Granny Bulletins



Granny Bulletin: March 2019

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. African Grandmothers: Building their Movement and Claiming their Rights
  2. Fundraising Corner: Grandmothers Getting Active
  3. Beds WithOut Breakfast, Your Home Away from Home
  4. Thank you for your Support of Aeroplan Mile Matching
  5. Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter Coming this Spring! How would your group like to receive copies? 

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Today is International Women’s Day. Women, and the human rights challenges women and girls still face the world over, are powerfully front of mind on this one day set aside to promote awareness of women's pivotal role in our societies.

As members and supporters of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, you stand in solidarity with the women of sub-Saharan Africa who stand at the heart of the response to AIDS. It is women in Africa who are most infected and affected by the AIDS pandemic. It is the women of Africa who have led the way in forming organizations, standing shoulder to shoulder to tend the sick, revitalizing communities and rebuilding resilience. It is the women of Africa discovering new approaches to the intersection of violence against women and girls and HIV infection, and raising a generation of children to thrive and overcome the ravages of 40 years of the AIDS pandemic!

The Stephen Lewis Foundation has said it from the very beginning: gender inequality drives the AIDS pandemic. We will never see the end of AIDS until violence, and the threat of violence, is eradicated. Nor until women have the sexual autonomy, community support, and economic power to protect themselves from infection. Until women – from girls to grandmothers – have access to the anti-retroviral medication needed to treat HIV and AIDS, the right gender-relevant supports and services, and are free from stigma and violence, the scourge of AIDS will continue. 

Community-based organizations run by and for women, girls, grandmothers, and all members of the community have made great strides, but there is much yet to be done. 

We want to leave you with these words from Jessica Horn, Director of Programmes, African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) & Former Senior Advisor, African Institute for Integrated Responses to Violence Against Women & Girls and HIV and AIDS (AIR). 

Dialogue is vital in coming to better understandings
of the problems that we face, but at some point, something needs to be done ... 

Philanthropy is a form of doing. Giving your resources, your time, your concern, your money, your voice is an act that says,  “I stand with you. I believe in your practical and your intellectual capacity to remake the world. And it’s maybe even a way of saying, “I love you."

International Women’s Day is a day of power, resistance, resilience, dignity and respect. Thank you for choosing solidarity over charity, and standing with the determined, expert African women who will turn the tide of AIDS, and who we honour today, and every day.
Warmly, 

Winnie, Megan, Asmita and Sarah 

1. African Grandmothers: Building their Movement and Claiming their Rights

From the launch of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in 2006, it was clear that there was a duality to the grandmothers’ movement. Coming together as grandmothers and grandothers is about ensuring that comprehensive programmes and services exist to support African grandmothers in their role as caregivers and heads of household – from healthcare to grief counselling, support with school fees and everything in between – but it is also, critically, about ensuring African grandmothers have the time, space and training to network and mobilize to demand systemic change in their communities and countries for themselves. 

National-level Grandmothers Gatherings in Uganda (2015), South Africa (2016) and Tanzania (2018) have acted as a springboard for African grandmothers’ movement-building within their countries. And since each Gathering, grandmothers and the community-based organizations (CBOs) that support them have built on the momentum generated during these Gatherings. We wanted to share some of these exciting updates with you, our grandmothers, friends and supporters who have followed the Gatherings closely. 

Committees and organizations to provide support, structure and training at national and local levels have emerged, or are emerging, in each country post-Gathering, as well as a push to have grandmothers represented at all levels of government.

In Uganda, the Grandmothers’ Consortium was formed by six CBOs and provides grandmothers a national platform to lobby for their rights, while offering training to build grandmothers’ leadership and advocacy capacities – something that never existed before. Through the Consortium, District Grandmothers Advocacy Groups have been formed in five areas across Uganda, which train grandmothers to lobby district and local authorities, and are holding three meetings each year with key decision makers in their districts.

The Consortium also works to put grandmothers’ issues in front of as wide of an audience as possible. Through appearances on community radio talk shows, posters promoting  grandmothers’ advocacy and organizing activities to promote grandmothers’ rights at key community events, grandmothers are claiming a well-deserved spotlight, and are becoming part of the political discourse in the country. As a result of the Consortium’s initiatives in Uganda, grandmothers will be increasingly included in decision-making processes and their issues will be recognized in local and national policies. In addition, grandmothers are running for political positions at the local level – and winning! Electing grandmothers to national child protection councils and land rights councils will lead to dramatic changes in the lives of grandmothers, as they will have improved access to services and rights-based policies.

In South Africaregional councils of Grandmothers have been formed, to mobilize grandmothers throughout the (very large) country. One of the pressing issues in South Africa articulated by the grandmothers is the inadequate and damaging way in which child care grants are administered by the government. The grandmothers are focusing on lobbying and advocacy efforts to make significant improvements in the policy and its implementation. 

In addition, South African grandmothers are mobilizing around elder abuse and violence, and fighting to make the healthcare system more responsive to their particular needs. They often have to travel long distances to access HIV medication, and stand in lines for hours, only to receive less medication than they need, necessitating another trip and great physical – and financial – hardship.

The momentum is building in exciting ways from last year’s Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering. A National Grandmothers Council has been formed to bridge grassroots grandmothers and the government and ensure that the voices and expertise of grandmothers are heard, amplified, and given adequate support at local and national levels. The National Grandmothers Council endeavours to create and mentor local Grandmother Committees as a next step to provide wraparound support to grandmothers at all levels and ensure that grandmothers needs, demands and human rights are part of every conversation and on every agenda. The Council is gearing up to hold planning meetings with grandmother and local government leadership representatives to strategize on sustainable and effective movement-building. 

The advocacy work that grandmothers in Uganda, South Africa and Tanzania (as three examples in sub-Saharan Africa) are taking is critically important. And yet, for reasons unfathomable to us, funding for this kind of mobilization and activism work is exceedingly difficult to raise from funding agencies.

We celebrate grandmothers groups and Grandmothers Campaign members for your steadfast commitment and fundraising to ensure African grandmothers’ own voices can lead this movement.

2. Fundraising Corner: Grandmothers Getting Active!

Starting to feel a spring in your step? Spring isn’t yet in the air in many communities, but grandmothers groups are getting active (literally and figuratively!) with their fundraising initiatives.



Just today, grandmothers in the Vancouver, BC area, the Greater Van Gogos, are launching “For the Love of Grandmothers”, a fitness challenge running from March – September, ending on Grandparents Day. Participants can choose the physical activity that best suits them (ex. cycling, swimming, walking) dedicating their challenge to a grandmother they love while supporting African grandmothers raising a generation of children and youth orphaned by the AIDS pandemic. 

This month, Toronto based grandmothers groups, Brookbanks for African Grannies, Old Orchard Blossoms and Toronto Grandmothers Embrace, are hosting a Wellness Day of yoga, pilates, meditation, qi gong, tai chi and more! 

Grandmothers are lacing up their sneakers to walk in solidarity with African grandmothers as part of the 10th Annual Stride to Turn the Tide walk throughout the month of June. Some groups have already registered and even counting steps and building community support. You can register your walk or get more information about participating
by visiting www.stridetoturnthetide.ca and contacting stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org

And, it surely won’t be long before we hear the ringing bells of grandmothers on their bicycles as they gear up for cycle rides in September. 

To learn more about or join any of these upcoming events, contact us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org or call us at 1-888-203-9990 ext.0.

3. Beds WithOut Breakfast, Your Home Away from Home

Did you know the Beds WithOut Breakfast programme was conceived at the original international Grandmothers Gathering in 2006? It sprang from the question as to how to host visiting African grandmothers and deepen the connection to the Campaign at the same time, and still does that but has also transformed since! 

How Beds WithOut Breakfast Works 
Grandmothers group members host guests in their homes, in return for a donation to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, creating a win-win-win as the guests save money, the hosts get to meet grandmothers (and friends of the Campaign) from across the country and the money supports our African sisters. The originators came up with the name to avoid the expectation of providing the elaborate breakfasts associated with B&B's, (but in practice many homes provide a light breakfast). There are hosts in seven Canadian provinces, Yukon Territory and now even in England, an easy commute from London. Please spread the word among your friends as some hosts welcome referred guests who are not travelling with grandmother group members. 

You can find an up-to-date list of hosts here

4. A Thank You that Spreads for Miles!


Last month, we reminded you about the SLF’s Aeroplan Mile Matching week and asked you to help us get the word out to your Miles-collecting friends, colleagues and family members. We are elated to share that, thanks to your support and your efforts, we raised 2.1 million miles!  Thank you!
 
You know that when policy and funding decisions around HIV & AIDS are being made at the international level, African experts must be present, heard and counted! Yet far too often, community leaders, grassroot experts and innovators from the frontlines of the pandemic, are not able to attend. Thanks to your overwhelming generosity, this year we can bring more African advocates and activists to speak truth to power and put the AIDS          pandemic back on the global agenda.


 Every act of solidarity counts, and every dollar, every mile matters. Thank you so much for making this possible  - we couldn’t do it without you!

5. Spotlight on Grassroots Coming this Spring! How would your group like to receive copies?

Every Spring and Fall, respectively, our Spotlight on Grassroots and Grassroots newsletters hit mailboxes.  As part of the greater SLF community, we have always mailed a hardcopy newsletter to each grandmothers group member that we have in our database because we want to update you on the new and exciting strides being taken by the people and organizations that are turning the tide of HIV & AIDS in Africa. 

We have heard from some groups that your members would prefer to not get an individual mailing but rather to send a bundle of the newsletters to your group’s main contact for sharing at meetings.  If this is something your membership would be interested in, send us a quick email and we’ll make that change on our end!  If you’d like us to update this in advance of the Spring Spotlight on Grassroots, please let us know by March 30th.

Thanks for reading this edition of the Bulletin!  
As always, to keep up-to-date and hear from the Campaign between Bulletin editions, follow us on Facebook - we share many photos, quotes and interesting updates!



Granny Bulletin: February 2019

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Double Your Impact! Aeroplan Mile Matching Week starts Today.
  2. Bringing New Members into the Grandmothers Campaign Community
  3. Raising Online Funds: Grandmothers Pledge Pages
  4. Fundraising Corner: February Festivities

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Many of you have told us that a question you are commonly asked – whether at events, or in conversation about your work with the Grandmothers Campaign – is if the AIDS pandemic is over.

As members of the grandmothers movement, and subscribers to the Granny Bulletin, you know that while the tide is turning, the pandemic continues to cast a large, dark shadow over communities across the African continent, and around the world. Just last month, new and devastating statistics were released and it feels critical that we share those here, along with an exploration of why a grassroots response is and always will be the key to reducing the magnitude of these numbers.

Over the past few months, the SLF has been shining a spotlight on community-based organizations’ initiatives created for and by youth. You’ve heard us talk about the crisis and rising HIV infection rates amongst youth. Two thirds of young people who are newly HIV infected are young girls and women in Africa. According to UNAIDS, there are 6,900 new infections amongst young women aged 15-24 every week. Access to anti-retroviral medications remains a challenge for many regardless of age.

In January, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), shared dire news of increasing rates of HIV among children and adolescents in western and central African countries. And with it, a welcome call to action we hope the international community will heed, to "pick up the pace" in responding to the crisis.

We have been sounding the alarm about the decreases in international funding for HIV & AIDS for some time. From the very outset of the SLF and Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, we have known that community-based organizations and local expertise and knowledge are the most effective ways of addressing the myriad of challenges of the pandemic. We’re hopeful that the increased international attention to community-based interventions will also lead to increased funding. 

Community-based organizations implement initiatives like early childhood education programmes, peer-to-peer counselling and clubs for youth. They also facilitate capacity building for community members and support innovative income generating opportunities for grandmothers and mothers. While CBOs bring ingenuity and responsiveness to new programmes to support and engage young people, they are at the same time, working directly with grandmothers to develop programmes in response to the existing and emerging needs – including support for grandmothers and caregivers who continue to confront new challenges as a generation of young people grow into adulthood. 

The interconnected responses of community-based organizations which address not only individualized needs but the needs of communities as a whole remain vital and are increasingly being recognized as the most effective ways to turn the tide of AIDS in Africa. These organizations are determinedly rebuilding resilience and reclaiming hope. And, the common thread that is woven through the fabric of every grassroots response and intervention is this: it remains the grandmothers who are at the heart of this response, holding families and communities together. 

Through our commitment and resolve within the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign we continue to deepen our solidarity and amplify the voices of African grandmothers. The awareness and funds raised sustain an enormous scope of work that has deep and lasting impacts across generations.

Warmly, 
Winnie, Megan, Asmita and Sarah 

1. Double Your Impact! Aeroplan Mile Matching Week starts Today.

Double your Impact! From February 11th to 17th, Aeroplan will match the Miles donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation (up to 500,000 Miles)!
Aeroplan Miles are critical to the work we do at the Stephen Lewis Foundation. These miles enable us to bring African grandmothers and grassroots experts and leaders to speak directly to us and allow the SLF Field Reps to visit communities to meet with our community-based partner organizations. Aeroplan Miles have generated opportunities for our partners to come together to learn from one another and exchange ideas, strategies and best practices. Aeroplan Miles help us keep our administrative costs low.

All miles contributed make a powerful difference in supporting grassroots organizations in Africa to turn the tide of AIDS, and this week they have double the impact when each mile donated is matched. 

If you have friends or family who would like to donate miles between February 11th and 17th, please direct them to visit stephenlewisfoundation.org/aeroplan to donate miles and have Aeroplan match them.

2. Bringing New Members into the Grandmothers Campaign Community

Through conversations with members of the Grandmothers Campaign, including our monthly Grandmothers Campaign information calls*, we’ve been hearing about the many ways groups have found to invite and welcome new members into their groups and the wider Grandmothers Campaign community.

Here are a few specific ways that groups have shared about how they’ve connected with new members, and how they cultivate a strong sense of community around the Grandmothers Campaign:

  • Getting social – members of grandmothers groups consistently share that while group business and event planning is absolutely important, it’s equally important and productive for groups to incorporate time for group members to spend time together as friends.
  • Channeling new energy – long-time members of the Grandmothers Campaign have shared that welcoming new members into their group has been energizing for them, and giving new members leeway to share new ideas for fundraisers and run with them (with support from other group members) has led to some great events.
  • Taking stock – a couple groups have shared that they created a simple survey to take stock of members’ skills and interests to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to do what they love, and equally, surveys are a great way to find out if members are interested in jumping into existing group activities and initiatives that they may not know about.
  • Ask, “Why?” – Carving out time to have a group-wide discussion about why each member (new and long-time members) joined the Grandmothers Campaign, and what brought them to the Grandmothers Campaign.
  • Bring a friend – Encouraging members to bring a friend to a meeting, an event or a casual get-together with your group members is a great way to expose more people to the culture and community of your group.

This list is by no means complete, in fact, we’re calling on you to share your own ideas for reaching out to new members – how has your group found new members in the past? What’s an idea you’ve been mulling over for outreach, but you haven’t yet tried? Share your ideas and we’ll share them back out across the Campaign!

*Reminder: Anyone is welcome to join our Grandmothers Campaign calls. While these calls usually take place on the third Monday of the month, due to a statutory holiday in many Canadian provinces this month, the February call will be held on Tuesday, February 19th at 12:30 PM Eastern Time, for dial-in details, email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org or call 1-888-203-9990 x 0.

3. Raising Online Funds: Grandmothers Pledge Pages

Did you know the Grandmothers Campaign online fundraising pages are live?

The 10th annual Stride to Turn the Tide online fundraising pages are live, as well as the general Grandmothers Campaign online fundraising pages that can be used for all other events. These pages let you raise awareness and funds amongst friends and family near and far. If you’d like more information or want help in setting up a fundraising page, our team is here to help you every step of the way.

Contact the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign Team at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org or check out the Grandmothers Pledge Pages.
Visit www.stridetoturnthetide.ca to join a Stride walk.

4. Fundraising Corner: February Festivities


February may be a short month, but grandmothers groups across the Campaign have collectively filled the calendar with enticing events! This month, the BramGrans will be holding a “Share Your Heart Breakfast,” Oomama has organized a “Sounds of Love & Hope Concert” and the Mariposa Grandmothers are getting ready to turn the page on their beloved Annual Book Exchange. The Burlington Ubuntu Grandwomen are inviting their community in to a “Circle of Harmony” concert. While Canadian grandmothers groups keep their events indoors during our Northern winter, The Bayside Grandmothers are holding their Garden Afternoon Tea down under in Australia. Hearing of their tea and the plants for sale has us dreaming of summer!

Rounding out the month and leading us into March, many groups across the Campaign are gearing up for their annual Power of Words, Good Words for Africa or Scrabble events. To the Golden Ears Gogos, the Lanark County Grannies, Grandmothers and Friends for Africa, Capilano Grandmothers to Grandmothers, Lions Gate Gogos, West Van Gogos, The GANG and the Salt Spring Island Grandmothers to Grandmothers we wish you many triple word scores and triple that amount of fun!

Check out the Events Calendar or find more details on Grandmothers Groups Facebook pages.
 

Thanks for reading this edition of the Bulletin!  
As always, to keep up-to-date and hear from the Campaign between Bulletin editions, follow us on Facebook - we share many photos, quotes and interesting updates!

Special Granny Bulletin: News from the SLF Board Co-Chairs

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Please find below a message from the Co-Chairs of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Board. If you have any questions please be in touch with the Grandmothers Campaign Team. 

Kind regards, 
Sarah, Winnie, Megan and Asmita

**
Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers

We are writing, with a combination of regret and enthusiasm, to tell you of a significant change in the leadership of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. After fifteen years at the helm of the Foundation, our founding Executive Director, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis has decided to move on. It was a terribly difficult decision for Ilana to make.
 
She threw her life, stupendous energy, endlessly fertile imagination and passionate commitment to grassroots efforts around HIV & AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, into building the Foundation and, over time, turned it into one of the most formidable development organizations of Canadian civil society.

From the extraordinary success in funding grassroots projects in fifteen African countries, to the brilliant creation of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, to the remarkable Grandmother gatherings in African countries, to the astonishing fund-raising galas like Hope Rising, to the current focus on gathering information from indigenous African Community-Based Organizations --- information of such value that the Foundation is now celebrated and consulted internationally on the role of CBOs --- to the raising of well over one hundred million dollars since 2003, to the principled focus on vulnerable groups; women and girls and the LGBTQ community … in every sense Ilana provided leadership that was without equal in its field.
 
It must also be said that perhaps Ilana’s greatest achievement has been the respect and dignity accorded our African partners. The Foundation has, from the outset, worked on the premise that the projects in Africa know best what is required in the fight against the pandemic, and the Foundation exists to respect their priorities. That partnership is a matter of intense pride at both ends of the spectrum. It is fair to say that our African partners love the Foundation, and the love is reciprocal. And that love and support has expanded exponentially with the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign!
 
Of course, Ilana did not build the Foundation alone, and together with you, and the passionate, committed and talented staff of the SLF, she leaves us with an organization that is vibrant and resolute.  And of course it will continue…as it should, and as it must.  We are not yet at the end of the scourge of AIDS in Africa, and as the world begins to retreat from funding the work at the grassroots across the continent, we are confident that you will be there with us to insist that African grandmothers and their community-based organizations at the heart of the response are not forgotten. In addition, the Board of the Foundation has asked Ilana to stay on in an Advisory capacity for a year and she has agreed. This role will allow Ilana to pursue new and strategic fund development and growth opportunities for the SLF, and secure, even more firmly, the financial base. The transition to new leadership will be seamless.
 
So Ilana’s departure as Executive Director is what we meant at the outset when we used the word ‘regret’. But we also used ‘enthusiasm’, and that applies to her immediate successor. We are delighted and proud to inform you that Zahra Mohamed will assume the post of Interim Executive Director, effective February 25th. Everyone in the Stephen Lewis Foundation family knows and admires Zahra. She has been a force in the Foundation for more than a decade, as a member of the Programme Team, as Director of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, as Director of Canadian Partnerships and Human Resources, and currently as Deputy Director. The beauty of having Zahra, is the depth of continuity: she knows the values and operations of the Foundation, inside-out. She knows the Board, she knows the staff, she knows the projects, she knows the programmes, she knows the funding. Where could we find a better person?
 
In sum, we are absolutely confident that the Foundation has many more worlds yet to conquer, and we rejoice in the knowledge that you will continue to be with us every step of the way, to ensure that the African grandmothers and grandchildren and their community-based organizations continue to thrive, organize and overcome.
 
