Welcome to GAPA

Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids (GAPA), a registered non-profit organisation started in 2002, has been serving elderly women in Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s largest township, for the past 20 years.

GAPA was formed to address the needs of grandmothers who had lost their sons and daughters to an AIDS-related illness (prior to the advent of anti-retroviral drugs), many of whom were left to care for their orphaned grandchildren.

Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids has recently had more and more grandfathers join the network of senior self-help groups!

Today, over 600 seniors across Khayelitsha belong to our network of senior self-help groups. They continue to support each other in learning more about how to maintain healthy lifestyles and learning skills that help them sustain their livelihoods.

Out of the seniors' concern for the safety of their grandchildren, an aftercare program was started in 2008 and continues today. Over 100 children between the ages of 5-13 are cared for and fed at our center daily.

Together, we are stronger.

Senior of the Month

Our Programmes

Meetings are held to support each other emotionally, share problems and solutions, work together at crafting, and learning new skills.

Some groups meet daily, some twice/thrice a week, and some weekly.

We estimate that approximately 60-80 group meetings are held each week.

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Sewing Class

Senior Programme

Seniors are guided through a 12-week programme run by our income generation coordinator. In these classes, seniors are taught how to sew items that are easy to sell such as re-usable shopping bags, aprons, bucket hats and coin purses.
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GAPA Aftercare

Childrens' Programme

GAPA Aftercare caters to children aged 5-13 from the neighbouring primary schools.

They are received at GAPA Center when they are dismissed from school and are watched over until a guardian arrives to take them home.
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Vegetable garden

Sustainable Programme

A vegetable garden at the GAPA centre is cultivated by the groundskeeper and income generation coordinator.

Vegetables, herbs and fruit trees are planted and the harvest is used to help feed the aftercare children and seniors at the health club.
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Crafts & Shop

Senior Programme

GAPA seniors have hand-made a range of crafts. This is one of the ways in which they generate income for themselves and their families.

The mood around GAPA is always a positive one because of the resilience of the grandmothers,’ he says. ‘They are so positive about life and have a belief that something positive will always happen at GAPA – they see it as a place of healing – a place where their tears will turn to laughter.’

Donovan Adonis (Manager).

There is no support too small or insignificant!

We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone


Please make a Donation

Our work is made possible by partners who support our work financially and in kind.

Funders like the Stephen Lewis Foundation help us cover our operating costs.

Members of the Cape Town community who donate materials help keep our craft and sewing projects going.

Please Donate here


Become a Volunteer

Another way that partners sustain our work is through volunteer work.

This ranges from a few weeks of spending days supplementing our projects to a few months of supporting our programming.

We welcome local and international volunteers to spend time supporting our work with seniors and children.

Volunteer here

GAPA is proudly supported by these Sponsors

  • Sponsor African Impact
  • Sponsor Food Forward Sa
  • Sponsor Grandslots 001
  • Sponsor IQRAA
  • Sponsor National Lotteries
  • Sponsor Heart And Stroke Foundation
  • Sponsor Stephen Lewis Foundation
  • Sponsor Tias Arms