THE SEATTLE GAMBIAN GRANDMAS’ ASSOCIATION
On Saturday, November 30th, 2019, WAWAC supported the launching of The Seattle Gambian Grandmas’ Association (SGGA). Considering the important role that grandparents play in the upbringing of their children, this association enables a platform for the Gambian grandmothers in Seattle as custodians of the traditional values banner to meet and discuss issues that concern them for the community. WAWAC as such supports SGGA with the organization and other logistical needs, but then it is fully led and steered by the grandmas in the direction of their wishes and aspirations. Attending these meetings and other gathers gives them a sense of fulfillment and takes away nostalgia.
The association which has over 125 members serves as a social support group with a mandate to assist West African grandmothers living in Seattle to adequately adjust to life in the US. WAWAC, therefore, supports members of the association to learn essential skills such as driving, GPS navigation, using home appliances, English proficiency, etc. These skills when acquired allow the grandmothers to readily and more effectively assume their traditional role of supporting and bonding with their grandchildren. This is important because it allows for the handing down of critical local traditions and the installation of crucial family values in the children.
Since its launch, SGGA has availed itself to the community through its monthly hang-out sessions, an annual Islamic conference, visiting the sick and the families of the deceased members of the society, providing traditional marriage counseling, and attending social/community events. Moreover, its members have volunteered their time to engage in the cleaning of community facilities such as the Islamic Center of Puget Sounds in Lynwood.
Besides this, the grandmas would have stayed home and not had much to do. Participating in these activities gives them a sense of fulfillment and takes away nostalgia. Quite simply put, these are the same activities that the grandmas would have typically embarked on if they were still in Africa.
In this regard, through the support of WAWAC and the commitment of the SGGA membership, the traditional role of the grand-mothers as guides and counselors have been restored.
See attached links https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_ch0Yl0C70