Our Programs

1) Girls’ Holistic Development Program

GMP’s Girls’ Holistic Development (GHD) Program with communities and  schools in both rural and urban areas promotes all aspects of girls’ education and development. Increasing girls’ success at school while promoting change in harmful traditions such as child marriage, teen pregnancy, and female genital mutilation, GMP’s grandmother-inclusive and intergenerational approach can bring about lasting positive change. Evaluations of the GHD program have clearly shown that a grandmother-inclusive strategy contributes to building community-wide consensus for adoption of more girl-friendly norms and practices.

It is important to strengthen communication between generations so that girls have the support they need to develop and succeed in life.

NEW: GHD Catalyzing Change for GirlsGrandmothers support Girls’ Holistic Development -Summary of Approach and Achievements
Empowering Grandmother Leaders to support and protect girls – An experience from Senegal.  Exerpt Practice Insights – Issue 15, IACD
The Role of Grandmother Leaders: GMP Technical Note 8 – Promoting the abandonment of FGM (Kolda region) Case study 2019
Intergenerational Womens’ Forums -Brochure -2019
Change through Culture – Brochure -2019
Grandmothers: A Resource  – How to improve the lives of  adolescent girls- July 2016-
Engaging Grandmothers for Girls – Bulletin n°13
Early marriage and teenage pregnancy have decreased thanks to the joint efforts of teachers and grandmothers  – Bulletin n°8
Girls and Granmothers hand in hand: A dialogue between  generations for community change – World Vision 07-2016


2) Education

Families throughout Senegal are  profoundly concerned about the loss of cultural identity and values in their children. Teaching African and positive African and Senegalese values is a priority of the Ministry of Education.

Since 2005, in collaboration with the Velingara District Education Office (DEO), Grandmother Project has been addressing this need through its program entitled “Integrating positive cultural values into schools”. In this program, grandmothers are involved in classrooms to teach their indigenous knowledge to children. The DEO-GMP work in Velingara has been recognized by the Ministry of Education as innovative, culturally-relevant, and student performance has increased in areas where the program has implemented. GMP’s work with schools aims to improve learning and achievement by all children, but especially that of girls. Our grandmother-inclusive strategy to prevent child marriage and teen pregnancy provides girls with the support the need to stay in school and succeed.

3) Capacity Building of Other NGOs

A key component of GMP’s strategy is partnership building and training of other NGOs. GMP trains other NGOs to adapt and use its innovative approach to empower both rural and urban communities, and to promote positive change related to women and children’s health, education and child protection. Between 2014 and 2020, GMP trained 172 staff of international and local NGOs from 10 different countries in West Africa on GMP’s Change through Culture approach.

Mbour, Senegal: Change through Culture Workshop Report 2019
Sierra Leone: Report on Change through Culture Workshop – Freetown, Nov 2017

4) Maternal and child health and nutrition

Across Africa, Asia and Latin America, different family members are involved promoting the health, nutrition and well-being of women and children.  Senior women, or grandmothers,  play a central role in all aspects of family health given their experience and their culturally-designated role as family health advisors and caregivers.

Grandmother Project – Change through Culture has developed and tested a methodology to build on and strengthen grandmothers’ role in all aspects of maternal and child health/nutrition (MCHN), and early childhood development.  This approach, which acknowledges grandmothers’ role and strengthens their knowledge on various health-related topics has contributed to very positive results related to: maternal health (increased pre-natal visits, improved diet and decreased workloads for pregnant women), newborn health (increased exclusive breastfeeding from birth and improved hygienic practices), and improvements in the health and nutrition of young children ( timely and improved complementary feeding).

GMP has supported MCHN programs of other NGOs in Senegal, Mali, Mauritiania, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, Laos and Albania.

To support programs addressing various facets of MCHN, GMP  has developed several tools: Focus on Families and Culture, for assessing family roles and influence in communities; and a guide for program planners and managers, Involving Grandmothers to Promote Child Nutrition, Health and Development.

Focus on Families and Culture   – A guide for conducting a participatory assessment on Maternal and Child Nutrition
Involving Grandmothers to promote Child Nutrition, Health and Development  – A guide for programmer planners and manager
World Vision: Nutrition – The Grandmother-Inclusive Approach
Grandmothers as Change Agents: Developing a Culturally Appropriate Program to Improve Maternal and Child Nutrition in Sierra Leone – Oxford Academic- Article-
Formative Research on Maternal and Child Nutrition – GMP with World Vision Mauritania.
The Role and Influence of Grandmothers on Child Nutrition  – Review Article -The Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal-
World Bank: Grandmothers promote Maternal and Child Health – Indigenous Knowledge Newsletter, World Bank.
The Roles and Influence of Grandmothers and Men on Child Nutrition  – Literature Review
Grandmothers – A neglected family resource for saving newbon lives – British Medical Journal Global Health, 2021.

Change through Culture