Warm Regards,






Granny Bulletin: January 2019

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Report from Funders Concerned About AIDS
  2. What Does your Shirt Say?
  3. Are you Ready to Stride to Turn the Tide?
  4. Fundraising Corner: Ideas for Small & Mighty Groups
  5. Save the Date: Aeroplan Miles Matching Week is Back February 11-17!

Happy New Year Grandmothers and Grandothers!

The turning of the calendar from one year to another brings an opportunity for reflection and even sometimes, a moment of pause. For many, it is a time of setting intentions and resolutions, planning ahead and perhaps an embracing of fresh starts, activities or pursuits. However you are beginning this New Year, we wish you all good health, joy and happiness in 2019.

We have seen a flurry of events and group meeting announcements shared on Facebook and with us via email. We, too, are planning for an energetic and busy year within the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and are so happy that you are with us for what will be a great year. We want to share what we hope will be three sparks of inspiration as this New Year begins and we continue our collective work in solidarity with African grandmothers.  

We know all too well about the invisibility that grandmothers face at large in society, but we know too, that while there remains much work to do, increasingly, African grandmothers' voices are being heard, and their contributions and leadership are being noted.

Ma Thandi got involved with Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS (GAPA) in South Africa more than ten years ago. Today, she’s a finalist for “Brave Women in South Africa”, a recognition of her leadership and contributions to her community. Her story and the work of GAPA were featured recently in a local television programme.  Click to view.

You'll recall from the December Granny Bulletin, the update we shared about Stephen and his recovery.

      He is, indeed, back to work and we are excited to           share his  first video message  of 2019 through AIDS       Free World with you,  in case you haven’t seen it.
     We know you will be as delighted as we are to                 hear him in fiery form.
     Click to view his video message.

Ilana penned her annual letter to grandmothers and grandothers – you can find the full letter in the Members Section of the Grandmothers Campaign website. We wanted to share some of her reflections with you here.

"The Solidarity you show every day in the Campaign has a direct and palpable impact on the way people respond to the Campaign. The way African Grandmothers know you stand with them and will not drift away or change priorities (as so many donor organizations do), and the way the SLF is able to maintain our deep commitment to respecting the direction and trajectories of our grassroots partners and the Grandmothers themselves. Because of your tenacity, creativity, commitment and enthusiasm and perseverance (!), we are able to ensure that Grandmothers and their groups can plan into the future, school fees for next year, a bigger vegetable garden plot, a brick-making machine for the community, an office to meet in… and the SLF can plan for all this too.
 
The ripple effects across generations, through tens of thousands of lives, both in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the Campaign and our own families and communities, and as a global inspiration – of the 
Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and the $33 million raised - is simply revolutionary, stirring, and intensely meaningful. As I write, I feel words are inadequate to capture the significance of your dedication and tireless efforts, and the extraordinary strides and life-altering progress made by the African Grandmothers and their grassroots organizations. It fills our hearts and keeps us in exhilarated lock-step with you!" 

We hope this will embolden and energize you as we set about this important solidarity work!  

Warmly,
Asmita, Winnie, Megan and Sarah

1. Report from Funders Concerned About AIDS

The 16th annual Philanthropic Support to Address HIV&AIDS report recently released by Funders Concerned about AIDS (FCAA) revealed that in 2017, private philanthropic funding for HIV & AIDS decreased by 5%, or $37 million. While this is disconcerting on its own, the FCAA goes on to forecast that government funding for HIV & AIDS is also likely to fall back to stagnant levels in the coming years, despite UNAIDS reporting an increase this past July for the first time in several years. The FCAA points out that the reason for this increase is due to funds that had accrued in previous years without being spent, and is therefore not a sustainable increase, nor an accurate portrayal of future trends in government funding.

It is, however, quite hopeful to see that funding for certain vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQ communities, has risen. In addition, grants supporting general operating expenses and administration also increased, which is crucial if organizations responding to the AIDS pandemic are to function properly and build their capacity to implement effective programmes.

On the heels of this report, we want to reaffirm, acknowledge and applaud the collective work of grandmothers groups. Your fierce determination has provided consistent levels of funding to the Stephen Lewis Foundation since the launch of the Grandmothers Campaign, and your focus on ensuring community-based organizations have the resources they need to holistically support African grandmothers and the children in their care has never wavered. Let us hope that the international community can take a cue from your solidarity and belief that it would be detrimental to decrease or withdraw funding until the tide of HIV & AIDS has fully turned.

If you’d like to read more about the report and the FCAA’s full insights into current and future funding levels, click here.

2. What Does your Shirt Say?

Are you looking for a way to showcase your Campaign commitment and strike up conversation in your community?  Look no further for your chance to order a Grandmothers Campaign t-shirt, printed and coordinated by grandmothers group member, Carol, from the Peninsula Grannies.

These t-shirts are 100% cotton (with compacted yarns to minimize shrinkage).  They have tapered necks and shoulder and a tear-away label.  Available in sizes XS-4XL.  Available in a range of colours: Black, Charcoal, Maroon, Kelly Green, Navy, Purple, Red, Royal Blue – all with the white Grandmothers Campaign logo.

They are $23.00 each (which includes the shipping cost to one address per group, with no minimum amount).  All profits from the sales go towards the SLF (through the Peninsula Grannies).

The last date to order is March 15, 2019. Please contact Carol Schultz from Bruce Peninsula Grandparent Connection at moosieschultz@msn.com or 519-795-7798.

3. Are You Ready to Stride to Turn the Tide?

Every June, grandmothers and grandothers walk in solidarity with the grandmothers of Africa who walk with purpose every day. This June marks the 10th Annual Stride to Turn the Tide walk. What started with one grandmothers group in Canmore, Alberta has blossomed into an annual event with thousands of participants and supporters coast-to-coast in Canada.

The online fundraising pages are live and we are eager to support grandmothers and grandothers who are interested in walking – whether virtually, with individual participants tracking steps taken over the course of several weeks, or with an in-person walk in June.

If you or your group are interested in Striding this year, you can learn more and set up your team’s page by visiting Stride to Turn the Tide or you can email stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

If you would like to be notified of a walk in your area to join or support, email or call us! We are excited to be Striding together this momentous year! 

p.s. If you’re looking for a way to showcase your Stride Pride, maybe a set of matching t-shirts? (See "What does your Shirt Say?" above.)

4. Fundraising Corner: Ideas for Small & Mighty Groups


Grandmothers groups across the Campaign range in size from one member to 400 members! While many hands make light work, some groups have fewer hands but just as much determination. In the spirit of sharing tips, tricks, and fundraising ideas with smaller groups – do you have great fundraising ideas, events, and initiatives that could be easily implemented by a grandmothers group with 10 or fewer members? Share ideas with us!

This trove of ideas will be equally helpful for new groups to help them build momentum. We’ll compile all the submissions we receive to share with you on the Grandmothers Campaign website, and add them to a special section in the Fundraising Catalogue.

To share an idea with us, send a short write-up directly to your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org

Thanks very much for sharing your creativity and experience across the Campaign!
 

5. Save the Date: Aeroplan Miles Matching Week is Back February 11-17!

Aeroplan miles go the distance in facilitating all aspects of the work we do at the Stephen Lewis Foundation. From enabling travel for us to hear directly from African grandmothers and other experts and leaders, to project visits by the SLF’s trusted Field Representatives who conduct Monitoring and Evaluation work. Aeroplan Miles are vital to us doing our work and keeping our administrative costs low.

February 11-17, 2019 is Miles Matching Week where  miles donated to the SLF is matched by Aeroplan 1 for 1! We wanted to give you advance notice, in case your family or friends collect Aeroplan Miles and might want to donate as part of our annual push. We’ll share details that you can forward to anyone  who collects Aeroplan Miles in the February Granny Bulletin.

Thanks for reading this edition of the Bulletin!  

As always, to keep up-to-date and hear from the Campaign between Bulletin editions, follow us on Facebook - we share many photos, quotes and interesting updates!


Granny Bulletin: December 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Grandmothers Flash Mobs for World AIDS Day

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

In communities around the world, events and memorials are being held to commemorate World AIDS Day. The lives of the thousands lost are being remembered and honoured. While the devastation left in the wake of the AIDS pandemic is on all our minds every World AIDS Day, it is also an important day to reflect on the work that is yet to be done, and the monumental gains that have been made in rebuilding resilience by grassroots groups across sub-Saharan Africa, and the grandmothers, vulnerable and orphaned children and courageous advocates living with HIV & AIDS, who are determined to turn the tide of AIDS.

We know you will be happy to hear that Stephen is doing extremely well, recovering nicely and looking forward to returning to all the work that he does in the next few weeks! We are happy to share with you the text of the message he wrote for our annual World AIDS Day postcard:  


It's difficult, especially in a postcard, to combine outrage with hope. But let me try.

Outrage is straightforward: the ruinous malice of Trumpian financial cut-backs to global public health are causing devastation in Africa for all those requiring prevention, treatment and care in the world of HIV & AIDS.

Hope is tougher: but hope surely lies in the stunning work of community-based organizations, improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of grandmothers, young women, and children. 

Hope also lies in the hearts of all of you who, on this World AIDS Day, stand for decency and humanity."

In the Grandmothers Campaign, many of you are marking World AIDS Day with awareness and fundraising activities, whether it be through vigils, dinners, concerts, fundraising or flash mobs. Throughout the year, your fundraising and awareness-raising efforts and support are helping to keep HIV & AIDS on the radar in communities, and we know on this day you feel moved, as well. Your heartfelt commitment and the strength of your solidarity makes the Grandmothers Campaign a powerful sisterhood stretching out across continents. 

Many of the SLF’s community-based partners are holding events today and throughout the month of December to commemorate World AIDS Day. In Uganda, the Grandmothers Consortium is hosting awareness raising and advocacy activities to mark the day, led by their national Grandmothers Champions and grandmothers across the country. In Mozambique, Kukumbi – Organization for Rural Development have organized their annual celebration to mark World AIDS Day to bring the community together for song, dance, drama and a shared meal. And the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation in Malawi is bringing women together to participate in a Candle Light Memorial. This commemoration raises awareness of the issues facing women with HIV & AIDS while providing them an opportunity to showcase the organization’s activities and initiatives.

The power of this solidarity movement, of which you are all a part, inspires hope for the future and in the resilience of grandmothers and the children in their care across communities in sub-Saharan Africa. In the myriad of ways that you are involved in the Campaign, your creativity and commitment strengthens this movement. 

Warmly,
Asmita, Winnie, Megan and Sarah

1. Grandmothers Flash Mobs for World AIDS Day

Throughout November, grandmothers and grandothers rehearsed and danced in solidarity, holding Flash Mobs across Canada in malls, markets, and campuses to raise awareness about the scale of the global AIDS pandemic, and the herculean role African grandmothers are playing in the response. Members and supporters of the Grandmothers Campaign turned heads dancing to the song, Powered by Love, written and sung especially for the Grandmothers Campaign by Zev Landsberg-Lewis with his band “Flying Without Tickets”.  

CLICK HERE to see grandmothers and grandothers flash mobbing for World AIDS Day!

In anticipation of World AIDS Day, we released the compilation video of the 2018 Flash Mobs on the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook Pageyesterday. Help us send it far and wide to raise awareness, funds and bring new grandmothers and grandothers to the Grandmothers Campaign. Like, share, and re-post the video on your own Facebook page (or email it to friends and family!), and consider showing it at a group meeting or future fundraising event. With your help we will grow this global movement that is built on solidarity and powered by love. 

Not on Facebook? No problem! You can watch the video on YouTube as well!

(P.S. We dare you not to tap your toes and join in the choreography as you watch!)

Granny Bulletin: October 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Flash Mobs: Dancing in the Streets, Malls and Markets
  2. Holiday Tributes Available
  3. Fundraising Corner: Trivia Nights, Games and Tournaments
  4. Grandmothers Groups Materials, Guides and Resources

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
The pace always seems to accelerate, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere, as summer transitions into autumn. 
 
Throughout September and October, the Grandmothers Campaign team travelled across Canada with Idah Mukuka Nambeya (Senior Advisor to the Grandmothers Campaign) and three special guests, Mama Zodwa Ndlovu from South Africa, Pfiriaeli Kiwia from Tanzania and Josephine Nabukenya from Uganda to participate in Regional Grandmothers Gatherings.
 
Many of you will remember Mama Zodwa from the 2006 Toronto Grandmothers Gathering and from the African Grandmothers Tribunal in 2013. Mama Zodwa continues her community mobilizing through Siyaphambili, the centre she established in South Africa. Through her involvement on the South Africa Grandmothers Gathering Organizing Committee, her involvement with South African grandmothers’ advocacy has deepened.
 
Josephine Nabukenya first visited Canada with the SLF in May. She was one of four young community leaders and health advocates to participate in a Youth & HIV roundtable. Josephine started a youth support group more than 10 years ago as she experienced the need for youth to support one another through psychosocial support, play and education.
 
Pfiriaeli Kiwia is an economist and a founder of Kimara Peers Educators in Tanzania. She is a respected leader and advocate across Tanzania and was the co-chair of the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering last March.
 
Zodwa, Josephine and Pfiriaeli shared their insights and expertise and inspired everyone they encountered. Each of them spoke about women – grandmothers in particular – at the epicenter of the AIDS pandemic and the community-driven response to HIV. They deepened our understanding of the challenges faced by women across generations and countries, and how these same women are addressing these challenges and finding resourceful, creative ways to implement change. You can hear some of what they had to share by visiting the videos section of the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page.
 
The opportunities we have to participate in Gatherings and your regional conversations and events, inspire and excite us. We’ve been privileged to be a part of conversations and listen and learn from what you’ve shared about what inspires your involvement in the Grandmothers Campaign, what you enjoy most, the challenges and how you are tackling them. We’re excited to continue and deepen these conversations with you in the coming months.
 
Warmly,
The Grandmothers Campaign Team
 

1. Flash Mobs: Dancing in the Streets, Malls and Markets

Flash Mob rehearsals are underway as we’ve heard updates of dance practices happening at Gatherings, group meetings and in kitchens!
 
Don’t forget to send us the details for your Flash Mob so we can dance in solidarity with you. It’s also important to share your Flash Mob details with us, if you’d like to be added to the SLF insurance coverage, please contact us ASAP.

It’s not too late to join in. We've got everything you need to do your Flash Mob: instructional videos, a lyrics and dance moves cheat sheet to help you follow along, and a Flash Mob guide to support you in organizing your Flash Mob and getting out into the community dancing. All of these resources can be accessed here. If you would like a copy of the instructional video on DVD or song on CD sent to you, please email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

3. Holiday Tributes Available

Every year, the SLF offers Holiday Tribute Cards in November and December to those who wish to make a donation in lieu of a gift. Over the past few years, we have also invited grandmothers groups to participate, if you would like, by making Holiday Tribute Cards available to your supporters.
 
Each card represents a donation of $10 or more.  It includes the message, “I wanted to give you a gift that is truly meaningful by making a donation in your honour to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Happy Holidays!”
 
As always, donations of $20 or more are eligible for a Canadian tax receipt since the cards are not being purchased or given in exchange for a donation (rather they are a token of gratitude that your supporters can use to notify their loved ones of a holiday tribute). If you’d like to request holiday cards for your group to have on hand at upcoming fundraisers and events, please email your Grandmothers Campaign Officer, or campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org

4. Fundraising Corner: Trivia Nights, Games and Tournaments 

Tap into your competitive and fun side with grandmothers group-hosted games nights. Here’s a peek at upcoming events happening in November.

  • Alberta’s Eastside Grannies' “Good Words for Africa Scrabble Benefit” on Nov. 4th
  • Ontario’s Omas Siskona of K-W's Scrabble and games night on Nov. 11th
  • Saskatchewan’s G4G Regina’s Scrabble fundraiser on Nov. 17th

Get the full details about these events and others on the Grandmothers Campaign Event Calendar. Would you like to have your grandmothers group event listed on the calendar? Contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org
 
Scrabble Hint: Oxyphenbutazone is rumoured to be the highest scoring word at 1778 points.  The sixth edition of “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary” was recently released and apparently includes 300 new words!

5. Updates and Resources for Grandmothers Groups

We have heard from you and appreciate all of your feedback and suggestions – we’re (updating) revamping and revising online fundraising pages, our website and materials over the next few months. To keep you up-to-date, we’ve created a Grandmothers Campaign Resource Update designed to let you know what resources we will have in place to support your efforts.  You can download it here.

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Granny Bulletin: September 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Pull out your Dance Shoes: Flash Mobs are Happening 
  2. Save the Date for Women and HIV&AIDS: An Intergenerational Conversation on Facebook Live
  3. Solidarity Not Charity
  4. Grandmothers on the Move Podcast
  5. Fundraising Corner: Upcoming Art Sales and Auctions
  6. Regional Grandmothers Gatherings Coming Up
  7. New Member Calls
  8. African Food for Thought Cookbook: An Offer and Invitation

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

It’s hard to believe that five years ago this week, six grandmothers from Swaziland, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe took to the podium and shared testimonies at the African Grandmothers Tribunal in Vancouver, B.C. before more than 1,300 grandmothers and grandothers and four Tribunal judges to demand justice. 

They declared, “Our labour, with all of its struggles, challenges, knowledge and triumphs, has gone unheeded for too long. We will not let the AIDS pandemic defeat us, but we cannot prevail alone. We call on you to act with urgency to support our efforts to secure justice.”

The resulting Call to Action remains urgent now, more than ever, as grandmothers continue to face the triple threat of discrimination at the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic, based on sex, age, and HIV status. Today, these African grandmothers and thousands more are leading a rights-based response to the AIDS pandemic. They are mobilizing and advocating for their Human Rights, running for elected office, raising a generation of strong, young women and men, who are leaders themselves. They do this all while continuing to hold communities together and fighting for the justice at the frontlines.
 
Grandmothers and women leaders will be visiting North America in the coming weeks and months. We’re looking forward to the opportunities for you to hear firsthand from them and to learn about how their work continues and evolves. 
 
Warmly,
The Grandmothers Campaign Team – Megan, Winnie, Asmita and Sarah

1. Pull out your Dance Shoes: Flash Mobs are Happening

Grandmothers Flash Mobs are back by popular demand! We heard from so many of you that this awareness-raising event was not only fun and easy, but a special way to connect together over the fall. This year, we’ll be dancing to the “Powered by Love” song, written and sung by Zev Landsberg-Lewis specially for the grandmothers and released for the Powered by Love book launches in October 2017. 

With the intention to create a grand group compilation video, grandmothers groups are encouraged to organize a Flash Mob anytime between November 1-19. Use the opportunity to raise awareness about your group and the Grandmothers Campaign in your community in a fun way. We’re asking all participating groups to videotape your Flash Mob and send it to us, so we can prepare a compilation video to release on World AIDS Day on December 1st. You can videotape your Flash Mob on your smartphone.

To join, get your Flash Mob (whether it be only your group, your group with friends and family, a few groups together in your region), we’ve prepared a package of materials - including an instructional video to help you learn the dance moves, a lyrics and dance moves cheat sheet, a Flash Mob Guide, registration and insurance coverage information - to provide you with tools for your planning and preparation. Need insurance? We have you covered! Please be in touch with us as soon as possible to confirm the date and location of your Flash Mob. We cannot wait to dance with you again this year! All of these resources are available on the Members Only section of our website. If you need the password or you have questions, please email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

If you are new to the Campaign and wondering what this Flash Mob business is all about, in 2016, to mark World AIDS Day, more than 40 grandmothers groups across Canada, participated in Flash Mobs. 

Dancing to Aretha Franklin and the Eurythmics,’ “Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves”, grandmothers and grandothers danced in malls, universities, grocery stores, and farmers markets to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic. 

2. Save the Date for Women and HIV&AIDS: An Intergenerational Conversation on Facebook Live

On Wednesday, October 3, 2018 join us on the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page to watch an extraordinary conversation between three dynamic women leading community-based responses to the AIDS pandemic. 

Josephine Nabukenya, Vuyiseka Dubula and Zodwa Ndlovu will engage in an intergenerational conversation about women, HIV&AIDS and their roles as leaders. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Facebook Live Follow-Up: We are delighted by your reaction to SLF Director of Policy, Lee Waldorf’s Facebook Live conversation a few weeks ago.n case you missed it, the video is posted on the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page. We also have a summary of interesting and recent international studies and panel overviews that Lee referred to in her talk posted in the Members Only section of the Grandmothers Campaign website.

3. Solidarity Not Charity

Earlier in the summer, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis (Executive Director of the SLF), Idah Nambeya Mukuka (Senior Advisor to the Grandmothers Campaign) and Jean Way (founding member of the Richmond Gogos in the Greater Vancouver region) participated in a panel discussion to explore what it really means when we say that the Grandmothers Campaign is founded on solidarity, not charity.
 
