GAPA is a voluntary organization managed by a committee of grandmothers who represent different areas of Khayelitsha and an occupational therapist. 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 October 2001 as a direct result of the implementation phase of a research project undertaken by the Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Ageing in Africa at the University of Cape Town. The Institute ran workshops and support groups for grandmothers who were affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The intervention programme 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 programme that they formed a committee with the occupational therapist 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 March 2006 a project manager for Gugulethu, Ms Zimkhita Ndayi, was employed to oversee the formation a GAPA programme in Gugulethu.
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 Bristol-Myers Squibb ‘Secure the Future’ Community Outreach and Education Fund, I&J, Old Mutual and Nedbank. The Stephen Lewis Foundation based in Canada became a sponsor in June 2006.
Numerous service clubs, various branches of the ARP&P, faith based organizations and private donors have generously donated cash and goods to GAPA.
In May 2003 a full time project manager was employed to manage and monitor the activities of the members of the project. In July 2007 a full time Executive Director, Mrs. Yolisa Vivienne Budaza was appointed to oversee the running of all the programmes and to make plans for future expansion.
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 multiplied and has moved into new areas such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Kenya.
G.A.P.A 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 grandmothers…