Grandmother Project

Project Title: Grandmother Leaders

Location: Velingara, Senegal

Grant Amount: $44,500

Grantee Website:

Areas of Impact: Education, Gender Equality, Health, Leadership

Mission of Grandmother Project
To improve the health and well-being of women and children in developing countries by building the capacity of development partners to implement culturally grounded, grandmother-inclusive and intergenerational community programs.

Project Summary
In the rural area of Velingara, Senegal, young and adolescent girls face various constraints related to female genital mutilation (FGM), early/forced marriage, teen pregnancy and opportunities for formal schooling. The project will address these issues by targeting and strengthening the role of grandmother leaders to support girls’ upbringing and to catalyze community-wide change related to these critical issues that limit girls’ development and options in life.

Many programs addressing these issues narrowly focus on changing the attitudes and behavior of girls, and sometimes their mothers. The organization has identified that: a) girls alone cannot end these and other harmful practices which are dictated by collectively-maintained social norms; and b) sustained change to benefit girls can come about only when there is change in community-wide social norms. A report by the Interagency Working Group on the Role of Community Involvement in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (2007) similarly states that “to ensure sustained positive behaviors among adolescents, the community must support the change”.

The program will train 300 grandmother leaders who will work with 180 adolescent girls.

Why We Love This Project
DFW loves grandmothers as agents of change. This is a unique opportunity to connect two generations while seeking an indigenous solution to the challenges faced by this community. This program reaffirms the status of the grandmothers in the community and the extended family.


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