Our solidarity model broke ground when the Campaign first launched in 2006, and through all of the outreach and fundraising you do in your communities, the Campaign continues to shift paradigms, turning the concept of traditional charity on its head.
 
Here are some excerpts that Ilana, Jean and Idah shared with the audience about what solidarity looks like in action, and why the Grandmothers Campaign has been so effective in honouring the expertise, dignity and ingenuity of African grandmothers and community-based organizations.

“I think is the deepest success of the Campaign is that it truly created what I think is a new and possibly unique model of development - solidarity and development, which gives meaning to solidarity, a word that I think is very overused in the charity and development sector. Real solidarity, which means mutuality of respect and the conviction the Canadian grandmothers have embraced deeply - that African grandmothers are in fact the experts on what it will take to overcome the AIDS pandemic. And in fact, what we do have is the capability to raise the awareness that raises the resources, and encourage respect for the grandmothers who are at the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic, and who are the ones who know exactly what to do and how to do it, and just need the resources to make it happen.”
 –Ilana

“To me it is just such a sisterhood. I really do not see African women as anything other than my sisters. I just have such respect for their expertise. They are the ones who have lost the children. They are the ones who are grieving. They are the ones who are learning new skills to generate income. They have powerful voices, and they’re just getting more and more powerful. They just give me strength. I recall one grandmother who just wished she could be a grandmother and not a mother. And that’s so hard to have to parent them in a new generation, with HIV&AIDS, etc. They are the experts, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. And what we want to do as Canadian grandmothers is just raise some funds to help their needs get met – what they describe as their needs. We’re not telling them what they need at all.”
–Jean

Idah spoke candidly about why the Campaign strongly believes that a solidarity model cannot involve Western grandmothers “adopting” or “pen-palling” with African grandmothers:

“I’ve told people that there’s power in the “we,” and there’s no power in “they,” because these programs were started by themselves after going through what they’ve gone through. … Community-based organizations were already doing the work. They were saying, “Okay, what do we need? We have all these other children dying in their homes. Let’s do home-based care training for the grandmothers so that they know how to take care of their children that are dying of AIDS. Okay let us do the counselling with them so that they know how to take care of their grandchildren.” They don’t need somebody far away to say, “Okay, I want to send money direct to that grandmother or let me adopt the grandmother.” The grandmothers don’t need to be adopted because they know what is happening in their community, they know what needs to change.  
 
When I’ve gone back myself to the [African] grandmothers. You go and you find people who were crying but now I have more hope. Grandmothers say, “Idah, I’m so sorry, I would visit with you but now I have a part-time job. I do home-based care with a person that had a stroke and I helps me support my grandchildren. I’ll see you next time when you come.” That’s what we wanted. We are talking about women who they’ve acquired skills they didn’t have before. This has made them stand even more stronger with their grandchildren. 
 
Tomorrow, even if the Canadian grandmothers or Australian grandmothers or UK grandmothers or US grandmothers are not there, they should be able to continue with their lives. The grandmothers always, they say, “Oh! Idah, when are you going back to Canada? Next time, greet our sisters.” They’ll never say, “Let them send money.” They want to say, “Greet our sisters.” Because they also realize they can stand on their own, even if all these traumas have been in their lives.”
-Idah

4. Grandmothers on the Move Podcast

Grandmothers on the Move, a Podcast hosted by Ilana Landsberg-Lewis – featuring the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign: Grandmothers Rocking Solidarity Not Charity, Parts 1 & 2! 

Come enjoy these interviews with grandmothers in groups in Canada, Australia and the U.S. – and stay tuned for more about the Campaign in coming months! 

Episode 7: Grandmothers Rocking Solidarity Not Charity Part 1 introduces the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign to a broader international audience.
 
Episode 17: Grandmothers Rocking Solidarity Not Charity Part 2 is the next installment on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign - this time with grandmothers who have started groups more recently in the United States, Australia and Canada.

Find these episodes and more at: 
https://ilanalandsberglewis.com/podcast-episodes/
 
Grandmothers on the Move is the podcast that kicks old stereotypes to the curb, and introduces creative, activist, irreverent and powerful grandmothers making vital contributions to their families and communities around the world.

5. Fundraising Corner: Upcoming Art Sales and Auctions

Art sales are a great way to grow your personal art collection, and embrace the multi-dimensional world of art. This month we celebrate the many creative art sales that grandmothers groups organize, both online and in-person. 
 
From October 27  to November 1, the Brookbanks for African Grannies are partnering with Toronto Artist, Mark Gleberzon and Waddington’s Auctioneers and Appraisers for an online auction, Small Art Big Hearts. Any Campaign member who is interested in creating a piece of art (12" or less) is invited to send in their original work by October 12. For more details, please visit our Events Calendar for more information. 
 
Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers Regina will be holding their annual Art from the Attic fundraiser on September 22 from 10am to 5pm at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre. This sale includes a one day sale as well as an online auction. 
 
The West Hill Grandmothers are having an Off the Wall Art Sale in memory of Catherine Richard on September 29. There will be posters, prints, watercolours, oil paintings and more sold at great prices from 10am to 4pm at Westmount Park United Church in Montreal. 
 
On September 30, Grands ‘n’ More will hold their Art from the Attic Sale at the Norwood Community Centre in Winnipeg from 10:30 to 4pm. 

You can find out more about art sales and other creative fundraising ideas in the Fundraiser Catalogue. If you would like to submit a fundraising event or idea for the Fundraising Corner, please download and email the completed 
Fundraiser Description Form to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

If your group is hosting an event, be sure to share the poster with your Grandmothers Campaign Officer. We’ll include your event listings on the Events Calendar on the Grandmothers Campaign. If you’re promoting events on Facebook, tag @grandmotherscampaign and use #grandmotherscampaign, so we can like your events.

6. Regional Grandmothers Gatherings Coming Up

The next few months are gearing up to be busy! The calendar is filling up with grandmothers groups’ events, meetings and fundraisers.
 
Mark these dates for Campaign-wide events and opportunities.
 
Fall Regional Grandmothers Gatherings are coming up soon. Join grandmothers and grandothers along with representatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation and powerful African experts and women leaders. 
 
September 14-15: BC Interior Gathering in Kamloops (Register by Sept. 8)
September 29: Northern Alberta Gathering in Edmonton (Register by Sept. 21)
September 29: Ontario South West Gathering in Ancaster  (Register by Sept. 22)
October 12-13: Atlantic Gathering in Dartmouth (Register by Oct. 6)
October 20: Manitoba Gathering in Winnipeg (Register by Oct. 10)

Check out the Regional Gatherings page on the Grandmothers Campaign website for more details.

7. New Member Calls

Are you a new Grandmothers Group Member? Or interested in joining a group? 

Join us for a New Member Information Session via conference call on Monday, September 17 at 12:30pm EST to hear more about the Grandmothers Campaign and the work of African grandmothers and the community-based organizations supporting them. Please RSVP to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org
 
Can’t make it this month? Don’t worry, we’ll hold these conference calls the third Monday of every month. 

8. African Food for Thought: An Offer and Invitation

Hello Grandmothers and Grandothers: it’s the African Food for Thought team – Sue, Linda, and Angie here. September seems to bring a special energy, a sense of new beginnings and excitement. We’ve caught some of that excitement, and we see from the list of upcoming Regional Fall Grandmothers Gatherings, that you have too!

We’d like to build on this special energy by extending an offer and an invitation designed to boost our joint efforts for SLF’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

The Offer: 

Linda or Sue will spend 15-20 minutes with your Grandmothers Group, virtually, to speak about the creation of African Food for Thought, ways to use it to enhance your fundraising activities, and answer any questions you may have. 

The Invitation: 

We’re launching The African Food for Thought Challenge and we’d love you to participate! The Challenge involves selling copies of the cookbook and using the book or some of its recipes for one of your fundraisers. Share your photos or videos of the event on Facebook. Watch our Facebook page for details about how to be engaged.

Contact Africanfoodforthought@gmail.com for more information or to set up a talk!

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stephenlewisfoundation.org | info@stephenlewisfoundation.org

Granny Bulletin: June 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. An exciting opportunity to hear directly from Idah Nambeya Mukuka and Justine Ojambo!
  2. Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign featured on Ilana's podcast, Grandmothers on the Move
  3. The Changing Face of Leadership: Youth in Action
  4. Geneva Forum for Health Awards - Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is One of the Four Winners
  5. Imagine Canada – SLF a Leader in the Charitable Sector
  6. Beds WithOut Breakfast

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
As with all seasons, the rhythm of the Campaign and grandmothers groups ebbs and flows. Many groups are in the midst of Stride to Turn the Tide, others are gearing up for cycle tours, sales and a variety of events in the coming months. Recently, new groups have joined the Campaign in four different communities – Stephenville, Newfoundland; Moncton, New Brunswick; Selkirk, Manitoba; and the greater Vancouver area in British Columbia. There are seeds germinating in the US, UK and Australia, too.  

To new groups, Welcome! We are thrilled to have you with us! This Granny Bulletin is brimming with information to keep you ‘in the know’ about all sorts of wonderful initiatives and opportunities!  Please share it with all of your members. 

With appreciation for your solidarity and support, 
The Grandmothers Campaign team

1. An Exciting Opportunity to hear directly from Idah Nambeya Mukuka and Justine Ojambo!

We’ve been thinking about how to share the updates and work of our partners in new and different ways and how to amplify their voices directly. 

We hope you’ll join us as we try something new. 

Find us on Facebook this coming Wednesday, June 20 for a conversation with Idah Nambeya Mukuka, Senior Advisor to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and Justine Ojambo, National Director of Phoebe Education Fund for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (PEFO). Idah and Justine will talk about what they’re seeing within communities and how the lives of grandmothers are changing. We’ll broadcast the conversation live to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Facebook page at 2pm EST. If you aren't able to tune live at that time, you can still watch the full, live recording at any time on the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page

2. Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign featured on Ilana's podcast, Grandmothers on the Move

Don’t miss this podcast episode, Rocking Solidarity Not Charity, released on June 17th in which Ilana interviews three grandmothers from the Campaign to introduce the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign to a broader international audience.
 

Visit Grandmothers on the Move to listen to past and current episodes. New episodes are posted every Sunday.

Consider sharing it with grandmothers who might want to start a group!
 
Grandmothers on the Move is the podcast that kicks old stereotypes to the curb, and introduces creative, activist, irreverent and powerful grandmothers making vital contributions to their families and communities around the world.

3. The Changing Face of Leadership: Youth in Action

Ask Her: Young leaders speak about their experiences as youth ambassadors in their communities. Left to right: Josephine (MU-JHU, Uganda); Chileshe (Blue Roof Wellness Centre, South Africa); Elizabeth (St. Francis Healthcare Services, Uganda); Vivian (Reach Out Mbuya, Uganda)
Photo Credit: Alexis MacDonald/SLF

In May, the SLF hosted a roundtable bringing together youth leaders and project staff from four community-based organizations that are implementing innovative youth-for-youth programming in Uganda and South Africa. These young women who joined us in Toronto were participants in the youth programmes, and in some cases involved in their creation. Now they are leaders in these organizations, working with their peers to provide psychosocial support and peer-to-peer education and training within their communities. They are using film, drama, poetry and art to fight stigma and discrimination. They are coming together creating businesses and enterprises to generate income and create savings groups. These initiatives are youth-driven responses to challenges faced by young people living with and affected by HIV. 
 
We’re excited to share a little of what they had to say regarding their role as youth ambassadors in their communities. In the coming months you may read more about the work of the SLF’s community-based partners’ support of and work with children and youth in various SLF publications. Of course, this has a direct correlation with the grandmothers, since they are, overwhelmingly, the caregivers who are nurturing and raising these young people to be aware of HIV, how to stay on medication and eat nutritiously so that the medication works, and how to prevent infection. 
 
“At MU-JHU [in Uganda], we have a group that meets once a month. The youth in the group plan, design and implement all of our programmes; we train youth in the group to be leaders through internships. We’re engaged in community and school outreach to fight stigma. We raise funds to support youth who have had to drop out of school because they couldn’t pay the fees, return to school. Our group provides psychosocial support. It is fun. We say, accept your status, learn about your status, learn how you’re going to manage your status, take your medication and just live your life to the fullest.” — Josephine 

“Many young positive youth are leaders in their families. They are taking care of the younger children [in their households]. Through St. Francis [in Uganda], our youth club started recycling paper to make beads and collecting bottle caps to make earrings. We created a business as a way to address problems. With the earnings from that business, we created a savings group. These are funds that youth can access to help take care of the younger children.” — Elizabeth 

“We started hearing that children were missing their appointments at the clinic, so we asked them why. The children and youth didn’t want the adults to see them. They weren’t comfortable talking to older people. They wouldn’t come, and they wouldn’t talk. So, at Reach Out Mbuya [in Uganda], we started an adolescent clinic. Youth peer support workers meet the youth who come for their appointments, before they meet with the doctor. We talk to them about their status and give support. The peer-to-peer counselling has really helped. If you’re talking to someone your own age, it’s easier to disclose your problems. It’s like a chat. We’ve worked to get other youth involved, training them to be peer supporters as well.” — Vivian 

“At Blue Roof [in South Africa], we run a peer-to-peer [HIV] disclosure and support group for youth. We use art and poetry as a medium to share our stories and train youth to make documentaries, so they can share their own stories and experiences or do interviews with one another. Youth don’t always feel comfortable showing their faces or sharing their identities, so they film in ways that protect privacy while still sharing what they want to say.” — Chileshe 

To hear more from these leaders, check out the video of a town hall hosted by the SLF during their visit to Canada. You can watch the event on the SLF Facebook page

4. Geneva Forum for Health Awards - Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is One of the Four Winners

As we shared with you in the May Granny Bulletin, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign was one of four recipients of the Geneva Forum for Health Awards. The award shines an international spotlight on the Campaign with African grandmothers at the heart of the response to HIV&AIDS. Ilana Landsberg-Lewis accepted the award on behalf of the SLF's Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. Here is an excerpt of what she said.
 
"The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a social movement in Canada, with new groups in Australia, the UK and now the United States. They have raised over 25 million dollars – which our Foundation sends directly to our community-based partners in the 15 sub-Saharan African countries with the highest prevalence rate of HIV&AIDS. In Africa, due to a decade of this sustained support, the transformation in the lives of the grandmothers and the children in their care has been remarkable. The HIV positive children they are raising have thrived, they have accessed and adhered to treatment and better nutrition, they have stayed in school, and young women and men are living positively, raising their own young families, and have become community ambassadors in the fight against AIDS. But this is not all. The grandmothers, in their own right, have emerged as leaders in their communities, and as advocates for improved healthcare for grandmothers, mobilizing around elder violence, child abuse, an end to sexual exploitation of young girls and women, and insisting that health data be collected on women over 60 – particularly for HIV&AIDS. They are sitting on land rights councils, child protection councils, local AIDS councils, running for office, and now they are mobilizing around a host of human rights issues connected to older women and HIV&AIDS. 
 
Together with our community partners, we have hosted national level Grandmothers Gatherings, where hundreds of grandmothers have convened in each country – Swaziland, Uganda, South Africa and Tanzania – to share best practices, and hammer out an Agenda for Change to be used in lobbying with their governments. In every Gathering the grandmothers identify pressing issues, chief amongst them improved access to healthcare. They have insisted that HIV&AIDS is not a health crisis in the narrow sense, but in the broadest possible sense. As such, the end point of the global HIV&AIDS response can’t simply be zero new infections. The goal must be the restored health and well-being of the people who live in countries hit hardest by HIV&AIDS, and the promise of decent, healthy, and productive lives and futures they can work together to build.   
 
Our Foundation is tremendously grateful to be receiving this important award, because of the powerful recognition it confers on the work of the grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa and the global campaign that has supported them with respect and solidarity. It is our hope that this recognition will help to accelerate a radical shift in the appreciation and attention paid to the critical role that African grandmothers play in the response to the AIDS crisis, and that grandmothers globally contribute to the health and well-being of their families and communities. 
 
It is time, in fact it’s past time, for those of us committed to health and well-being-for-all to ensure that the herculean efforts and contributions of African grandmothers and their community-based organizations take their rightful place at the centre of all deliberations about HIV&AIDS policies, programmes and funding.”

5. Imagine Canada - SLF a leader in the Charitable Sector

On June 1st, Imagine Canada released a philanthropy supplement in the Globe and Mail, listing the Stephen Lewis Foundation among the 237 Canadian charities and nonprofits that have achieved Imagine Canada accreditation. The Imagine Canada Standards Trustmark is a symbol of excellence and leadership in the charitable sector. Accreditation is earned by charities and non-profits that have taken action through the Standards Program to bolster trust with the public by identifying and reducing organizational risk, improving board governance practises, being transparent and accountable with finances and fundraising, and fostering a strong workforce.

Earning accreditation is an important and rigorous process – an accomplishment that the SLF originally celebrated in 2015. Find out more about this accreditation and why it matters: www.imaginecanada.ca/guide-to-giving

6. Beds WithOut Breakfast

Do you have upcoming travel plans, or an itch to explore a new place? The Beds WithOut Breakfast programme is an initiative whereby hosts provide accommodation for 1-3 nights in return for a donation to the SLF. Despite the name, many hosts include a light breakfast and all include a warm welcome.

The BWOB listings are updated on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign website. While BWOB is a programme run for registered members of the grandmothers groups, some hosts also accept guests recommended by grandmothers group members. This unique way of visiting a new community, presents the opportunity to meet other members, while supporting the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

While most listings are based in Canada, there are also UK listings. For more information about the programme or to find out how to become a host, please contact Linda Taberner.

grandmotherscampaign.org

Like the Campaign on Facebook

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Please contact us if you wish to update your email address
Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E4, Canada
Tel: 416-533-9292 Toll-free:1-888-203-9990
Charitable registration # 89635 4008 RR0001
stephenlewisfoundation.org | info@stephenlewisfoundation.org


Granny Bulletin: May 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Geneva Forum for Health Award
  2. Powered by Love Book Club Resource
  3. Ilana's Podcast: Grandmothers on the Move! New Episodes and New Information
  4. Watch for the SLF's new Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter
  5. Hear about the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering
  6. African Food for Thought and Your Book Club

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
There are moments in the life of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, when we allow ourselves brief reflective pauses from the urgency of our collective work. We take stock of all of the marvelous work you do in your communities. These are moments when we celebrate your collective passion and leadership. These are moments in which we marvel at the tremendous energy, love and commitment you bring to the Grandmothers Campaign and these are moments in which we think, “this conversation, this event, this milestone has a tremendous impact. It makes the movement richer”. All of you are part of this, in the myriad ways that you contribute and give of your time and skills.  
 
We are in such a moment now, where the confluence between the amazing efforts in communities and the recognition of this work, its growth and energy and depth, is shining a spotlight on this movement of solidarity of which we are all a part. Last week at the Atlantic Book Awards ceremony, Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa won best book published in Atlantic Canada!
 
We have more exciting news to share with you, today! It’s an important, international recognition of all that you do – in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – to raise awareness and funds for, and in solidarity with, African grandmothers. Read on!  We hope you’ll be excited by this news as well!
 
In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign team


P.S. Thanks to the grandmothers who attended the Atlantic Books Awards in Halifax. It was great to have your enthusiasm and energy be part of this event.
(Photo credit: Alexis MacDonald/SLF)

1. Geneva Forum for Health Awards - Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is one of the four Winners!

The Geneva Forum for Health Awards are presented  out during the World Health Assembly, recognizing and honouring global health leaders “who have made fundamental improvements in delivering high-quality, sustainable, patient-centred healthcare. Particular emphasis is placed on proven, disruptive innovations that have the potential to become global best practice.”  This year, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a recipient of this award – an award that is often given to health ministries (another recipient this year is the Chilean Ministry of Health for innovative food labels), world leaders (including  Gro Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization), agency leaders, and large Foundations (last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation won for malaria programming)!
 
Ilana will be travelling to Geneva, Switzerland next week to accept the award on behalf of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and we’ll have more to share with you then.
 
Here’s what the Geneva Forum for Health says about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign:

“Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a unique fundraising initiative conducted in solidarity with African grandmothers raising 15M children orphaned by AIDS. It has attracted more than 10,000 volunteers forming 300 local chapters who raise money through everyday fundraising activities such as potlucks, art auctions and quilting bees; the movement has since spread international. The movement is grounded in building solidarity, respecting African grandmothers’ expertise and amplifying their voices to promote authentic and substantive response to the AIDS epidemic. 
 
African grandmothers supported by the initiative are vocally demanding access to education, healthcare, land, legal representation and freedom from violence. 
 
