, an income generation coordinator and a financial administrator), kitchen staff, aftercare teachers and grannies (committee and members).
GAPA is managed by a group of staff members, a committee made up of grandmothers and a board. Committee members are elected annually. The board consists of community members and a diverse group of people committed to the development of grandmother
- Frank Kronenberg (Chairman of the Board)
- Kathleen Brodrick (Founder of GAPA)
- Yolisa Vivienne Budaza (Executive Director of GAPA)
- Esti Brand
- Sylvia Ngewu (GAPA Grandmother)
- George Sabela
- Kurt Ackermann
- Monwabisi Xeketwana
- Vhulahani Bvumbi
- Zinobulali Mihi
Funding & Support
GAPA has received funds from the South African government, namely the Department of Social Development, the Department of Arts and Culture and the Western Cape Department of Social Services and Poverty Alleviation. Corporate donations have come from many organisations, including: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Global Fund for Children, Stephen Lewis Foundation, I&J, PKF, Tias Arms, Menngos, SAfAIDS, Old Mutual, ABSA, Nedbank and the Media. Various institutions of higher learning, both locally and internationally continue to contribute. Many religious institutions also donate in various forms such as monetary, clothing, equipment and food. Rotary Clubs and Inner Wheels also form part of GAPA’s supporters. Numerous individuals continue to support GAPA.
Today, GAPA is still going strong! In 2011 we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, with many victories to celebrate and hope for the future! GAPA has also been replicated and has started up in other countries such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Kenya.