Winner, 2018 Best Atlantic Published Book Award
A CBC Books Canadian non-fiction bestseller
By the time the AIDS pandemic in Africa had reached its height in the early 2000s, millions of children had been orphaned. In the face of overwhelming loss, the grandmothers of Africa stepped in to hold families and communities together. Author Joanna Henry and photographer Alexis MacDonald visited eight African countries, interviewing and photographing hundreds of grandmothers (including Sarah Obama, Barack Obama's grandmother) who are reclaiming hope and resurrecting lives. The extraordinary images and stories of resourceful women fighting for a better future make Powered by Love an inspiration for everyone.
Writes journalist-social activist Michele Landsberg, "We thought we knew what was happening in Africa when the AIDS pandemic raged across the continent, sweeping away 35 million lives. But we never knew it the way this book reveals it, in the shockingly intimate voices of the grandmothers who had to save the abandoned children when no one else was left alive. These voices will leap straight into your heart. Their unguarded faces, in portraits that glow with character, pain and humour, will captivate you."
In 2006, the Stephen Lewis Foundation launched a campaign to engage Canadian grandmothers to support their African sisters. The Grandmothers Campaign, now a movement 10,000 strong, has raised over $25 million that has gone directly into the hands of African grandmothers and their grassroots organizations. Powered by Love joins this campaign by telling the story of these indomitable women and by directing all royalties from the sale of the book to African grandmothers raising children orphaned by AIDS.
"Powered by Love is a book that will both break your heart wide open and inspire you."
"The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is truly an inspiring and innovative movement, mobilizing a grandmother's fierce love for her family to challenge AIDS in Africa. Powered by Love shares heartfelt testimonies of women who transformed their loss into a powerful narrative."
"Powered by Love brings the collective power of love and unity to life in an otherwise bleak world…a must read."
"If you’re looking for a book that renews your faith in humanity, this is it."
"An extraordinarily moving book, filled to the brim with every extreme of the human condition, from unimaginable loss to indescribable love and profound solidarity. This is a movement that re-defines what it means to be a grandmother - and inpires us to discover the power we have as women when we join hands across continents in struggle."
"Powered by Love is the untold account of AIDS in Africa. And it’s an inspired glimpse into a social movement that has held hands, wiped tears, emboldened communities, provided hope and helped sustain a continent."
"This is where the heart of Feminism beats for me... If you want to really know about the strength of Feminine power, check out this amazing book."
"Powered by Love is humbling and devastating and galvanising. It is testament not only to the power of love but to the power of older women to change the world."