Collective vision defined by African grandmothers calls for a future in which grandchildren and communities are thriving, and have left behind the ravages of AIDS.”

2. Powered by Love Book Club Resource

There's a new Powered by Love resource for book clubs that we think will be of interest and use to grandmothers groups as well. The Book Club guide includes an overview of the writing of the book and a list of questions to help lead conversations and prompt reflections. Don’t have a book club? Create one! Or use questions from the guide to start conversations about Powered by Love at the beginning of your meetings!

The guide can be downloaded from the Powered by Love book website. There is also  a link to it from the Resource list on the Grandmothers Campaign website.

3. Ilana's Podcast: Grandmothers on the Move! New Episodes and New Information

The Grandmothers on the Move podcast was launched on May 6thand there are now two episodes available online. Grandmothers on the Move is the podcast that kicks old stereotypes to the curb, and introduces creative, activist, irreverent and powerful grandmothers making vital contributions to their families and communities around the world!

Episode 1: There Is Optimism In Survival -  Ilana’s interview with her indomitable mother, Michele Landsberg! 
 
Episode 2: Turning Pain into Power-for-Change One Chessboard at a Time – Ilana interviews Raydell Lacey (Ms Ray), grandmother and great-grandmother from Chicago, founder of the remarkable initiatives, Not Before my Parents and Chess Moves against Violence. 
 
It’s easy to listen! Just go to:   https://ilanalandsberglewis.com/podcast-episodes/
 
New Episodes Every Sunday – Stay tuned to this weekly podcast! Ilana will be introducing her audience to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in the 4th episode!  
 
The podcast can be shared on social media from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page.  You can always go to the Grandmothers on the Move Facebook page for up-to-date information. And if you like the podcast, and listen to it on iTunes, leave a review – it helps to spread the word (and check out Paola’s beautiful review on the Grandmothers on the Move Facebook page)! 
 
If any of you would like to be interviewed or know of someone you really think should be interviewed – from the Campaign or anywhere in the world – send a message to Ilana through the Grandmothers on the Move website.

4. Watch for the SLF's New Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter

This Spotlight on Grassroots is a special one – it outlines how we work, why we do what we do, what defines our approach, and what is emerging with such success as a result! It's SLF 101 for anyone you talk to, and great to share for discussion with new members! Spotlight on Grassroots will be available online soon. Download it from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s website

5. Hear about the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering

As many groups start to look ahead to Fall gatherings, we thought we’d remind you of the 11 grandmothers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, who represented the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign at the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering in Arusha in February. As delegates, they attended workshops and celebrations and spent time learning about the challenges and achievements of Tanzanian grandmothers and the dedicated community-based organizations that support them. Prior to the Gathering, they visited two of the SLF’s partner organizations in Uganda.

These grandmothers have returned home and have been reflecting and preparing presentations to share the insights they gained. Each delegate has committed to one year of presentations, including sharing stories, photos and amplifying the voices of the African grandmothers. We’re happy to connect you or your group to the delegates! Just email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 
Here is a list of the delegates:

  • Elizabeth Sebesta, Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, Victoria, BC
  • Mary Baker, CanGo Grannies, Kamloops, BC
  • Thelma Hanson, Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB
  • Pat McKee, Oomama, Oakville, ON
  • Gail Rappolt, Blooms for Africa, Hamilton, ON
  • Anne Alper, Capital Grannies, Ottawa, ON
  • Eke Van der Zee, G-Moms of Port Perry, Port Perry, ON
  • Linda Price, Cordia Grandmothers, Traverse City, MI, USA
  • Hilary Stephenson, Guildford & Godalming Grandmothers’ Group (4G’s), Guildford, United Kingdom
  • Marilynn Freitag, Gogo Mamas Perth, Perth, WA, Australia
  • Marg Collett, Grand-AIDS, Barrington, NSW, Australia

6. African Food for Thought and Your Book Club

African Food for ThoughtA Tribute to Grandmothers is a beautiful book of photos, African proverbs, stories and recipes that will also honour the amazing grandmothers of sub-Saharan Africa who are raising their HIV&AIDS- orphaned grandchildren. Why not choose African Food for Thought to feed the members of your Book Club? Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. To learn more about the book or to find out where to purchase, visit:

http://www.africanfoodforthought.com/

grandmotherscampaign.org

Like the Campaign on Facebook

You have been sent this email because you have provided your email address to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Occasionally you will receive email updates about the Foundation and our partner organizations in Africa.

Click here to unsubscribe carlilh43@gmail.com from this list

Please contact us if you wish to update your email address
Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E4, Canada
Tel: 416-533-9292 Toll-free:1-888-203-9990
Charitable registration # 89635 4008 RR0001
stephenlewisfoundation.org | info@stephenlewisfoundation.org


Granny Bulletin: May 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Geneva Forum for Health Award
  2. Powered by Love Book Club Resource
  3. Ilana's Podcast: Grandmothers on the Move! New Episodes and New Information
  4. Watch for the SLF's new Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter
  5. Hear about the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering
  6. African Food for Thought and Your Book Club

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
There are moments in the life of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, when we allow ourselves brief reflective pauses from the urgency of our collective work. We take stock of all of the marvelous work you do in your communities. These are moments when we celebrate your collective passion and leadership. These are moments in which we marvel at the tremendous energy, love and commitment you bring to the Grandmothers Campaign and these are moments in which we think, “this conversation, this event, this milestone has a tremendous impact. It makes the movement richer”. All of you are part of this, in the myriad ways that you contribute and give of your time and skills.  
 
We are in such a moment now, where the confluence between the amazing efforts in communities and the recognition of this work, its growth and energy and depth, is shining a spotlight on this movement of solidarity of which we are all a part. Last week at the Atlantic Book Awards ceremony, Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa won best book published in Atlantic Canada!
 
We have more exciting news to share with you, today! It’s an important, international recognition of all that you do – in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – to raise awareness and funds for, and in solidarity with, African grandmothers. Read on!  We hope you’ll be excited by this news as well!
 
In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign team


P.S. Thanks to the grandmothers who attended the Atlantic Books Awards in Halifax. It was great to have your enthusiasm and energy be part of this event.
(Photo credit: Alexis MacDonald/SLF)

1. Geneva Forum for Health Awards - Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is one of the four Winners!

The Geneva Forum for Health Awards are presented  out during the World Health Assembly, recognizing and honouring global health leaders “who have made fundamental improvements in delivering high-quality, sustainable, patient-centred healthcare. Particular emphasis is placed on proven, disruptive innovations that have the potential to become global best practice.”  This year, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a recipient of this award – an award that is often given to health ministries (another recipient this year is the Chilean Ministry of Health for innovative food labels), world leaders (including  Gro Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization), agency leaders, and large Foundations (last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation won for malaria programming)!
 
Ilana will be travelling to Geneva, Switzerland next week to accept the award on behalf of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and we’ll have more to share with you then.
 
Here’s what the Geneva Forum for Health says about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign:

“Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a unique fundraising initiative conducted in solidarity with African grandmothers raising 15M children orphaned by AIDS. It has attracted more than 10,000 volunteers forming 300 local chapters who raise money through everyday fundraising activities such as potlucks, art auctions and quilting bees; the movement has since spread international. The movement is grounded in building solidarity, respecting African grandmothers’ expertise and amplifying their voices to promote authentic and substantive response to the AIDS epidemic. 
 
African grandmothers supported by the initiative are vocally demanding access to education, healthcare, land, legal representation and freedom from violence. 
 
Collective vision defined by African grandmothers calls for a future in which grandchildren and communities are thriving, and have left behind the ravages of AIDS.”

2. Powered by Love Book Club Resource

There's a new Powered by Love resource for book clubs that we think will be of interest and use to grandmothers groups as well. The Book Club guide includes an overview of the writing of the book and a list of questions to help lead conversations and prompt reflections. Don’t have a book club? Create one! Or use questions from the guide to start conversations about Powered by Love at the beginning of your meetings!

The guide can be downloaded from the Powered by Love book website. There is also  a link to it from the Resource list on the Grandmothers Campaign website.

3. Ilana's Podcast: Grandmothers on the Move! New Episodes and New Information

The Grandmothers on the Move podcast was launched on May 6thand there are now two episodes available online. Grandmothers on the Move is the podcast that kicks old stereotypes to the curb, and introduces creative, activist, irreverent and powerful grandmothers making vital contributions to their families and communities around the world!

Episode 1: There Is Optimism In Survival -  Ilana’s interview with her indomitable mother, Michele Landsberg! 
 
Episode 2: Turning Pain into Power-for-Change One Chessboard at a Time – Ilana interviews Raydell Lacey (Ms Ray), grandmother and great-grandmother from Chicago, founder of the remarkable initiatives, Not Before my Parents and Chess Moves against Violence. 
 
It’s easy to listen! Just go to:   https://ilanalandsberglewis.com/podcast-episodes/
 
New Episodes Every Sunday – Stay tuned to this weekly podcast! Ilana will be introducing her audience to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in the 4th episode!  
 
The podcast can be shared on social media from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page.  You can always go to the Grandmothers on the Move Facebook page for up-to-date information. And if you like the podcast, and listen to it on iTunes, leave a review – it helps to spread the word (and check out Paola’s beautiful review on the Grandmothers on the Move Facebook page)! 
 
If any of you would like to be interviewed or know of someone you really think should be interviewed – from the Campaign or anywhere in the world – send a message to Ilana through the Grandmothers on the Move website.

4. Watch for the SLF's New Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter

This Spotlight on Grassroots is a special one – it outlines how we work, why we do what we do, what defines our approach, and what is emerging with such success as a result! It's SLF 101 for anyone you talk to, and great to share for discussion with new members! Spotlight on Grassroots will be available online soon. Download it from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s website

5. Hear about the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering

As many groups start to look ahead to Fall gatherings, we thought we’d remind you of the 11 grandmothers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, who represented the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign at the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering in Arusha in February. As delegates, they attended workshops and celebrations and spent time learning about the challenges and achievements of Tanzanian grandmothers and the dedicated community-based organizations that support them. Prior to the Gathering, they visited two of the SLF’s partner organizations in Uganda.

These grandmothers have returned home and have been reflecting and preparing presentations to share the insights they gained. Each delegate has committed to one year of presentations, including sharing stories, photos and amplifying the voices of the African grandmothers. We’re happy to connect you or your group to the delegates! Just email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 
Here is a list of the delegates:

  • Elizabeth Sebesta, Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, Victoria, BC
  • Mary Baker, CanGo Grannies, Kamloops, BC
  • Thelma Hanson, Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB
  • Pat McKee, Oomama, Oakville, ON
  • Gail Rappolt, Blooms for Africa, Hamilton, ON
  • Anne Alper, Capital Grannies, Ottawa, ON
  • Eke Van der Zee, G-Moms of Port Perry, Port Perry, ON
  • Linda Price, Cordia Grandmothers, Traverse City, MI, USA
  • Hilary Stephenson, Guildford & Godalming Grandmothers’ Group (4G’s), Guildford, United Kingdom
  • Marilynn Freitag, Gogo Mamas Perth, Perth, WA, Australia
  • Marg Collett, Grand-AIDS, Barrington, NSW, Australia

6. African Food for Thought and Your Book Club

African Food for ThoughtA Tribute to Grandmothers is a beautiful book of photos, African proverbs, stories and recipes that will also honour the amazing grandmothers of sub-Saharan Africa who are raising their HIV&AIDS- orphaned grandchildren. Why not choose African Food for Thought to feed the members of your Book Club? Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. To learn more about the book or to find out where to purchase, visit:

http://www.africanfoodforthought.com/

grandmotherscampaign.org

Like the Campaign on Facebook

You have been sent this email because you have provided your email address to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Occasionally you will receive email updates about the Foundation and our partner organizations in Africa.

Click here to unsubscribe carlilh43@gmail.com from this list

Please contact us if you wish to update your email address
Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E4, Canada
Tel: 416-533-9292 Toll-free:1-888-203-9990
Charitable registration # 89635 4008 RR0001
stephenlewisfoundation.org | info@stephenlewisfoundation.org

Granny Bulletin: May 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Geneva Forum for Health Award
  2. Powered by Love Book Club Resource
  3. Ilana's Podcast: Grandmothers on the Move! New Episodes and New Information
  4. Watch for the SLF's new Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter
  5. Hear about the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering
  6. African Food for Thought and Your Book Club

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
There are moments in the life of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, when we allow ourselves brief reflective pauses from the urgency of our collective work. We take stock of all of the marvelous work you do in your communities. These are moments when we celebrate your collective passion and leadership. These are moments in which we marvel at the tremendous energy, love and commitment you bring to the Grandmothers Campaign and these are moments in which we think, “this conversation, this event, this milestone has a tremendous impact. It makes the movement richer”. All of you are part of this, in the myriad ways that you contribute and give of your time and skills.  
 
We are in such a moment now, where the confluence between the amazing efforts in communities and the recognition of this work, its growth and energy and depth, is shining a spotlight on this movement of solidarity of which we are all a part. Last week at the Atlantic Book Awards ceremony, Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa won best book published in Atlantic Canada!
 
We have more exciting news to share with you, today! It’s an important, international recognition of all that you do – in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – to raise awareness and funds for, and in solidarity with, African grandmothers. Read on!  We hope you’ll be excited by this news as well!
 
In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign team


P.S. Thanks to the grandmothers who attended the Atlantic Books Awards in Halifax. It was great to have your enthusiasm and energy be part of this event.
(Photo credit: Alexis MacDonald/SLF)

1. Geneva Forum for Health Awards - Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is one of the four Winners!

The Geneva Forum for Health Awards are presented  out during the World Health Assembly, recognizing and honouring global health leaders “who have made fundamental improvements in delivering high-quality, sustainable, patient-centred healthcare. Particular emphasis is placed on proven, disruptive innovations that have the potential to become global best practice.”  This year, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a recipient of this award – an award that is often given to health ministries (another recipient this year is the Chilean Ministry of Health for innovative food labels), world leaders (including  Gro Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization), agency leaders, and large Foundations (last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation won for malaria programming)!
 
Ilana will be travelling to Geneva, Switzerland next week to accept the award on behalf of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and we’ll have more to share with you then.
 
Here’s what the Geneva Forum for Health says about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign:

“Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a unique fundraising initiative conducted in solidarity with African grandmothers raising 15M children orphaned by AIDS. It has attracted more than 10,000 volunteers forming 300 local chapters who raise money through everyday fundraising activities such as potlucks, art auctions and quilting bees; the movement has since spread international. The movement is grounded in building solidarity, respecting African grandmothers’ expertise and amplifying their voices to promote authentic and substantive response to the AIDS epidemic. 
 
African grandmothers supported by the initiative are vocally demanding access to education, healthcare, land, legal representation and freedom from violence. 
 
Collective vision defined by African grandmothers calls for a future in which grandchildren and communities are thriving, and have left behind the ravages of AIDS.”

2. Powered by Love Book Club Resource

There's a new Powered by Love resource for book clubs that we think will be of interest and use to grandmothers groups as well. The Book Club guide includes an overview of the writing of the book and a list of questions to help lead conversations and prompt reflections. Don’t have a book club? Create one! Or use questions from the guide to start conversations about Powered by Love at the beginning of your meetings!

The guide can be downloaded from the Powered by Love book website. There is also  a link to it from the Resource list on the Grandmothers Campaign website.

3. Ilana's Podcast: Grandmothers on the Move! New Episodes and New Information

The Grandmothers on the Move podcast was launched on May 6thand there are now two episodes available online. Grandmothers on the Move is the podcast that kicks old stereotypes to the curb, and introduces creative, activist, irreverent and powerful grandmothers making vital contributions to their families and communities around the world!

Episode 1: There Is Optimism In Survival -  Ilana’s interview with her indomitable mother, Michele Landsberg! 
 
Episode 2: Turning Pain into Power-for-Change One Chessboard at a Time – Ilana interviews Raydell Lacey (Ms Ray), grandmother and great-grandmother from Chicago, founder of the remarkable initiatives, Not Before my Parents and Chess Moves against Violence. 
 
It’s easy to listen! Just go to:   https://ilanalandsberglewis.com/podcast-episodes/
 
New Episodes Every Sunday – Stay tuned to this weekly podcast! Ilana will be introducing her audience to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in the 4th episode!  
 
The podcast can be shared on social media from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page.  You can always go to the Grandmothers on the Move Facebook page for up-to-date information. And if you like the podcast, and listen to it on iTunes, leave a review – it helps to spread the word (and check out Paola’s beautiful review on the Grandmothers on the Move Facebook page)! 
 
If any of you would like to be interviewed or know of someone you really think should be interviewed – from the Campaign or anywhere in the world – send a message to Ilana through the Grandmothers on the Move website.

4. Watch for the SLF's New Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter

This Spotlight on Grassroots is a special one – it outlines how we work, why we do what we do, what defines our approach, and what is emerging with such success as a result! It's SLF 101 for anyone you talk to, and great to share for discussion with new members! Spotlight on Grassroots will be available online soon. Download it from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s website

5. Hear about the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering

As many groups start to look ahead to Fall gatherings, we thought we’d remind you of the 11 grandmothers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, who represented the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign at the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering in Arusha in February. As delegates, they attended workshops and celebrations and spent time learning about the challenges and achievements of Tanzanian grandmothers and the dedicated community-based organizations that support them. Prior to the Gathering, they visited two of the SLF’s partner organizations in Uganda.

These grandmothers have returned home and have been reflecting and preparing presentations to share the insights they gained. Each delegate has committed to one year of presentations, including sharing stories, photos and amplifying the voices of the African grandmothers. We’re happy to connect you or your group to the delegates! Just email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 
Here is a list of the delegates:

  • Elizabeth Sebesta, Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, Victoria, BC
  • Mary Baker, CanGo Grannies, Kamloops, BC
  • Thelma Hanson, Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB
  • Pat McKee, Oomama, Oakville, ON
  • Gail Rappolt, Blooms for Africa, Hamilton, ON
  • Anne Alper, Capital Grannies, Ottawa, ON
  • Eke Van der Zee, G-Moms of Port Perry, Port Perry, ON
  • Linda Price, Cordia Grandmothers, Traverse City, MI, USA
  • Hilary Stephenson, Guildford & Godalming Grandmothers’ Group (4G’s), Guildford, United Kingdom
  • Marilynn Freitag, Gogo Mamas Perth, Perth, WA, Australia
  • Marg Collett, Grand-AIDS, Barrington, NSW, Australia

6. African Food for Thought and Your Book Club

African Food for ThoughtA Tribute to Grandmothers is a beautiful book of photos, African proverbs, stories and recipes that will also honour the amazing grandmothers of sub-Saharan Africa who are raising their HIV&AIDS- orphaned grandchildren. Why not choose African Food for Thought to feed the members of your Book Club? Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. To learn more about the book or to find out where to purchase, visit:

http://www.africanfoodforthought.com/

grandmotherscampaign.org

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Granny Bulletin: February 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. The Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering
  2. Thank You: Aeroplan Mile Matching
  3. "African Food for Thought" Cookbook: Available Now
  4. Beds Without Breakfast: Your Home Away from Home
  5. Dust Off those Walking Shoes
  6. Online Fundraising Pages are Ready

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

We hope that you have had the opportunity to read Powered by Love: A Grandmothers’ Movement to End AIDS in Africa. If you have, you’ve almost surely noticed Siphalele Khumalo’s story on page 168. At 68 years old, Gogo Siphalele is the oldest carpentry graduate in Swaziland, overcoming initial skepticism to earn the support and trust of her family and community. In October she came to Canada to share her remarkable story with Canadian grandmothers. At the book launch in Montreal, Sipahele spoke about why she decided to become a carpenter. What follows are her words, as translated by Swaziland Positive Living Project Coordinator Cebile Dlamini:

“I just want to share specifically why I chose to enroll in Carpentry. There were three reasons why: one was because HIV was destroying our own children. We had no money to buy coffins. Every weekend we were burying our own children. So there was that great need (for carpenters and for coffins). Secondly, is because my son was a carpenter, so I chose to become a carpenter because I did not want the skill to leave the family. Third, because I was now the one responsible for bringing food to the table. Shortly after burying my son, the following week my daughter-in-law passed on and I was left with the twins. And my responsibility was to take care of them. Mind you, they were HIV positive and I didn’t know what to do. And I was old.

