In Uganda, many parents count on their children to care for them in their old age. Many are subsistence farmers and have no way to save for their retirement. They rely on their children to build them a new home when their old one becomes unlivable. In the devastation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, an estimated 63,000 people have died from the deadly epidemic leaving behind 1.1 million children. Normally in Uganda these children would be taken care of by their aunts and uncles. However, HIV/AIDS took so many lives that entire generations of families were lost, which meant that the only family left to care for these orphans were their grandmothers. Now instead of being cared for as they age the grandmothers we work with are raising their grandchildren. Many are too poor to feed their grandchildren or send them to school.

Nyaka's Grandmother Program was designed to empower these grandmothers provide safe, stable homes for their grandchildren. It is made up of 92 self-formed Granny Groups serving a combined 7,004 grandmothers in the rural, southwest districts of Kanungu and Rukungiri. Any grandmother raising an HIV/AIDS orphan is welcome to join a group. The groups have elected leadership chosen from within their individual Granny Groups. There are also elected regional leaders who give support and training to several Granny Groups. The groups are given additional support and guidance by Nyaka staff but with an emphasis on the grandmothers as decision makers. They determine who among them receives donated items, attends training, micro-finance funds, homes, pit latrines, and smokeless kitchens. This unique model is devised to empower the grandmothers to share their skills, give emotional support, and escape poverty.

grandmother basket program


The Grandmother Basket Program initiative demonstrates our holistic human rights-based approach to combating pervasive hunger and poverty. Our Grandmothers make beautiful woven baskets, bowls, trivets, hats, purses, paper bead jewelry, and other crafts using natural resources and supplies that they... Read more

grandmother homes


After the death of their children, many grandmothers have no one to repair or rebuild their homes. It is essential to keep Nyaka students and their grandmothers safe and healthy. When a grandmother's home, kitchen, or pit latrine is in disrepair, it can make the family sick and prevent them fro... Read more



The Micro-finance Program provides access to credit for income-generating activities to the women caring for the students of Nyaka and Kutamba. Numerous studies have shown that women tend to prioritize children's nutrition, education, clothing, health, and home improvements ahead of their own person... Read more

trainer of trainers


The Granny Groups model is based on building up leaders from within Granny Groups to train their fellow members. To do this, we developed a unique program called the Trainer of Trainers Program (TOT). Each Granny Group elects three members of their group to attend a training to learn vital skills. T... Read more