Fall 2019 Newsletters North Bay Grandmothers for Africa from Anna Petruzella

October 22, 2019

Hello fellow Grandmothers,

We had a wonderful Fall Gathering last past Thursday.  We reached our maximum of 30 people and extend a very special thanks to Wynne Blair who hosted the event on the shores of Lake Nipissing.  Caroline Haist, our web master, has posted photos on our website northbaygrans.ca, so take a minute and check them out.  Our treasurer Helen Manning's report is attached to this email.  It includes the amount donated that day and also directions for those who still wish to donate.

Many thanks to all who helped to organize this event.  Our cooks were Bunty Swanson, Anne Bell, Wynne Blair and myself.  Cher Harvey ordered and delivered a cheese and fruit trays and buns, Anne Lawson contributed coffee, milk and butter, and Marilyn Brady brought apple cider.  It was a very cozy and relaxing lunch.  Special thanks to Suzanne Brooks who hosted our guest and shuttled Idah to and from the airport.  

Idah Mukuka, a senior advisor to the Grandmothers for Africa Campaign, was our guest speaker.  Idah is a very warm and engaging woman and was able to show us, through her most recent photographs, work that is being done in Africa to support African Grandmothers.  Our funds help grandchildren go to school, provide job training skills so that grandmothers can be self employed, and even assist with housing, to name just a few initiatives.  She spoke about the stigma attached to Aids and the fact that many of the grandmothers were blamed for not teaching their children well enough.  The SLF has given these women strength and the ability to find their voices again.  In introducing Idah, Suzanne showed us the book 28 Stories of Aids by Stephanie Nolan.  Idah's is one of the stories in the book.  Suzanne said that she "never expected someone to walk out of a book and into her life".  Idah was certainly interested in meeting and talking with all of us and we certainly felt a connection to her.  

Thanks to all who participated and donated to our Grandmothers Campaign.

Anne Petruzella

September 2019

Our big news this fall is a visit from Idah Mukaka, a field representative for the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) in Africa.  Wynne Blair will graciously host our local chapter and Idah at a luncheon at her home. We will gather at 11:30 a.m at Wynne’s home on Thursday, October 17, for lunch and to hear Idah’s stories about her work in Africa.  Lunch will be provided.  Donations to the SLF will be accepted. 

Bunty Swanson has lobbied for Idah to come to North Bay. We are so pleased that we finally have a chance to host Idah on her upcoming visit to Canada this October.

For more information about Idah, please go to our website (northbaygrans.ca).  Caroline Haist has created a link there for you to be able to see some information about her and also to watch a video that features Idah speaking about some of her experiences.

We can accommodate about 30 people, so we will need you to confirm that you plan to attend.  Please advise Bunty Swanson to  let us know that you plan to attend.  





PLEASE RSVP TO  BUNTY AT  r.b.swanson6@gmail.com


This event will be our major gathering this fall, and we also have some plans in the works for some events this coming spring. We will inform you once these details are complete.

If you are looking for an easy and thoughtful gift at Christmas, Anne Lawson will have cards for the Grandmothers for Africa Campaign. You can make a donation to the North Bay Grandmothers for Africa, and Anne will give you a card that  indicates that a donation was made in your name. We then forward the funds to the SLF, and our chapter gets credit for fundraising. Any donation over $20 gets an income tax receipt from SLF.

Many of you may already be receiving via email the Granny Bulletins from the Grandmothers Campaign. If you do not receive them and wish to, go to gandmotherscampaign.org and register 

Caroline Haist also has a link to them on our website (northbaygrans.ca)  so that you can easily access the bulletins. 

In addition to sending the monthly bulletins the Grandmothers Campaign hosts a monthly Grandmothers Campaign Conference Call  so that chapters across Canada can discuss various issues. There is always a preselected topic to focus these calls. You can become involved in any one of these calls by going to http//grandmotherscampaign.org/get-involved/campaign-conference-calls/.   The minutes of these conference calls are also posted on the Grandmothers Campaign site. These sites provide updates to what is happening in Africa with the SLF funds. There is also interesting information about events other Grandmothers groups across Canada have hosted, everything from very large major fundraising initiatives to smaller events such as public knitting gatherings. 

And last but not least we would like to acknowledge Cher Harvey and Marilyn Brady who organized walks last spring in conjunction with the SLF Stride to Turn the Tide initiative and raised $1450 for our chapter.  Many thanks to these ladies for their commitment to the grandmothers cause. If anyone is interested in planning one of these walks next spring, please contact either Cher cherh@nipissingu.ca or Marilyn mbrady7@cogeco.ca

Anna Petruzella