"I did not want to disclose what was happening in my home at the time … I did not want to share how my son had died … I didn’t know that my neighbors were also affected.…”

After the death of her son and daughter-in-law, Siphalele was left to grapple with her grief and her new responsibilities as the primary caregiver of her grandchildren. Fearing the stigma of revealing that her son had been HIV positive, Siphalele kept the cause of the recent deaths in her family quiet. That is, until she got involved with a community-based organization in Swaziland:

“Only when I heard about Swaziland Positive Living was I able to share. The organization was busy conducting community mobilization in my community and it was targeting young women, older women and teenagers. I approached the executive director of Swaziland Positive Living and I told her what was happening and my desire to become a carpenter. Together we were able to mobilize 10 women to enroll for a carpentry course. In the end, we all graduated and we provide for our grandchildren. There is nothing we can’t do.”

Siphalele’s story is her own, but she stands with thousands of African grandmothers who are caring for their grandchildren and transforming their communities, proclaiming-- there is nothing we can’t do!

In solidarity,
Jonea, Megan, Olivia, Graham, and Healy

1. The Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering

Next week 200 Tanzanian grandmothers will gather in Arusha to make Herstory at the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering. Between Feb. 26 and March 1, they will build solidarity and share their stories, strategies, expertise, and vision for a future for themselves and for the children in their care. In 20 workshops and plenaries, they will discuss the challenges and successes they have had in dealing with the impact of the AIDS pandemic on their families and communities: dealing with stigma, parenting orphaned children, raising HIV-positive grandchildren, ensuring food security, developing income-generating activities, advocating for inheritance rights, and demanding access to health care.

In preparation for this momentous event, we invite you to join us in recalling the four international and national Grandmothers Gatherings that preceded the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering and their agenda for change that lay the foundation for this Gathering. Click on each of the photos below (or on the links in the photo captions) to read the Statement from each Gathering.

Top Left: The First Grandmothers Gathering, Toronto, Canada 2006 (photo: Eric O'Donnell)
Top Right: African Grandmothers Gathering, Manzini, Swaziland 2010 (photo: Kristina Laukkanen)
Bottom Left: Uganda Grandmothers Gathering, Entebbe 2015 (photo: Edward Echwalu)

Bottom Right: South Africa Grandmothers Gathering, Durban 2016 (photo: Alexis MacDonald/SLF)

As we turn our attention to Arusha, we urge you to follow the Grandmothers Campaign and the Stephen Lewis Foundation on Facebook where you will have access to photos, updates, and videos from the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering.

2. Thank You: Aeroplan Mile Matching

In our last Granny Bulletin we told you about the SLF’s Aeroplan Mile Matching week and asked you to help us get the word out to your Miles-collecting friends, colleagues and family members… and you did, with great abundance! 

We are pleased to share that, thanks to your support and your efforts, we have met and exceeded our 500,000 Miles-matched target goal!  Thank you!

These donated Miles enable us to amplify the voices of African grandmothers and community leaders by facilitating meetings in Canada and in the 15 countries in which we partner. Aeroplan Miles also help us bring together thought leaders and community workers to share their strategies and experiences with psychosocial counseling, orphan care and home-based health care.  And of course, your donated Miles also enable us to keep our administrative costs low.  Thank you so much for making this possible! We couldn’t do it without you!

While the official Stephen Lewis Foundation Aeroplan Mile Matching Week is over, Aeroplan Miles can be donated every day throughout the year! To learn more about this program or to donate Aeroplan Miles please visit the SLF website.

3. "African Food for Thought" Cookbook: Available Now

In the Fall, we told you that a new cookbook made by a small, committed group of Grandmothers Campaign members would be available soon. We are pleased to inform you that the African Food for Thought cookbook is now available for purchase!

About this Cookbook:
The dream of creating a very special book as a tribute to grandmothers was born after the 2006 Grandmothers to Grandmothers Gathering organized by the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

A volunteer committee of grandmothers and grandothers spanning the breadth of Canada was formed. This group met face-to-face as a complete group only once, but the ideas they shared and the work they created together formed a foundation for the final cookbook.

You can now look inside the pages of this labour of love, learn even more about the 10 year long, cross-national collaboration that created it, and buy your own copy and copies for special others in your life, at www.africanfoodforthought.com. The book sells for $39.50 CAD at www.chapters.ca and $27.99 USD at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. Royalties go to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign

Click the image below for a video preview of the cookbook!

4. Beds Without Breakfast: Your Home Away from Home

Is “travelling more” one of your new year’s resolutions? Maybe you are planning a trip to London, UK to see Big Ben. Or perhaps you plan to watch the pirouette of the Northern Lights in Yukon, as you sip a hot chocolate and stay warm under a blanket. Whatever your travel plans might be, remember, as a member of a registered grandmothers group you have access to the Beds Without Breakfast programme.

Beds Without Breakfast, or BWOB, is a great way to meet fellow group members while saving money and raising money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

For a complete list of all BWOB listings and to learn more about the programme, please visit the Beds Without Breakfast section of our website.  And spread the word to your family and friends, as some hosts accept guests recommended by grandmothers group members.

5. Dust Off those Walking Shoes!

Every June, grandmothers and grandothers from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign walk in solidarity with the grandmothers of Africa. What started with one grandmothers group in Canmore, Alberta has blossomed into a national event, with thousands of participants and supporters across Canada.  

While the main Stride weekend is the second weekend of June, virtual Stride walks in Oakville, Mississauga and Victoria are already underway! If your group is interested in participating in Stride (whether in a traditional walk or a virtual walk), you can get started today! To learn more about Stride to Turn the Tide, visit our website. And to set up an online fundraising page for your walk, visit www.stridetoturnthetide.ca or email us at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

6. Online Fundraising Pages are Ready! 

Many grandmothers group members know that we have online fundraising pages that can be used to raise funds for Stride walks. But did you know that our online fundraising platform can also be used to host a variety of other fundraising events? A few examples of events you can use online fundraising pages for include Good Words for Africa (Scrabble) events, cycle tours, Dare to Dine events, marathons, and a general donation page for your group!  

Fundraising pages are a great way to spread the word about your events and gather financial support for African grandmothers as they re-build and transform their communities.

Creating an Online Fundraising Page is easy! To learn more visit our website where you will find a step-by-step guide. And if you're ready to set up a fundraising page for your non-Stride fundraising event visit: www.grandmothercampaignpledges.ca.
Let us know if you have any questions!      



Granny Bulletin: January 2018

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Save the Date – Aeroplan Mile Matching
  2. Tanzania National Grandmothers Gathering Delegation
  3. Seeking Grandmothers Regional Liaisons
  4. Fundraiser Catalogue Available Now

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Happy 2018!  Let us start by wishing you all health, happiness and love for the New Year. All of us at the Stephen Lewis Foundation are looking forward to another busy and exciting year that includes the National Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering in February.

In honour of that Gathering, we wanted to share an update from one of our partners in Tanzania.  Last November, the Stephen Lewis Foundation staff had the pleasure of meeting with Ndinini Kimesera Sika, one of the three Maasai women who founded the Maasai Women Development Organization (MWEDO). MWEDO empowers Maasai women through access to education, women’s economic empowerment, and maternal health and HIV & AIDS education. Ndinini talked to us about MWEDO’s community health program which reaches 10,000 households every year. Before the health clinic opened in 2010, it was very difficult for people from pastoralist communities to access any sort of health care. It would take three days of travelling to get to the only hospital in the district. Once at the hospital, people from the Maasai community often faced discrimination because of cultural and language differences. MWEDO has built a community health centre which provides a variety of health services ranging from HIV & AIDS treatment and prevention to prenatal care. MWEDO has worked closely with Maasai traditional birth attendants and incorporated traditional methods in their care of the Maasai community.

Ndinini spoke excitedly about the ultrasound machine in their health centre, which, in addition to allowing the health centre staff to better assess patients and make necessary referrals, has surprisingly become an important tool in helping to engage young Maasai men with prenatal healthcare. When mothers-to-be visit the clinic for a prenatal checkup, their husbands are able to engage more with the pregnancy by having a glimpse at their baby through this new technology. 

The insights that Ndinini shared about MWEDO’s work are important reminders for us of why community-based organizations, engaged in holistic programming in their communities, are the backbone of the response to HIV & AIDS in Africa. They are both delivering services to address specific urgent challenges, such as inadequate healthcare and lack of access to education, and also contributing to a larger integrated vision of what it takes to restore the whole person.

In solidarity,
Olivia, Jonea, Megan, Graham, and Healy

1. Save the Date: Aeroplan Mile Matching

Each year, the Stephen Lewis Foundation partners with Aeroplan to select one week where donated Miles will be matched on a one-for-one basis up to 500,000 Aeroplan Miles. It’s a great way to double the impact of your donation! 

This year, February 5-11 is Aeroplan Mile Matching Week

As you may know, we use donated Miles in every realm of our work: to amplify the voices of African grandmothers and other leaders by bringing them to Canada; to facilitate meetings in Africa; to facilitate visits to our partner organizations by field representatives conducting monitoring and evaluation work; and of course, to keep our administrative costs low.

We know that many Campaign members have friends, colleagues, and family who collect Aeroplan Miles, so we wanted to give you advance notice about the upcoming Matching Week. We will send a Special Granny Bulletin early in the week of February 5 with the details of how to donate that you can pass along to anyone who collects Aeroplan Miles.


PHOTO: Beatrice and her grandmother Philister with Joanne, Programme Director of Pendeza Africa (Kenya), reached communities across Canada to share their expertise, using donated Aeroplan Miles. (Alexis MacDonald/SLF)

2. Grandmothers Campaign Delegation to Tanzania

Next month, 11 grandmothers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, will represent the Grandmothers Campaign at the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering in Arusha. As delegates they’ll attend workshops and celebrations and spend time learning about the challenges and achievements of Tanzanian grandmothers and the dedicated community-based organizations that support them. Before the Gathering, they’ll make a stop in Kampala, Uganda to visit two of the SLF’s partner organizations and hear directly from the grandmothers there.

When they return, they’ll have so much to share, including stories, photos and new insights into the lives and experiences of Tanzanian and Ugandan grandmothers! Each delegate has committed to one year of sharing what she learned with grandmothers groups, faith communities, schools, media and community organizations. We’re happy to connect you or your group with a returning delegate! Just email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

Here are the delegates:

  • Elizabeth Sebesta, Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, Victoria, BC
  • Mary Baker, CanGo Grannies, Kamloops, BC
  • Thelma Hanson, Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB
  • Pat McKee, Oomama, Oakville, ON
  • Gail Rappolt, Blooms for Africa, Hamilton, ON
  • Anne Alper, Capital Grannies, Ottawa, ON
  • Eke Van der Zee, G-Moms of Port Perry, Port Perry, ON
  • Linda Price, Cordia Grandmothers, Traverse City, MI, USA
  • Hilary Stephenson, Guildford & Godalming Grandmothers' Group (4G's), Guildford, United Kingdom
  • Marilynn Freitag, Gogo Mamas Perth, Perth, WA, Australia
  • Marg Collett, Grand-AIDS, Barrington, NSW, Australia

In the February Granny Bulletin, we will share more information about the plans for the Tanzania National Grandmothers Gathering!

3. Seeking Grandmothers Regional Liaisons (GRLs)

Grandmother Regional Liaisons (GRLs) are members of the Grandmothers Campaign who come from all across Canada. They work with the Stephen Lewis Foundation to facilitate connections among grandmothers groups in their regions and to strengthen the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. GRLs have a special relationship to the SLF and work alongside Grandmothers Campaign staff to support and encourage new and existing grandmothers groups. They also participate in Campaign-wide initiatives at the local, regional and national level.

We are currently recruiting volunteers for the following regions of Canada to fill current or upcoming vacancies:

  • BC Islands (North) (will be a co-GRL with an existing GRL for the Southern BC Islands)
  • Southern and Western Ontario (can be filled by one GRL or by co-GRLs)
  • Southern Alberta
  • Atlantic Provinces (will be a co-GRL with an existing GRL)
  • Québec

GRLs take on a part-time, voluntary position for a term of two years. The time commitment varies – most GRLs spend about 5 to 8 hours a week in their roles.  And yes, GRLs still take vacations and time away from the Campaign! A monthly teleconference call with the other GRLs and Campaign staff provides an opportunity to share ideas, ask questions, and support the growth of the Campaign.

We have a GRL Roles and Responsibilities document with more information about the role as well as an application form. Both are available in the Members Only Resources section of our website. You're also welcome to email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org for more information and/or to receive the application package. We look forward to hearing from you!

4. Fundraiser Catalogue Available Now

Is your group looking for some new fundraising ideas? The Fundraiser Catalogue is here with dozens of tried and true events from grandmothers groups across Canada and Australia! We hope that your group will enjoy reading about a variety of successful fundraisers for groups small and large, rural and urban.

You can access the Fundraiser Catalogue in the Members Only Resourcessection of our website or by emailing campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org with your group’s name.
 
Please continue to send us your group’s favourite events, so that we can add them to the catalogue. You can access the submission form here. Also, we're excited to let you know that based on feedback from grandmothers groups, we are going to create an Outreach Catalogue that focuses on awareness-raising events and strategies for recruiting and supporting new members. We'd love to feature your group's ideas! You can access the submission form for that, here.



Special Granny Bulletin: December 2017

Reminder: All funds from Canadian Grandmothers Groups must be postmarked by December 31 to be eligible for 2017 tax receipts.

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Recently we sent the following letter from Stephen Lewis to all of our supporters and donors who are not part of the Grandmothers Campaign. Stephen’s letter asks our supporters for a donation and because of that, we wanted to preface his letter with a note to you. We know how much you already do – organizing countless events, creating beautiful crafts, speaking to schools and community groups, holding book launches, and taking such excellent care of African grandmothers when we’re able to host them. We’re certainly not asking you to do more today! But, since no one makes such bold and brilliant sense of things as Stephen does, we knew you’d want to read it. Enjoy!

In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign Team

Letter from Stephen Lewis

Dear Friends,

Bill Gates publishes an annual newsletter.  As the planet’s second richest man (exceeded only by Jeff Bezos of Amazon), he never asks for money for his Foundation. There’s never a “DONATE NOW” button.  It’s a luxury we’d love to have.
 
The Stephen Lewis Foundation is (slightly!) smaller than the Gates Foundation. Our “DONATE NOW” button flashes exuberantly and continuously. Still, I don’t write an annual letter. I do write an annual Holiday/New Year’s postcard, except for this year. This year, I break with tradition. This year, I’m sending this direct financial appeal.
 
But instead of the wail of penury and abject pleading for funds, I’m entirely upbeat. You might ask why. After all, traditional financing, from friendly governments, is in free-fall. Largely because of the pallor of doom cast by Trump, everyone is cutting back: Norway, Demark, Sweden, Holland, Luxembourg, the UK, all the usual suspects, previously generous, have donned the mantle of Scrooge.
 
It can be painful and devastating, especially to grassroots, community-based groups like those we fund.
 
But my spirits cannot be dashed. It’s not that I’m some insouciant, rose-coloured romanticist. It’s just that our Foundation is so vibrant, accomplishing so much, playing such an increasing role in the world, that it’s impossible to contain optimism.
 
Take the new book on the Grandmother’s Movement to End AIDS in Africa: Powered by Love. It’s a phenomenal success and not just on the best-seller lists. Every book launch across the country has been a jamboree of exultation. African grandmothers make electrifying speeches, and Canadian grandmothers reply in kind. Book-signings galore. Hordes of people, previously suffering fund-raising fatigue, now re-energized and gung-ho. The sense of solidarity, of success, of beating back the virus is palpable. It’s wondrous to watch.
 
But that’s just the half of it. As you’re probably aware, the Foundation, over the last two years, has been carefully, scrupulously, methodically gathering information from the projects to chronicle their work. It’s a staggering undertaking. It has already yielded thousands of pages of information.
 
This isn’t the usual stuff about numbers of orphans and numbers of meals and numbers of school fees, however crucial and important those dimensions of life may be. No, we’re gathering information that goes to the heart of the QUALITY of life … how life has changed as the necessities have been met and the virus is in retreat.
 
We’re documenting the emergence of resilience, human rights, political engagement, family solidarity, community activities, job opportunities … everything that speaks to a throbbing, vital society. I detest the word transformation, but that’s what’s happening: life is being transformed.
 
We even have one of those memorable, scientific phrases to describe what we’re doing. It’s called the “Impact Assessment Framework”. Absorb it, memorize it, cherish it: the IAF is about to enter the international lexicon of unique and incomparable acronyms.
 
Lest you think I jest, let me point out that our IAF is now being discussed at major meetings of the Funders Concerned About AIDS, at the executive board of UNAIDS, at the board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and scheduled to be discussed at next year’s international conference on HIV and AIDS in Amsterdam. What the Foundation is doing has, surprisingly enough, never been done before. It’s an astonishing breakthrough in the realm of AIDS research.
 
And it is already having an appreciable impact. For the first time, there’s irrefutable evidence, from the grassroots, to show that community-based groups provide the best and strongest response to the pandemic. I’m actually quite puffed-up about the accolades and plaudits that are being heaped upon us.
 
So you see, instead of a begging bowl, I come to you with a silver chalice. Making another contribution (or a first-time contribution) to the Stephen Lewis Foundation isn’t responding to those who languish in poverty, disease and despair. Quite the opposite! It’s a contribution to those who are triumphing over poverty, disease and despair, and we ask only that the triumph endure.
 
So you see that flashing “DONATE NOW” button (real or metaphorical)? Press it. Humour it. Help us bring it to a fluorescent finale!   
 
Yours sincerely,
Stephen Lewis
Co-Founder and Board Chair


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Granny Bulletin: November 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Grassroots Newsletter -- Investing in Girls 
  2. Holiday Tribute Cards
  3. Helping to Promote Powered by Love
  4. A Treat for Your Taste Buds

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

African grandmothers and their community-based organizations are finally beginning to get the recognition they deserve, as the drivers of the response to HIV&AIDS in Africa at the grassroots. You will be as thrilled as we are that our book, Powered by Love: A Grandmothers’ Movement to End AIDS in Africa was profiled alongside one of our long-time partners, Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, in the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report this year! The Report describes the grandmothers as the “cornerstone of the community,” something all of us in the Grandmothers Campaign have long understood and shouted from the rooftops!  You can read about Nyaka and see Powered by Loveprofiled on page 43 of the Report.

Speaking of Powered by Love, we are eager to let you know that last week it topped the CBC's bestseller list for Canadian non-fiction! Incredible! This was thanks, in very large part, to the extraordinary book launches organized by grandmothers groups across Canada.

What may have seemed like an impossible feat to many (42 book launches across Canada in a month!) was made possible by you - your hard work, your commitment and your dedication to this movement.

As we arrived in your communities at all times of the day and night, you welcomed us with open arms and warm embraces. We estimate that more than 3,000 grandmothers, grandothers, and members of the public attended book launches and that 2,000 books were sold during the book tour alone!

There were moments of joy and laughter and there were moments of heartache and remembrance. And through it all, there was love and a celebration of African grandmothers' resilience.

For those of you who were not able to host book launches (as well as those of you who were), this Granny Bulletin includes a number of ideas about how you can help Powered by Love reach even broader audiences.

With gratitude and love,
Jonea, Megan, Olivia, Healy, and Graham

2. Grassroots Newsletter -- Investing in Girls 

The Fall Grassroots newsletter is here!

The feature article in this Fall’s Grassroots is about girls' vulnerability to sexual violence and sexual coercion and the educational and therapeutic programmes that community-based organizations employ to turn the tide of HIV & AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“It can happen anywhere—in schools, in families, in workplaces, in fields, on dark morning walks to school, and when impoverished young girls engage in survival sex (sex for food, sex for school fees, etc.). Understanding this reality is central to understanding why 7,500 girls between 15 and 25 years old are infected with HIV every week, and why girls are up to five times more likely to be infected by HIV than their male counterparts....

“An essential component of these programmes is a concerted effort to bolster the knowledge, resolve, strength, economic security and resilience of girls to advocate for their own sexual rights and autonomy.”

You can read the full Grassroots newsletter online.

If you would like to order copies of the Fall 2017 Grassroots for your group members and/or for use at your events, please contact your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

2. Holiday Tribute Cards

Our beautiful holiday cards are here and are available to all grandmothers groups that would like to have them on hand at upcoming fundraising events.

A Holiday Tribute card can be given to anyone who makes a donation of $10 or more in honour of a friend, family member or colleague this holiday season. The donor can, in turn, give the holiday card to the person they are honouring to convey that a generous gift has been given to the SLF in their name. The message inside the card reads: “I wanted to give you a gift that is truly meaningful by making a donation in your honour to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Happy Holidays!”

As always, donations of $20 or more are eligible for a Canadian tax receipt. If you’d like to order holiday cards for your group to have on hand at upcoming fundraisers, please email your Grandmothers Campaign Officer, or campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

(Please Note: If you would like to make a personal Holiday Tribute donation and have a card sent to the person you wish to honour, please visit the Stephen Lewis Foundation website.)

