"And I believe that our children and their children, 40 or 50 years from now, are going to ask me, 'What did you do while 40 millions children became orphans in Africa?'"

--Rich Stearns,
President, World Vision, U.S.

Groups > FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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E-mail your question to us at: answers@GogoGrandmothers.com

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Where did the name "Gogo Grandmothers" come from?

It didn't come from "gogo dancers" in the sixties, or from the "on the go life-style" most of us have, but from Malawi's Chichewan word for grandmother/grandfather, "gogo". You find the same name in other African nations as well.

Where is Malawi?

Malawi is a small country that surrounds the southern most lake in the lower part of Africa and to the right. Check it out on this map.
You could also have some Malawi map fun at this site!

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What does a Gogo Grandmothers group do?

Chartered groups usually meet monthly for the purpose of assisting the widows and orphans of Africa. They do this through prayer and the planning and implementation of fundraising programs. Fundraisers can be small or large, frequent or infrequent. Each group is unique and important. Lots of help is available from a simple agenda to fundraising ideas.

Chartered Gogo Grandmothers groups receive a Leader's Manual and access to many resources in the leaders section of this Web site. (A password is required)

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How could my group make much of a difference with such an enormous need?

Mothers lose their children one by one and children loose their mothers and fathers one by one. You make a difference one by one!

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What is SAFE-Africa?

In order to address the HIV/AIDS crises in Malawi, Sub-Saharan Africa Family Enrichment (SAFE) was registered by its founders, Dick and Charlotte Day, as a Malawi non-governmental organization in 1993. Soon after, they were invited by the Ministry of Education to develop a life skills curriculum that would target school pupils in order to help them develop healthy character and behavior in light of the AIDS pandemic. The eight year life skills curriculum is used in Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Lesotho.

Working with the school aged children, SAFE became concerned with the high rate of school dropout caused by poverty and what they believed to be the lack of proper brain development in early childhood due to malnutrition and lack of psycho-social stimuli. Thus, SAFE Early Childhood Development (ECD)/Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) section was formed.

From the SAFE's Early Childhood Development mission surfaced the need to work with the village grandmothers who had lost many or all of their children and are burdened with raising the orphans being left behind by the AIDS tragedy.

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Where is Gogo Grandmothers in its development in 2007?

Gogo Grandmothers has been purposing to meet the spiritual and physical needs of grandmothers and the orphans whom they care for in several villages in Malawi since 2004. It is now expanding its outreach as funds become available through groups and individuals who are beginning to pray and do fundraisers for the gogos. Gogo Grandmothers has received requests from a number of African countries asking that a ministry be started for their gogos. Many people are finding out about the ministry and desiring to begin a group. What a blessing this will be to the gogos and, most of all, to the children in their care!

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Can we take mission trips to help out in Africa?

Several small groups have gone to help in different capacities. E-mail Charlotte Day in Malawi to check out the possibility. Lodging, staff time and in country transportation options are very limited. As the ministry grows, Gogo Grandmothers expects to organize some regular "vision" trips to Africa in which American gogos can participate.

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What do I need most to begin a group?

The thing all of us need most is to have our hearts touched by what touches God's heart. I say that seriously, because when that happens you will be unstoppable. You need to simply be available, pray and begin. We have resources and help for you and you will learn as you go. Whether you have a small group or a large group, all of us doing our part will make an enormous difference in this "human tragedy" that can become a God directed "human opportunity."

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Can someone come to my church/organization to speak about Gogo Grandmothers?

We would love to! It will depend on your location and date. Let us know what you are planning.

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Does prayer have to be a part of our meetings?

You will not want to miss this part. Gogo Grandmothers follows the refreshing prayer format of Moms In Touch International in the African village as well as here in the U.S.. We talk to God in short sentence prayers on one subject at a time. Some just pray silently. This is one of the most important things you do as a group. We are joining God in something He is doing. It only makes sense to talk to him about it. (The Leader's Manual and Leader's Resources section of the Web site have great tools for you.)

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How can I get my questions answered about Gogo Grandmothers and starting a group?

Many questions can be answered by carefully reading the web site. The Leaders Manual will be of further help and we will love talking with you by phone or e-mail. Details are on the Contact > Gogo Leadership page.

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How did the first group of Gogo Grandmothers begin in Malawi and in the U.S?

From Charlotte Day's work with early childhood education in Malawi, a need surfaced to assist the village grandmothers who were burdened with raising their orphaned grandchildren. She invited 39 grandmothers from several villages who were raising 104 orphans to come together as a group. They began to meet regularly. Then she organized a group of well-educated grandmothers from the nearby city of Zomba as a support group for the village. They raised funds to provide blankets for the cold season and adopted the name Gogo Grandmothers for themselves. Later, when Charlotte shared about the grandmothers' needs with a few women in the U.S., they organized groups on the East and West Coasts to pray for and to assist their African counterparts. Gogo Grandmothers was born!

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Can men participate in a Gogo Grandmothers group?

Of course! Some groups may be made up of men and women. Remember, "gogo" means grandmother AND grandfather. Teams who have gone to Malawi to work with Dick and Charlotte Day have always included men and women. The advisory board is made up of men and women. One of the husbands at our first meeting shared, "My wife has supported me in many of my endeavors, it is my time to support her in this ministry to the gogos."

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Do I have to be part of a chartered Gogo Grandmothers group to participate?

You don't need to be part of a group to be part of the solution! You can begin right now by signing in on this web site's home page to stay informed. You can pray, give, and/or do a fundraiser once a year as well as informing others about Gogo Grandmothers.

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Can there be intergenerational Gogo Grandmothers groups?

This idea came about when a young mother said, "I would love to do this with my mother." Another woman said, "I would love to have my grandchildren help me with some of the fundraising projects." What wonderful ideas to try in some groups!

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What are some of the best fundraising ideas?

YOURS! We mean that! Because what you decide to do with your resources of time and talent will be exciting for you! You or your group will be able to share ideas on the blog page of this web site. Check out the little maize bags in the store on this Web site. They are a great first fundraiser! We hope to have the first bags back from Malawi by August 2007.

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How do we know how our donations are being used in Africa?

We have frequent "from the field" reports from the Gogo Grandmothers team in Malawi concerning what is happening and what the support raised and donated has accomplished. These reports are so exciting to get. One of the wonderful things about this ministry is the on the ground contact with the grandmothers and their children and the stories we get to hear. We all work as volunteers in the U.S. and have no office rent so that everything except essential costs to get the word out goes to Africa for the grandmothers and orphans.

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Can we ship "supplies" to Africa?

Shipping items to Africa is costly and may incur a "duty" charge. What the African grandmothers and orphans need most can almost always be purchased locally at a cost dramatically less than in America. So money gifts are the most useful, immediate and effective way to provide seeds, fertilizer, educational resources and other assistance to the gogos and orphans of AIDS. Even clothing, so in need, can be purchased as "second-hand" clothing in the open markets at a very nominal cost as funds are sent. Groups may consider a large project that would involve many people giving clothes, toys, books, household items, hygiene and medical supplies by filling a "container" and shipping it via sea freight.

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