3. Helping to Promote Powered by Love

As the excitement surrounding Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa has grown through book launches, best seller lists, and media coverage, many grandmothers groups have asked us how they can help to promote the book as we move into the winter holiday season and the new year. Over the next week or two, we will reach out to each grandmothers group with some more creative ideas for book promotion, but for now we wanted to share our "top 3" list. 

1.) Write a Review

Numerous positive reviews on booksellers' websites play a significant role in increasing book sales and the book's prominence on those sites. If you were moved by Powered by Love, please take a moment to post a review on Amazon.caIndigo.ca & Amazon.com! The reviews don't have to be long (although long is welcome); they just have to be heartfelt! 

2.) Get Social Media Social

Do you have a Facebook or Twitter account? Share the front cover image of the book, the book flyer or a link to purchase the book on Facebook or Twitter. Do you plan to host a book-selling event? Post about the event on Facebook or Twitter! If you’re planning to tweetplease use the hash tag #poweredbylove so that others can follow all of the "Powered by Love" events. And remember to visit the Powered by Love book website and share the link! www.grandmotherspoweredbylove.com

3) Sell the book at upcoming events or hold your own book launch

Powered by Love

is filled with stories of older women breaking down walls and forging communities and of international sisterhoods built on equality, solidarity and mutual respect. It is a powerful tool for building the movement, dismantling stereotypes, and increasing support for African grandmothers and community-based organizations. And with its stunning photographs and deeply moving stories, it is a perfect holiday gift.

Grandmothers groups can buy the book in bulk from the publisher at 40% off cover price to sell at your fundraising and awareness-raising events and your marketplaces.

You can also buy the books directly from the publisher or work with a local book store to hold a book launch in your community (either as a part of an existing event or as a standalone event). We have a number of materials that you can use at your book launches.

To learn more about how to order books from the publisher or how to hold a book launch, please contact your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

Book Materials and Resources Available to Grandmothers Groups

We have a several resources available to grandmothers groups to help you in your efforts to promote the book.

Videos about the Book 
We have recently completed a 10 minute video about the book that includes clips from interviews with African grandmothers, Joanna Henry, and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis. This video is a great resource for book launches and for incorporating the book into your other events. A member of your group can speak to the importance of grandmothers groups working in solidarity with African grandmothers to really round out the presentation.

You can complement the 10 minute book video with a 6 minute video of Michele Landsberg and Stephen Lewis talking about the book and a 4 minute video of the new song "Powered by Love" and a slideshow featuring book photos.

Book Flyer and Cover Image
We have a a book flyer that shares the front cover image and a brief overview of the book that could be handed out at your upcoming fundraising events to let your supporters know about the book. Click here to download the flyer.  

We also have a high resolution image of the front cover of the book that can be used on social media or in in designing your own materials. Click here to download the image of the book cover. 

"Join the Grandmothers Campaign" Bookmarks
We now have a bookmark! Click here to see what the bookmark looks like. The bookmark can be used at book launches or as an outreach tool, encouraging people to join the movement.  Contact your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org to let us know how many your group would like and we’ll gladly mail them to you. 

4. A Treat for Your Taste Buds

We are happy to share the news of the soon-to-be-released cookbook, African Food for Thought: A Tribute to Grandmothers. This book is the culmination of a decade of hard work and collaboration between a small group of women who attended the inaugural grandmothers gathering in Toronto in 2006.

The cookbook will retail for $35.00 with all royalties going to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In the words of the authors: “This book would not be what it is without you – grandmothers and grand-others across Canada and Africa! You understood immediately that although a cookbook may seem an unlikely way to [bring grandmothers across continents together], food plays as central a role in the lives of families in Africa as in Canada. Furthermore, in every culture grandmothers and their grandchildren share a unique bond often nurtured by the warmth and comfort of food. Favourite recipes carry traditions and memories of cultural heritage, families, and intimate personal moments.”

If you’d like to purchase this book (for yourself, your group or a loved one) it will be available online at Chapters/Indigo in early December. In the meantime, you can read a more detailed description of the book from its authors here and visit the cookbook website to learn more.



Special Granny Bulletin: October 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

This Special Granny Bulletin is all about the book -- Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa.

The book launch tour across Canada is going fabulously! The momentum around the book is building as more and more folks have an opportunity to read it.

Below you will see a number of different opportunities to contribute to the groundswell of support for this book that tells so powerfully the story of the grandmothers' movement.

We hope you've had a chance to read the book (or you will as soon as the book launch comes to your city!) and we'd love to hear what you think.

In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign Team

Tune into The Current Monday at 9 am!

CBC's radio show The Current will feature a piece about Powered by Love that includes an interview with Eunice Mangwane from Keiskamma Trust in South Africa, Mariam Mulinda from PEFO in Uganda, and Jo-Anne Page from Toronto Grandmother's Embrace in Canada.

It will air at 9 am (in all time zones across Canada) on Monday, Oct. 23.

A Song for the Grandmothers from the Grandchildren

We've created a special video that features a new song and photos from the book! The lyrics and melody were written by Stephen Lewis’s grandson and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis’s son, Zev, and performed by the band “Flying Without Tickets.” Grandmothers are playing at it the book launches, but we wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see it!

You can watch the video below (make sure your volume is on!):  

If you'd like a copy of the video or the song that you can play at your events, email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

Help Spread the Word with Book Reviews!

For those of you who have already heard from the African grandmothers at book launches across the country, you will have heard how much this book means to them, how much this book represents their voices, and how their grandchildren will understand their struggle because this book documents it.

Now we need your help to keep the book relevant in people’s lives, to keep the book current, to get the book out to more people. You can do this by writing reviews of the book on amazon.caamazon.com, and indigo.ca. It's so important and we'd be so appreciative.

Join Us for One of the 28 Remaining Book Launches!

In the upcoming weeks, there will be book launches in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia! 

You don't want to miss this opportunity to hear directly from African grandmothers about why this book is so meaningful to them and their advocacy efforts. (It's worth the roadtrip!)

You can find a list of the upcoming book launches on the book website.

Build the Book into Your Holiday Market Plans

Powered by Love will make a fabulous holiday gift!

Canandian grandmothers groups can buy the book from the publisher in bulk at 40% off the cover price (plus tax and shipping) to sell at your holiday markets, fundraisers, etc. You will also have a 30 day payement period.

The difference between the $35 that you'll sell the book for and the price you pay the publisher (generally approximately $25-26 per book after tax and shipping) will be additional money you've raised to support African gandmothers and the children in their care!

To place your order, contact Amanda at Goose Lane (1-888-926-8377 or orders@gooselane.com). If you have any questions, please contact us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.


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Granny Bulletin: September 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Application Deadline Extended for Tanzanian Gathering Delegation
  2. Stephen Lewis and Michele Landsberg talk about Powered by Love
  3. Book Launches Across Canada!
  4. Fundraising Corner: Cocktails n' Canvas
  5. Holiday Tribute Cards: Coming Sooner than you Think

Application Deadline Extended!
In response to feedback from grandmothers groups members who would like to apply, we have extended the deadline for applying to be a part of the Grandmothers Campaign Delegation to the Tanzanian Grandmothers Gathering. It is now Oct. 13.
See section 1 in this Bulletin for more information

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

It will not surprise you to know that our hearts and minds are full of the brand new grandmothers book -- Powered by Love: A Grandmothers Movement to End AIDS in Africa. It will soon be available in bookstores across Canada and online around the world, and you will be able to read and cherish your own copy. 

But in the meantime, we wanted to share one excerpt from the book with you. The following is from Mpaata, a grandmother involved with Phoebe Education Fund for AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (PEFO) in Uganda. 

I am 77 years old and I have just won the election and am beginning my role as Chairperson of the Older Persons Committee at the village level. This makes me very proud. It is very important for grandmothers to be involved in politics because we have very pressing issues but the government has left us behind.We are the people now to deliver the older person's issues on the table. I am concerned with health care, and another fellow granny who was just elected to a different committee, she is talking about social assistance and grants for older persons. We believe, if we had representatives at all levels, these issues could be catered for. We hope this is just the beginning.

To read this and other excerpts from the book, visit the Powered by Lovewebsite.

In solidarity,
Graham, Healy, Jonea, Megan, and Olivia

1. Application Deadline Extended for Tanzanian Gathering Delegation

Given how busy September has been for many groups, we have decided to extend the deadline for submitting applications to be a part of the Grandmothers Campaign delegation to the Tanzanian Grandmothers Gathering. The new deadline is Oct. 13.

African grandmothers gatherings are a tremendous, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend time with the African grandmothers at the centre of turning the tide of AIDS, to exchange stories, and to stand together in sisterhood, all while representing thousands of grandmothers in Canada, the UK, Australia and the US.

We will host additional information calls, as necessary, to accommodate those who wish to apply. Please contact us at  campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org for more information or to receive the information kit and application.

We appreciate the work that many of you have done to get your applications in by the original Oct. 1 deadline, and we’re already reviewing them!

2. Stephen Lewis and Michele Landsberg talk about Powered by Love

Stephen Lewis, co-founder and chair of the board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and Michele Landsberg, editor of Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa, sat down for a candid and lighthearted conversation about this eagerly anticipated book. We wanted to share a video with excerpts from that conversation with you. 

The full 4 minute video of Stephen and Michele's conversation will be sent to all grandmothers groups on Oct. 10. 

3. Book Launches Across Canada!

Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa will be released in bookstores across Canada and online worldwide on October 10. In order to spread the word about the book and the grandmothers' movement, the Stephen Lewis Foundation and members of the Grandmothers Campaign are organizing 40 book launches across Canada between October 11 and November 9. These launches will feature African and Canadian grandmothers and Stephen Lewis Foundation staff.

We hope that you will join us for a book launch in the city nearest you:

Alberta 
Calgary and Edmonton

British Columbia 
Courtenay/Comox, Nanaimo, Nelson, Penticton, Prince George, Salmon Arm, Salt Spring Island, Sechelt, Sidney, Surrey, Vancouver, and Victoria

Manitoba
Winnipeg

New Brunswick
Fredericton and Sackville

Nova Scotia
Halifax

Ontario 
Belleville, Brantford, Burlington, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Oakville, Ottawa, Thornbury, Toronto

Quebec
Montreal

Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current


Visit the book website for the full details of each event. 

4. Fundraising Corner: Cocktails n' Canvas

Submitted by OMAS SISKONA in Kitchener, Ontario:

Many of us have joined friends at a restaurant to be “artists for a night.” We paint an actual picture with acrylic paints on a 16” by 20” canvas. An artist instructor leads the group with step-by-step instructions until the group members have each created their version of the model picture. All painting equipment is supplied by the company. No experience, or even talent, necessary.

Cocktails n’ Canvas, a Canadian-owned company, provides this kind of evening as a charity event. On their website, one can register as a charitable event, pick a date and time, a price point, a location from those suggested or one of your own, and a painting which is graded very easy, easy, moderate, etc. 

A member of OMAS SISKONA organized one of these events as as fundraiser and as an evening of fun and community. Twenty-six people attended at $45 + HST each and our group made $470 for the SLF!

This is an easy event to mount. One person is needed to be the contact for Cocktails n’ Canvas. All the rest is done by them – restaurant reservation, artist booking, on-line registration, set-up, and clean-up. Participating painters pay separately for optional food and beverages. A very enjoyable evening with considerable benefit to the SLF!

If you would like to learn more about OMAS SISKONA's Cocktails n' Canvas fundraiser, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org and we will put you in touch with a member of the group.  If you would like to submit a fundraiser for the Fundraising Corner, please send your description, a photo, and the email address of someone from your group who is willing to field questions from other groups to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

5. Holiday Tribute Cards: Coming Sooner than You Think

Every year, we offer Holiday Tribute Cards in November and December to those who wish to make a donation in lieu of a gift. Recently, we have also invited grandmothers groups to participate if you would like by making Holiday Tribute Cards available to your supporters.

Each card represents a donation of $10 or more and features African grandmothers and/or children and includes the message, “I wanted to give you a gift that is truly meaningful by making a donation in your honour to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Happy Holidays!”

We won't have this year's Holiday Tribute Cards in the office until late October or early November, but we wanted to mention it now so that your group can begin to think about whether this is something you want to incorporate into winter markets or fundraising events.

If you have any questions or would like to express your interest in receiving Holiday Tribute Cards for your group to make available to your supporters, please email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

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Granny Bulletin: August 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.
 

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Tanzanian Grandmothers Gathering 2018
  2. Spotlight on Australia
  3. More Grandmothers Book News
  4. Grandmothers Campaign Member Awarded Order of Manitoba
  5. Fundraising Corner: Announcing the Grandmothers Campaign Fundraiser Catalogue

Dear Grandmothers & Grandothers,

Although it has been many years since most of us were in school, something about the nearness of September still feels like the beginning of a “new” year. We can’t help feeling the anticipation and excitement of what this year will bring. It’s no surprise then that this bulletin, on the heels of last month’s announcement of the grandmothers book and book launch tour, brings news of another momentous event for the 2017-2018 calendar year: a national Grandmothers Gathering in Tanzania.

As you know from reading the Ugandan and South Africa Grandmothers Statements, national grandmothers gatherings in Africa culminate with a powerful call to action delivered by grandmothers to their governments, to the media, and to donor communities. This is key to the Grandmothers Campaign -- that the work you all do supports African grandmothers in their own advocacy, their own fierce determination to hold their governments accountable.

Recently, Theo Sowa (African Women’s Development Fund and member of the SLF’s African Advisory Board) and Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro (Global Fund for Women) wrote an op-ed for the Globe and Mail that touches on this very subject. In light of the Canadian government’s recent unveiling of their feminist foreign aid policy, Sowa and Kanyoro call on the government to make sure funding flows to grassroots organizations. This is precisely what the SLF exists to do. They remind us all that sustainable change must be led by those who know their communities inside and out:

“In our decades of experience in women’s rights activism, we have heard many champion reproductive rights. We have also seen that those who are best qualified to lead social change are rooted in their community. There are countless examples highlighting the magnificent work that they do against daunting odds. Yet, their work remains chronically underfunded.” Read the op-ed in full here.

Theo Sowa has been with us at every Grandmothers Gathering. She, and many around the world, marvel at the solidarity model of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign! The work you do year-round in your communities amplifies the voices of African grandmothers, honours their expertise, supports essential funding of the transformational work of our grassroots partners, and helps in the critical struggle to shift the paradigm of how the international community thinks about African grandmothers at the heart of the response to the AIDS pandemic.

In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign Team

1. Tanzanian Grandmothers Gathering 2018 — Grandmothers Campaign Delegation

We are happy to announce that the SLF is again working alongside our community-based partners to convene a Tanzanian Grandmothers Gathering that will take place in late February and early March 2018!

As you know, grandmothers in Africa are mobilizing to claim their human rights. Among their demands are pensions, land rights, child protection, and access to health care for older women who are HIV-positive and the HIV-positive children in their care. Above all, they are insisting that they have a voice where decisions about their lives are being made.

The national gathering will bring Tanzanian grandmothers together to share their expertise as community leaders, as advocates, and as first responders to the ravages of AIDS. Workshops will be led by and for Tanzanian grandmothers alongside staff from our partner organizations to provide a platform for grandmothers to voice their stories and experiences, to discuss urgent issues, and to carry the momentum forward by issuing a Tanzanian Grandmothers Statement.

As with previous gatherings, the Foundation will be leading a small delegation of Grandmothers Campaign members to attend as observers and 'ambassadors' for the thousands of women active in the Campaign. This trip is open to grandmothers and grandothers in Canada, Australia, the UK, and the US who belong to a registered grandmothers group and are active members of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

To answer some questions you may have, and to help inform your decision to submit an application to attend the Tanzanian Gathering, we’ve put together an information kit. If you’d like an information kit and application, send an email to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org or call 1-888-203-9990, ext. 0. Please share your first and last name and the name of your grandmothers group.

We’ll also be holding conference calls this fall for those thinking about submitting an application, to share even more information, to give you a chance to ask questions, and to share excitement with one another about the Tanzanian gathering! Everyone who plans to submit an application is required to be on one of these information calls.

The call dates and times are:
Tues., Sept. 5th at 11am Eastern time
Tues., Sept. 12th at 8pm Eastern time (we hope this will work for our Australian grand(m)others)
Mon., Sept. 18th at 2pm Eastern time.

To RSVP for a call and get the call-in information, please email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

The deadline for submitting completed applications is October 1st.

2. Spotlight on Australia

While the Grandmothers Campaign has its roots in Canada, momentum has been building around the world. We’ve had a UK group and a few Australian groups for several years, but now the movement is really taking off globally!

Ida with grandmothers and grandothers from the Grandmas Across Borders group in Williamstown, Victoria. Sandy, the founder of Grandmas Across Borders, learned about the Grandmothers Campaign after receiving a scarf made by the Oceanside Grandmothers from her granddaughter’s other grandmother.

This past May, Ida Nambeya Mukuka, Senior Advisor to the Grandmothers Campaign, travelled to Australia for a cross-country speaking tour. Ida was welcomed and accompanied in her travels by Margaret Hunter, founding member of “Ranges Aid,” the first grandmothers group in Australia, who planned the entire Victoria leg of the tour.

Ida and Margaret travelled to 12 different towns and cities across the country. They met with existing grandmothers groups and also gave talks and presentations to other interested parties. At stop after stop, the enthusiasm and commitment to support African grandmothers raising their grandchildren orphaned by HIV & AIDS was palpable.

They visited grandmothers and grandothers from:

  • Meeniyan, Emerald, Chelsea, Junction Village, Broadford, and Williamston, Victoria
  • Perth, Western Australia
  • Brisbane and Coominya, Queensland
  • Sydney, Sylvania, and Barrington, New South Wales

In Chelsea, Ida met with the “Bayside Grannies,” a grandmothers group that have already made their own matching t-shirts despite not forming until late 2016. They’ve just held a “Christmas in July” event, which raised more than $3000!

Ida and Margaret also had the pleasure of visiting the Gogo Mamas in Perth. Group member and founder Marilynn started the group after learning about the Grandmothers Campaign from her friend Wendy, who is a member of the Guilford and Godalming group in the UK!

The Grand AIDS group in Barrington organized a lovely evening filled with entertainment, learning, and jewellery sales. And, of course, Ida and Margaret enjoyed their stay with Marg, the founder of Grand AIDS, in beautiful Barrington.

Ida speaking with the Grand Greeting Card Group in Sylvania, New South Wales.

In the past year there have been three new grandmothers groups formed in Australia, bringing the grand total to seven! From Perth to Melbourne, Brisbane to Sydney, and many other smaller cities in between, there is much enthusiasm for the Campaign and surely more groups to come.

3. More Grandmothers Book News

Our Special Granny Bulletin in July announced that the SLF's new book Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa will be released on Oct. 10 in bookstores across Canada (and is currently available for pre-order online). 

We’re excited to announce that the website for book is live! Visit grandmotherspoweredbylove.com for a sneak peek inside the book, to see the full list of fall book launch tour stops, and to learn more about how to order the book. We also have promotional materials for the book available (a poster, e-vite, and high resolution image of the book cover) that we’d be happy to send you if you’re planning to incorporate book sales into one of your group’s upcoming fundraisers.

4. Grandmothers Campaign Member Awarded Order of Manitoba

We wish we could award every Grandmothers Campaign member with an Order of Canada/Australia/UK for your inspirational support and solidarity. Since we don’t (yet) have that power, we’ll instead celebrate and spread the joyful news when grandmothers and grandothers receive well-deserved accolades and recognition.

Beverley Suek, a member of Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg was recently awarded "The Order of Manitoba, the province's highest honour, which recognizes Manitobans who have enriched the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province and its residents." In addition to her work with Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg, Bev is the "founder of Women's Housing Initiative Manitoba, an alternative housing concept for older women who prefer not to live alone. ... She also initiated the development of Winnipeg's first birthing centre and was a co-founder of the Manitoba Women's Enterprise centre, Women's Music and Cultural Festival, Women's Employment Counselling Centre and the SDB Housing co-operative. Bev also started Kali Shiva AIDS Services in Winnipeg, now known as Sunshine House, and organized volunteers to assist people with AIDS to help them stay in their homes as long as possible."
(Excerpted from an article that was originally printed in the Winnipeg Free Press on July 12, 2017 and from an article that was originally printed on CBC.ca on May 12, 2017.)

Bev Suek and Ida Nambeya Mukuka at the 2016 South Africa Grandmothers Gathering march in Durban.

We know you’ll join us in congratulating Bev on this incredible honour, and reveling in the great fortune that we all have to be part of the global Grandmothers to Grandmothers movement of extraordinary grandmothers and grandothers.

Our thanks to Cathie Hiller for bringing this honour to our attention.

5. Fundraising Corner: Announcing the Grandmothers Campaign Fundraiser Catalogue

Inspired by the feedback we got in the Grandmothers Campaign survey, we’re compiling a Grandmothers Campaign fundraiser catalogue to honour the creativity and ingenuity of grandmothers groups, and to make sure that good ideas are shared. As you know, this space in the Granny Bulletin has become a forum for idea-sharing, and many groups have expressed that it is helpful to learn about new fundraising ideas.

We have created a one-page fundraiser description form to capture key information about successful events that your group has held, and we would be incredibly grateful if your group could share information (using this form) about at least one fundraiser that you felt was particularly successful in your community. Once we have received enough completed forms to constitute a catalogue, we will compile them and make the Grandmothers Campaign fundraiser catalogue available to all of you on the Members Only section of our website. (And we will regularly update it as new forms come in.)

Please email your completed form to your Grandmothers Campaign Officer, or campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

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Special Granny Bulletin: July 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

We are thrilled to announce that the SLF's long-awaited grandmothers book will be released this fall:

Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa will be published by Goose Lane on October 10, 2017.

About the Book
This book puts on paper what members of the Grandmothers Campaign have known in their hearts for 11 years since the Campaign was launched in Canada -- this global solidarity movement powered by love is like nothing we've seen before. Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa draws on hundreds of interviews with grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa, Canada, and the UK, to tell the story of this incredible movement from the perspective of grandmothers themselves. These stories and the accompanying evocative photos will allow people in your communities and around the world to understand the tremendous impact African grandmothers are having in the midst of the AIDS pandemic and to appreciate the power of the global grandmothers' movement and how it grew. With this book, people will finally learn the untold story of AIDS in Africa and the power of grandmother and grandother love across continents.

Author: Joanna Henry with Ilana Landsberg-Lewis
Editor: Michele Landsberg
Foreword: Stephen Lewis
Photographer: Alexis MacDonald

The book will retail for $35 and all royalties will go to organizations run by and for African grandmothers raising children orphaned by AIDS.

Book Tour
We will be taking the book on an epic book launch tour from Oct. 11 to Nov. 9 with 40 events hosted by grandmothers groups across Canada! African grandmothers and project staff from South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia will be travelling in groups of 2 or 3 along with SLF staff to speak at all of these book tour launch events.  

In addition to the launches that are a part of the official book launch tour, grandmothers groups, community organizations, bookstores, and colleges & universities in Canada, Australia, the UK, and the USA are encouraged to organize their own launch events any time after the book is released on Oct. 10. We will provide a video for those launches, help you acquire books for your launch, and provide feedback on developing a book launch program. 

Book SalesThe book will be available in bookstores across Canada, and these bookstores will be crucial to building momentum and generating sales of the book. Independent and chain booksellers alike will be key partners in the book launch tour and in promoting and selling the book across Canada.

In addition, we've been able to arrange for grandmothers groups to buy the book in bulk from the publisher at a discounted rate to sell at their fundraising and awareness-raising events and marketplaces. The difference between the bulk rate and the selling price of the book would be attributed to the group's fundraising total. The fact that there is a discount for buying in bulk means that more money will go to African grandmothers.


Whether you organize a book launch in your community, sell books as a fundraiser, encourage your local bookstore to stock the book, or promote the book online, we look forward to working with you to make a powerful impact with Powered by Love: A Grandmothers' Movement to End AIDS in Africa.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to be in touch with us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

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Granny Bulletin: June 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. The Resilience Effect and the Power of Community
  2. The SLF's New LGBTQ Initiative
  3. Fundraising Corner: Art from the Attic
  4. SLF's Fiscal Year Ends June 30

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

As we write this, Stride walks are taking place across the Canada, cyclists are in serious training for cycle tours in the fall, calendars are filling up quickly with fall fundraisers and awareness raising events, Ida Nambeya Mukuka and Margaret Hunter have recently returned from their organizing and speaking tour across Australia (details to come in the July Granny Bulletin), and so much more!  It is a busy, busy time. There is no doubt that grandmothers group members are full steam ahead in Canada, Australia, and the UK and that the Campaign is moving with strength into the next 10 years.

What better way to mark this time than with a message from Ilana Landsberg-Lewis about the revolutionary movement that grandmothers group members in Canada (and now the UK and Australia) have built over the last ten years. 

From Ilana's talk to the 10 Year Anniversary Ottawa-Gatineau Gathering on April 28, 2017:

"Let’s take a moment to reflect on what you’ve built together. In Canada, as part of the Grandmothers Campaign, you have engaged with and developed a new development model. It is probably the only development model based on solidarity not charity. The Campaign raises funds and awareness and never dictates to the groups and to the grandmothers at the frontlines what they should be doing with the money. No matter how much you learn and I learn, we know we are not the experts. And although we’ve become used to that phrase, I want to say to you that internationally this idea is revolutionary -- it’s almost lunacy.

Nobody can believe the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign: that there are 10,000 women in Canada who have raised more than $25 million and who don’t expect that their fundraising efforts confers on them the right to direct the projects in Africa. Even after a decade in the Campaign, you never assume that you or that the Stephen Lewis Foundation knows better than the people on the front lines of the pandemic. No matter how many stories you’ve read in these Bulletins, in Grassroots, and heard directly from African grandmothers, you have held onto a really revolutionary core principle – expertise lies with grandmothers and community-based organizations in Africa.

In the Campaign, we now take that principle for granted but, internationally, it’s a revolutionary idea. Imagine! People in the North are actually supporting grassroots organizations and grandmothers, whom nobody sees as a 'good investment', and not dictating the terms of engagement. Whether it’s PEPFAR or the Global Fund, everywhere international NGOs are dictating terms because it makes the donors feel good. They want wells built – and there are pictures of the wells. They want goats – and there are pictures of the goats. They want girls in school – and there are pictures of girls in school. It doesn’t matter if the girls don’t have counselling, it doesn’t matter if no one is walking them to school early in the morning to make sure they don’t get raped, it doesn’t matter if no one is teaching them about menstruation and sanitary napkins so they don’t have to stay home. All that 's seen as grandmothers’ work and community work and somehow that kind of work doesn’t need funding. Because as long as you can count the number of girls and take pictures of them, fine. And if that isn’t ‘tied aid’, I don’t know what is. And the community-based organizations keep saying so.

The only example I can give in the world is the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. It’s no accident that it is grandmothers who understand deeply, viscerally, that the African grandmothers don’t need anyone to tell them what to do to resurrect their communities. And so this is a moment to think very carefully about how you are the vanguards of a truly revolutionary new model of development that is based on solidarity. It actually takes the tired old word of solidarity and gives it meaning. And the African grandmothers are running with it. They’re doing everything they need to do without interference because of your solidarity."

In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign Team

1. The Resilience Effect and the Power of Community

"PLWHA [People Living with HIV and AIDS] are making incredible contributions in the areas of peer support, peer education, advocacy, public education, sensitization and community mobilization. Peers have a very strong influence on an individual's behaviour. Peer educators have a level of trust and comfort with their peers that allows for open discussion about sensitive topics, and they have good access to 'hidden' populations that may have limited interaction with mainstream health programmes. Our peer education programme empowers both the educators and the target groups by creating a sense of solidarity and collective action. It's also more cost-effective than interventions that rely on formally trained professional staff. Our peer educators are community members who have developed the capacity to provide health information to those around them, and they are now seen by others in the community as a focal point for information and assistance. We've build a cadre of PLWHA and community volunteers who can address positive prevention many years beyond the life cycle of this project." -- Busoga Integrated Development and Care Foundation

This story from Busoga Integrated Development and Care Foundation, one of the SLF's partner's in Uganda, is just one of the many examples of the power of community that is highlighted in the SLF's just-released 2016 Year in Review (which shares its name with this section heading). The Year in Review offers page after page of people-based evidence that community-based organizations in Africa are transforming their communities. The Spring 2017 Spotlight on Grassroots  and the 2016 Year in Review  work hand-in-hand (along with the 2015 Year in Review) to begin to tell the story of the return of resilience to the communities in which our partner organizations work in sub-Saharan Africa.

We know that grandmothers groups are always eager to get more concrete examples of the work our partners in Africa are doing and we believe that the Spotlight (which focuses on psychological and emotional support) and the Year in Review (which covers healthcare, income-generation, food security, access to education, protection from violence, psychological and emotion support, and community mobilization) will be hugely helpful and inspirational in this regard --whether you read an entire section out loud at a meeting or choose a few quotes to share at a fundraiser. 

Getting Copies of the Spotlight and the Year in Review
Both the 2017 Spotlight on Grassroots and the 2016 Year in Review are available online as PDFs. In addition, we have hard copies of the Spotlight, which you can distribute at meetings and events. We also have a limited number of print copies of the Year in Review and we are happy to send them to grandmothers groups who will use them. Please contact your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or write to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org if you'd like us to mail you copies of either or both of these resources.

2. The SLF's New LGBTQ Initiative

As members of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, you raise funds specifically to support African grandmothers and the children in their care. But we know you care deeply about all of the work that the Stephen Lewis Foundation supports and are committed to making sure that holistic responses to HIV & AIDS meet the needs of all vulnerable communities. As a result. we thought that you would want to be among the first to know about a critically important new initiative.

In May 2017, the Stephen Lewis Foundation launched an initiative to support LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities in sub-Saharan Africa, because LGBTQ communities are under attack. In country after country, they are persecuted, discriminated against, harassed, beaten, jailed, subjected to ‘corrective rape’, and their very lives are criminalized and threatened. 34 out of 54 countries in Africa maintain laws that criminalize consensual sex between men, and 24 maintain laws that apply to women.

It is against this backdrop of hostility and violence that the LGBTQ communities struggle to survive, to claim and secure their Human Rights, to live with dignity and without fear, and to address the scourge of HIV&AIDS.

Many LGBTQ organizations are, by necessity, forced into the position of using the majority of their budget on the struggle for Human Rights and on security. This leaves critical HIV&AIDS services for their vulnerable populations severely under-resourced.

The SLF’s LGBTQ Initiative will ensure that determined and courageous LGBTQ organizations are able to provide their communities with desperately needed programmes and services by providing funding for life-saving and life-enhancing HIV&AIDS related programmes run by these grassroots organizations.

As with every new initiative the SLF undertakes, the funds raised to support this initiative will be in addition to the funds raised to support the Foundation's five core areas of work: grandmothers, children affected by AIDS, home-based care, sexual violence and HIV & AIDS, and positive living. 

3. Fundraising Corner: Art from the Attic

Submitted by Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers Regina

This September we will host our 6th Art from the Attic, and we are gearing up for another stellar event! 

 Kudos to the British Columbia Valley Arts Council and the Invermere Health Care Auxiliary for the idea and the name, and the G4G member who first raised the idea to our group and promoted what has become a very profitable fundraiser.  Our 2016 AFTA has raised $31,000, a figure we are quite proud of. This was generated by the one-day art sale and a subsequent on-line auction hosted by the Saskatchewan Network for Art Collecting.

The beauty of an AFTA sale is that it involves the community in two ways – as donor supporters and as happy customers. As AFTA’s reputation has gathered steam, the number of two-dimensional, gently used art pieces that have been donated by community members hovers between 1800-2500 per sale. Excitingly, there is usually a steady stream of customers patiently lined up from before opening through the final hour’s half-price sale on this one-day art sale.

The art is priced from $10-$1000, most pieces fall within the $20-70 range, and reserves are placed on higher-end product.

Although this fundraiser requires hard work and elbow grease, with members’ involvement in the various stages (cleaning and pricing art, doing pick-up of the art, and other jobs on the day), ultimately this fundraiser that “takes a village” is a successful fundraiser for several reasons: minimal overhead, substantial funds raised, considerable community support, good group visibility, membership involvement, and it’s fun!

If you would like to learn more about G4G Regina’s Art from the Attic, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org and we will put you in touch with a member of the group.  If you would like to submit a fundraiser for the Fundraising Corner, please send your description, a photo, and the email address of someone from your group who is willing to field questions from other groups to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

4. SLF's Fiscal Year Ends June 30

As many of you know, the Stephen Lewis Foundation's fiscal year ends June 30. We ask that groups submit funds before that date wherever possible. Also, if you have been sent any SLF items on consignment (for example: 10 year anniversary pins, Stride scarves, copies of Grandmothers – Africa’s Unsung Heroes books), please submit funds from those items by June 30, as well. Thank you!

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Special Granny Bulletin: April 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Mother's Day Tribute Cards Available Now
  2. The Unsung S/heroes Photography Exhibit
  3. Hello Spring, Hello Stride

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

We hope you will forgive the business nature of today's special Granny Bulletin. We wanted to get some time-sensitive announcements to you about our Mother's Day tribute cards, our photography exhibit The Unsung S/heroes, and Stride to Turn the Tide. In the next week or two, we will be sending you a full Granny Bulletin with exciting updates and lots of Campaign information!

In solidarity,
Healy, Asmita, and Megan

P.S. For those of you attending the Ottawa-Gatineau Gathering tomorrow or the Vancouver Gathering on Saturday, we will see you soon! And for those of you in Australia, Ida is very much looking forward to meeting you!

1. Mother's Day Tribute Cards Available Now

As members and supporters of the Grandmothers Campaign, you honour the mothers, grandmothers, and women caregivers in your life throughout the year by standing in solidarity with the mothers and grandmothers of Africa and the grassroots organizations that support them. We have heard from many grandmothers group members though that they want to know about Mother's Day tribute cards each year, as they provide an opportunity to let women caregivers in their lives know how much they matter. If you'd like to send a Mother's Day tribute card, you can make a donation in lieu of – or in addition to – a gift, and send a beautiful printed or electronic card to your loved one(s).  You can send one of the Foundation’s two available cards yourself, have us send it on your behalf, or donate online and send an e-card for immediate delivery.
 

In addition, as we mentioned in the March Granny Bulletin, there is the opportunity for grandmothers groups to receive a package of Mother's Day tribute cards to make available to donors who wish to make tribute donations.

Each card features an image of hands or a picture of an African grandmother and child, and includes the message “I wanted to give you a gift that is truly meaningful by making a donation in your honour to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Happy Mother’s Day!”

The cards are meant to be given to donors as a token of thanks to acknowledge their Mother’s Day tribute donation of $10 or more, so they can give the cards to the woman or women they are honouring for Mother’s Day.

If your grandmothers group is interested in receiving Mother’s Day tribute cards, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org with the number of cards you would like, your group name, and your mailing address.

2. The Unsung S/heroes Photography Exhibit

We are excited to let you know that the Stephen Lewis Foundation has been selected to have a feature photography exhibit – The Unsung S/heroes – at the Contact Photography Festival (the largest photography festival in the world) in Toronto this May!

This exhibit features intimate portraits of African grandmothers – the Unsung S/heroes at the heart of the response to the AIDS pandemic. 

The Process Behind this Photo Exhibit

The photos and quotes in this exhibit are a result of a five-year conversation with the grassroots organizations and the grandmothers appearing in this exhibit – a conversation about how the African grandmothers have moved from agony to mobilizing to claim their human rights. How, out of the despair of AIDS, a powerful social movement has emerged led by older women. It was a conversation that included how community organizations and grandmothers want their stories to be told and what kind of representation best reflects the dignity and resilience of the grandmothers themselves. The conversation continued throughout the selection and approval of photos and quotes, as communities discussed the complexity of ensuring they owned their story and how it was told, and the representation of grandmothers – particularly as it extends to audiences outside of their own context. 

Careful consideration was given to the children appearing in this exhibit who are grandchildren of the women involved in this initiative. Permission to use these photos has been granted but the children’s names have been withheld at the request of their grandmothers. 

To read more about the exhibit, visit the Stephen Lewis Foundation website.

Visit the Unsung S/heroes Exhibit

If you live in Toronto or will be visiting in May, you can visit the exhibit for free from May 2-31 at the Daniels Spectrum Hallway Gallery at 585 Dundas Street East, 2nd Floor. Learn more here.

There will be an opening night launch event on May 2nd. Details have already been sent to Toronto-area grandmothers groups' main contacts to share with their members, but you can also click here for more details.

3. Hello Spring, Hello Stride

The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign’s National Walk, Stride to Turn the Tide, will be stepping into its 8th year this June. (Stride has been called the "National Walk" since the days when the Grandmothers Campaign had groups only in Canada. But any group can participate in Stride! In fact, it's a great way to raise visibility and funds in your community.)

There are already quite a few teams signed up to participate in this fun event.  If your group is interested in holding a Stride this summer, you might like to know that it can be easier than it seems, and we are happy to support you in organizing and planning one! 

There are three things you will need:
1. A main contact/organizer for your group's walk.
2. A location for your walk - most groups choose a local park or trail (but don't forget that a "virtual walk" is also an option).
3. Stride pride! A few committed walkers can go a long way.

For your walk to be covered by our Stride Insurance Policy, it will need to be held on any of the following dates: June 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 or 18, and we will need to know by May 13th.  

If you are an individual who would like to participate in a walk in your community or will be visiting a different part of Canada in June, we would be happy to connect you with a walk in that community for you to join!

Please visit www.stridetoturnthetide.ca for materials, online fundraising, and Stride information, and contact us at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org with any questions you have!

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Special Granny Bulletin: March 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

We knew you'd want to see the following letter from Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, which was sent to many of the SLF's donors for International Women's Day. It reconfirms the significance and urgency of the work you do every day in solidarity with African grandmothers and community-based organizations.

In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign Team

Dear Friend,

I have found it tremendously difficult to write a letter to you, our supporters, in a moment that feels so fraught, so precarious. We are surrounded internationally by countries engaging in increasing isolationism, nationalism, and protectionism. There are so many conflicts unfolding, both in North America and beyond, stunningly bizarre and draconian rumblings, and it is clear that women’s and girls' rights are under attack from Russia to the U.S.  
 
Equal to the alarm is the surge of hope and pride we feel at the unprecedented response of women mobilizing around the world in answer to this unfolding crisis. Whether it’s the One Billion Rising, Malala’s tireless advocacy or the women’s march in Washington, it’s no accident that women are at the forefront. We know that, when crisis hits, it’s women’s bodies and women’s rights that are the first to be targeted. And women and girls living in environments of oppression, want and inequality are the ones who pay the greatest price. Often it is their lives.
 
Consider this horrifying statistic:
 
While the global death rate from AIDS has gone down over the past 10 years, it has increased by 50 per cent for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. Girls are up to five times more likely to be infected than boys their own age. And 7,500 girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 25 are being infected every week.
 
I can’t get it out of my mind.
 
Make no mistake, this is not a cultural issue. This is not a moral failing on the part of young African girls. A statistic like this is a direct result of the fundamental lack of protection of girls' rights in the face of HIV and AIDS – their right to education, health, and protection from violence. It is also a direct result of the dramatic cuts in international funding for African grassroots organizations.
 
These groups are the champions of women’s and girls' rights in communities hit hardest by AIDS. Their expertise is now recognized globally. In fact, it’s become one of the mantras of academics, doctors and AIDS philanthropists. They all say the same thing: there needs to be more funding directed to grassroots initiatives and a clear recognition of gender inequality. Those are the key factors in beating back the ravages of the pandemic and building community resilience.
 
Would that the mantra matched the deed. Meaningful funding for community-based organizations is still elusive, and grassroots organizations are under financial siege. That’s why your support, now and in the future, is so urgent and indispensable, and so profoundly appreciated.
 
When I think about a generation of young girls and women being newly infected, I am heartbroken and frustrated by the failure of the international community to move heaven and earth to ensure that community-led organizations are properly funded. Who knows how to reach these girls and talk to their grandmothers and aunties? It’s only the leaders who spring from the community who can ensure that girls stay in school, get educated about prevention, get tested for HIV, are supported to take ARVs and stay on them for life. Who else knows why adolescent girls are reluctant to be tested? Who else understands that the girls must learn how to insist on protection? Their families and community workers at the frontlines are working hard to understand the obstacles and overcome them. It takes wide-ranging efforts: peer-to-peer support groups, workshops for caregivers on talking to their teenage granddaughters about sex and sexuality, project workers who escort girls to and from school so that they are safe from sexual predation, and street theatre to engage youth and raise awareness about HIV&AIDS. There is no end to the ingenuity and determination of these local grassroots organizations and the dedication of their staff to reaching girls, young women and the grandmothers who are raising them.  
 
The AIDS pandemic has brought into high relief the fact that being a girl or a young woman – being female – is the vector of danger. The local leaders understand that this is an issue of human rights – to education, to bodily integrity, to self-determination, to access to health care, and girls and young women are at the epicentre. 
 
I started this letter talking about the attack on women’s rights – and women are mobilizing around the globe. These girls and young women are in huts and homes across sub-Saharan Africa, and we do not hear them. But this is my cri de coeur – every day of every week counts now. I feel the days differently in this moment, knowing that as each Sunday approaches, another 7,500 girls have been infected, and their grassroots organizations are desperately trying to stem the tide, but, inexplicably, without an international alarm bell, without the dramatic urgency of ambulances and disaster responses, without marches and movements to secure their rights. I hear them, though, and I hope you do too.
 
Ilana Landsberg-Lewis
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Stephen Lewis Foundation

 

Granny Bulletin: February 2017

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. This Week: Aeroplan Mile Matching!
  2. Ilana's Letter to Grandmothers and Grandothers
  3. Introducing the Fundraising Corner
  4. Fundraising Corner: The GANG Adds a New Twist to an Annual Event
  5. Register Now for Spring Gatherings
  6. Celebrating 10 Years: A Call for Photos

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

We recently shared an email with many of our donors about the City of Joy, one of our partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We thought that you would be interested to learn something about the women at the City of Joy because their story is so important and inspiring. In particular, we thought that their "Ten Tenets" would resonate with many of you.

City of Joy is located in Eastern DRC--an area ravaged by civil strife and where rape has been wantonly used as a weapon of war. City of Joy is a beacon of hope for women across the region, offering a 6-month residential leadership program for women who have been victims of sexual and gender-based violence. The women live ten to a house and participate in a wide range of programmes: self-defence, literacy, fine arts, women’s rights, computer skills, advocacy and media training, accounting, income generation, and storytelling. Along with these activities, the women are actively engaged in building their community. They developed guiding principles for their life together:

1. Tell the truth.
2. Stop waiting to be rescued. Take initiative.
3. Know your rights.
4. Raise your voice.
5. Share what you've learned.
6. Give what you want the most.
7. Feel and tell the truth about what you've been through.
8. Use it to fuel a revolution.
9. Practice solidarity.
10. Practice kindness.

In an environment of perpetual instability, division and violence, these women choose to re-write the rules. They insist it can be different, that it must be different.

The spirit of the women at the City of Joy is not unique. It is reflected in so many grandmothers across the continent who are providing loving care to their grandchildren, supporting their grandmother sisters, leading their communities, and advocating for their own human rights. They know you choose to work in solidarity with them. You can never underestimate the importance of that support, both emotional and financial. As we approach the end of the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, we feel lucky to be a part of this movement with you and look forward to what the next 10 years will hold.

In solidarity,
Healy, Carrie, Asmita, and Megan

P.S. Graham is on parental leave and loving it. We look forward to welcoming him back in mid-July.

1. This Week: Aeroplan Mile Matching

This Week!!
February 27 - March 5

As many of you know, Aeroplan miles are essential to our work at the Stephen Lewis Foundation and especially for the Grandmothers Campaign. Aeroplan miles make it possible to bring African grandmothers and other African experts to Canada, enable Field Representatives to carry out monitoring and evaluation visits to community-based organizations, and allow community-based workers to travel and build unified networks across Africa.

Each year, Aeroplan gives the Stephen Lewis Foundation a week where every mile donated will be matched by Aeroplan. This year, February 27th to March 5th is the Foundation’s Aeroplan Mile Matching Week. Miles donated to the Foundation during this week will go twice as far!

If you have friends or family who have Aeroplan miles to donate, please encourage them to do so this week on the Aeroplan website.

2. Ilana's Letter to Grandmothers and Grandothers

Every year Ilana Landsberg-Lewis writes a handwritten letter to grandmothers group members across the Campaign. She takes the opportunity to reflect on the year past and sets our collective goals for the year ahead. We have mailed and emailed a copy of this letter to the main contact of your group. Some of you have passed that letter along to members of your group and others are planning to read it at your next meeting.

If you'd like an email copy of the letter, please contact us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org. Recently we added a typed copy of the letter to the scanned handwritten copy for ease of reading. Feel free to be in touch if you'd like one or both versions.

3. Introducing the Fundraising Corner

We know that when grandmothers groups have the opportunity to meet with other groups, they love to share fundraising ideas and successes. You all put so much effort, love, and time into perfecting your fundraisers that it only makes sense to share that expertise with the rest of the Campaign. So, with this Granny Bulletin, we'd like to launch what we hope will become a regular "column" where groups can share descriptions of their fundraisers with each other. 

We invite you to help make the "Fundraising Corner" a success by submitting a description of one of your group's most fun and successful fundraisers to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org. Please include a description of the fundraiser, a photo if you have one, any lessons learned, and an email address that we can use for connecting your group with grandmothers group members who want to learn more.

4. Fundraising Corner: 
The GANG Adds a New Twist to an Annual Event

Submitted by the GANG:

Each April in Edmonton, the GANG holds a Fabric Frenzy where we collect a vast array of donated fabrics and offer them up for sale. Two years ago, as the “frenzy” of another joyful event began to quiet, inspiration struck! A couple of our members decided to use the beautiful fabrics that remained to make infinity scarves to sell to our community. If you’re unfamiliar, an infinity scarf is made in a circle so that you simply put it over your head and it stays in place.

Many of our members jumped right in to help sew the scarves, and sales were instant. We’ve now sold scarves to many people, in many places – from book clubs to women’s groups, retirement homes to markets. When we bring scarves to presentations given by our group, or to the clubs and associations to which our members belong, we’re often asked to return with more.

We are proud to share that 1,180 scarves have been sold, raising $24,450 for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, and we are still going strong! It’s amazing how a little idea can make such a huge difference for African grandmothers.

If your group would like to learn more about the GANG’s infinity scarves (they have two sizes!), the patterns they use, how to hold your own scarf fundraiser, etc., please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org and we’ll put you in touch with the GANG.

5. Register Now for Spring Gatherings

When Spring blossoms, so do regional gatherings. It's such a lovely opportunity to gather together, re-connect, share ideas, and feel the collective energy of this remarkable social movement. Of course, it's also an important time to learn more about the work that African grandmothers and community-based organizations are doing.

This spring there are 3 regional gatherings planned, including the final 10 Year Anniversary Gathering in Ottawa-Gatineau, which features African grandmothers and a talk by Stephen Lewis and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis.

"Connect and Inspire” -- BC Islands Regional Gathering (March 11)

"Reflect, Rejoice and Rejuvenate" -- 10 Year Anniversary Gathering in Ottawa-Gatineau (April 28)
featuring Stephen Lewis and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis in conversation 

"Harambee! All Pull Together" -- Greater Van Gogos Regional Gathering (April 29)

To learn more about any of the gatherings or to register, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org and we'll put you in touch with the gathering organizers.

6. Celebrating 10 Years: A Call for Photos

From flash mobs to dinners, from fundraising parties to gatherings, we know that groups marked the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign in fun, creative, and meaningful ways. 

To mark the end of this important year of celebration, reflection, and renewal, we want to put together a slide show that highlights 10 Year Anniversary celebrations and events from across the Campaign.

But we need your help! Please send us photos (with captions!) from your 10 Year Anniversary events. You can email them to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org or mail them to us. Please submit them by the end of March (although sooner is great, so we can get started).

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Special Granny Bulletin: November 2016

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Fall Grassroots Available Now: The Treatment Gap
  2. SLF’s Year in Review: Print Copies Available Now
  3. Flash Mob Teaser Video, Take Two
  4. Holiday Dare to Dine
  5. Speakers Available Across Canada and Australia 
  6. Reminder: Submit Funds by December 31 for 2016 Tax Receipts

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

We hope you don’t mind us getting in touch through two Granny Bulletins again this month, but as always, there is so much to talk about!  In the midst of all the craft sales, African dinners, concerts, fashion shows and flash mobs, we wanted to share some food for thought before you travel to warmer climes, settle in for winter solstice, or welcome family and grandchildren for the holidays.

We know it can be challenging to make time to sit and read when there is so much on the go, but we hope you will do just that with the new issue of our Grassroots newsletter that is available in print and on the Foundation's website. We don’t feel self-conscious in telling you that this issue is one of our best yet!  From the feature on the HIV treatment gap for children and youth, to profiles of our African community-based partners, to the spotlights on grandmothers groups in Canada and Australia, to Stephen’s letter on the Global Fund, you’ll want to share Grassroots with your supporters, as much as we want to share it with you.

In solidarity,
Graham, Asmita, Sarah, Janet, Carrie, and Healy 

1. Fall Grassroots Available Now

The Fall Grassroots newsletter is here!

The feature article in this Fall’s Grassroots is about the HIV treatment gapfor children and youth, an issue which perfectly illustrates why supporting grandmothers and community-based organizations is paramount to turning the tide of HIV & AIDS.

“AIDS is the leading cause of adolescent death in Africa, where a shocking 26 new HIV infections occur among 15-19 year olds each hour... and less than half of HIV-positive children have access to treatment. Access, however, is only half the battle.”

Efforts to increase treatment access and adherence for young people will be successful only if community-based organizations are prioritized and fully funded. Our African community-based partners support children as whole people and it is their expertise – and the expertise and tenacity of African grandmothers – that will make it possible to bridge the HIV treatment gap.

This issue of Grassroots also reports on the recent South Africa Grandmothers Gathering:

"The Grandmothers Gathering in Durban was not only a cathartic exchange of expertise and strategies for coping with HIV & AIDS; it was also deeply political. The memory of the struggle to free South Africa from the grip of Apartheid is not far from the minds of many of the grandmothers, were also deeply engaged in that long struggle. They know exactly what must happen next."

You can read the full Grassroots newsletter online.

If you would like to order copies of the Fall 2016 Grassroots for your group members and/or for use at your events, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org or your Grandmothers Campaign Officer.  

2. SLF’s Year in Review: Print Copies Available Now

We heard from many grandmothers group members that it would be helpful to have print copies of the SLF's 2015 Year in Review. As a result, we ordered a small print run and have a limited number of copies available. If you would like print copies for your group, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

3. Flash Mob Teaser Video, Take Two!

Last week's Granny Bulletin included a short "teaser" video for the World AIDS Day Flash Mob, but some folks had trouble streaming it. We're sorry! We hope this link will work better for you. Let us know if you have any questions! 

4. Holiday Dare to Dine

For many, December is a season filled with meals, parties, cookie-baking marathons, and gatherings with family and friends. Many grandmothers and grandothers choose to make their existing dinners, teas, and parties into Dare to Dines during December and others decide to host a special Dare to Dine meal during December.

For those of you interested in a Holiday Dare to Dine, we wanted to share our revised Dare to Dine Kit with you, which provides lots of helpful information about organizing a Dare to Dine. Of course, you're also welcome to keep it simple and just "pass the hat" at your cookie-baking party or annual holiday shindig if that's more your style. And if December is just too busy, the Dare to Dine kit is also applicable to Dare to Dines in any season!

5. Speakers Available Across Canada and Australia

As you start to look forward to the new year, we wanted to remind you that the grandmothers and grandothers who visited our partners in Zambia and attended the South Africa Grandmothers Gathering are available to do presentations to your group or organizations in your community and to speak at your events. In fact, sharing what they learned with grandmothers groups is one of the primary commitments trip participants make and they love to do it!

The available grandmothers and grandothers are: 

  • Bev Suek, Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB
  • Carol Jean Little, Grandmothers by the Lake, Harrowsmith, ON
  • Dolores Meade, Grannies Aid for Africa, Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC
  • Elizabeth McNair, Omas Siskona K-W, Kitchener, ON
  • Gail Greenberg, Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers Regina, Regina, SK
  • Gail Wilen, Sunshine Coast Grandmothers and GrandOthers, Sechelt, BC
  • Jeanette Froese, Capilano Grandmothers to Grandmothers, North Vancouver, BC
  • Joanne Gormley, Grannies for Good, Montreal, QC
  • Kerry Little, Grand Greeting Cards, Sylvania, New South Wales, Australia
  • Margaret Hunter, Ranges Aid, Junction Village, Victoria, Australia.

Please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org if you'd like a trip participant to speak at a meeting or event.

6. Reminder: Submit Funds by December 31 for 2016 Tax Receipts

As we approach the end of the year, we wanted to remind you that any funds requiring a 2016 tax receipt must be postmarked on or before December 31st.  If you have any questions, please let us know. And thank you!

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Granny Bulletin: October 2016

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers
  2. Grandmothers Campaign on Australia Wide
  3. The Agenda with Steve Paikin features African and Canadian Grandmothers
  4. The Grandmothers Campaign Featured in the Toronto Star
  5. Your Morning Marks the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign
  6. Add Ugandan and Zimbabwean Jewellery and Crafts to your Fall and Holiday Marketplaces
  7. October Monthly Reveal: Flash Mob Instructional Video and Materials

1.  Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers

Fall is here in Canada! There's no doubt about that as the temperatures drop, the leaves change colours, and snow starts to fall in some parts of the country. Over the last few weeks, we have had four exciting and re-invigorating Gatherings across the country as well as dozens of additional events, fundraisers, and celebrations. And this year, Fall has a soundtrack that's getting hips swaying and arms swinging as you plan and practice for your World AIDS Day Flash Mobs. Suffice it to say-- we are on the move this Fall!

And the excitement and momentum generated by the 10 Year Anniversary is not limited to us within the Grandmothers Campaign. In fact, in the last few weeks, there have been four major media pieces profiling the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. The coverage is substantive, compelling, and inspiring and we have we have already begun receiving phone calls from grandmothers and grandothers who want to join the Campaign as a result! 

Thank you for all that you have done over the last 10 years and that you do every day to make this movement one that is so worthy of this type of media attention. It's because of your love, passion, creativity, dedication, and hard work that we can enter the next 10 years with so much hope for where we will all go together.

In solidarity,
Graham, Asmita, Carrie, Healy, Janet, Sarah, and Sydney

2. Grandmothers Campaign on Australia Wide

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's television programme Australia Wide recently featured a segment on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. This excellent video includes interviews with Australian Grandmothers Campaign members Margaret Hunter and Kerry Little (both of whom attended the South Africa Grandmothers Gathering) and footage of two of the groups in Australia--Ranges Aid and Grand Greeting Cards.

(The piece on the Grandmothers Campaign starts at 14:47 into the programme.)

3. The Agenda with Steve Paikin features African and Canadian Grandmothers

TVO's show The Agenda with Steve Paikin produced a piece on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in honour of the 10 Year Annivesrary. It features Grandmothers Campaign consultant Ida Nambeya Mukuka, Zimbabwean grandmother Regina Dongo, Ugandan grandmother Mariam Mulindwa, and Canadian grandmother Jo-Anne Page. So much wisdom and experience on one TV set!

4. The Grandmothers Campaign Featured in the Toronto Star

Toronto Star reporter Peter Edwards attended the Ontario Regional Grandmothers Gathering on October 1st and interviewed Zimbabwean grandmothers Regina Dongo and Maude Nhau and Canadian grandmothers Marg Wilson and Sharon Polansky for an article on the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign. As the article concludes, "We've come a long way in 10 years."

5. Your Morning Marks the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign

The CTV show Your Morning interviewed Grandmothers Campaign consultant Ida Nambeya Mukuka and Grandmothers Campaign member Jo-Anne Page about the 10 Year Anniversary of the Campaign. We know you'll love this video about the Campaign and what has been accomplished in 10 years.

6. Add Ugandan and Zimbabwean Jewellery and Crafts to your Fall and Holiday Marketplaces

At our invitation, grandmothers who visited from Uganda and Zimbabwe for the recent Gatherings brought jewellery and crafts to sell at the Gathering marketplaces. We have some jewellery and handbags remaining that we are offering to grandmothers groups to sell on consignment. If you would like to order some items to sell at your upcoming marketplaces or events, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org. Please note, items are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

7. October Monthly Reveal: Flash Mob Instructional Video and Materials

In September, we revealed that the song for the World AIDS Day Flash Mobs is "Sisters are Doing it for Themselves." This month, we've got everything else you'll need to do your Flash Mobs-- an instructional video that shows you the dance, a lyrics and dance moves cheat sheet to help you follow along, and a Flash Mob guide to support you in organizing and executing your Flash Mob. All of these resources can be accessed on the Members Only section of our website. If you need the password or you would like a copy of the instructional video on DVD or song on CD sent to you, please email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

We encourage you to do a Flash Mob in your own community. It's easy and it's fun! If you'd like, you can work together with other groups in your area to do a joint Flash Mob. We'll be making a compilation video, which we hope will go viral. 


Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers in Ontario,
 
As you know, October 1st is the upcoming Ontario Regional Gathering, “Reflect and Revitalize.” In honour of the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign, the gathering coincides with a special event: Stephen Lewis and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis in conversation, reflecting on the last ten years and looking forward to the next.  It’s sure to inspire and stir memories and laughter!

The Gathering will feature a plenary with Zimbabwean grandmothers from the SLF’s community-based partners, informative workshops, times to connect with other grandmothers and grandothers, a marketplace, and many opportunities to listen, learn and share.
 
If you have a question that you would like to ask Stephen or Ilana about the Grandmothers Campaign, we invite you to email it to us in advance of the event. The submitted questions will be used to shape their talk and some will be read and answered during the question and answer period after their talk.

Ontario Gathering
Where: School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (SHTCA) Centennial College, Progress Campus
941 Progress Avenue, Scarborough, ON, M1G 3T8
Time: 8:45am – 3:00pm
For more information or to register for the Gathering, click here.
 
Stephen and Ilana in Conversation
Where: Delta Hotels Toronto East
2035 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough, ON M1T 3G2, Ballroom Toronto D
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
To purchase a ticket for the conversation with Stephen and Ilana without attending the Gathering, click here.

We hope to see you there!

In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign Team

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Granny Bulletin: September 2016

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers
  2. Impact: The Journey to Resilience
  3. Sustaining a Movement Powered by Love
  4. Changes to Aeroplan's Beyond Miles Member Donation Program
  5. Registration is Open for Regional Gatherings and Conversations with Stephen and Ilana
  6. The Power of Solidarity
  7. Calling all Treasurers: Revised Treasurer's Resource Kit
  8. Janet Walks the Runway?
  9. 10 Year Anniversary Pins: Back in Stock!
  10. September Monthly Reveal: World AIDS Day Flash Mob Song!

1. Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers

Welcome to a very full Fall edition of the Granny Bulletin!  We hope this Bulletin will give you some food for thought as we head into a season filled with regional gatherings, speaking events with Stephen and Ilana, markets, festivals, fabric and art sales, cycle tours and many more events and activities too numerous to mention. You have so much to be proud of and you’ve made such a profound difference over the past ten years!

We are often asked about sustainability. How do you know you’ve made a difference in the lives of African grandmothers? If it’s not as simple as counting the number of school uniforms purchased or grandmother-made crafts being sold at local markets, how do we measure a decade of fundraising, friendship and solidarity?  The Foundation has been working intensively with all of our African community-based partners to create measures of impact and resiliencethat offer a true and comprehensive picture of what success looks like. In past Granny Bulletins we shared our Year in Review, but in this Bulletin you’ll find links to a new Impact section on our website, with even more up-to-date information that you can talk about in your group and share with your supporters.

Speaking of impact, Grandmothers Campaign members who have travelled with us to Uganda, Swaziland, South Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zambia over the years have all had similar experiences of welcome by African grandmothers, often with warm smiles, hugs, sharing, and dancing. Many members of the Campaign have lamented the fact that dancing isn’t a bigger part of the culture of some grandmothers groups.  Well, our September Monthly Reveal is your opportunity to welcome a little more movement into your world. As Annie Lennox says, "sisters are doing it for themselves!"

With excitement for the busy months to come,
Graham, Ilana, Janet, Healy, Sarah, Sydney, Asmita and Carrie

2. Impact: The Journey to Resilience

You may recall hearing about our Impact Assessment Framework when we launched our Year in Review this past Spring. Now we have a whole Impact Section on the Stephen Lewis Foundation website. The Impact Assessment Framework is an innovative tool we developed with our African partners to tell the story of the remarkable long-term impact of their efforts, and to chronicle the tangible effects of more than a decade of generous support by members of the Grandmothers Campaign and other SLF donors.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction to the Impact Section:

"Our community-based partners have always understood that what is fundamentally at stake in the response to the HIV & AIDS epidemic is ‘resilience’: people’s ability to cope with crisis, to regroup and rebuild, and to continue on with their lives.

Through the Foundation’s partnerships with more than 300 community-based organizations over the past 12 years, we have amassed a wealth of information about what has really been working to push back the ravages of AIDS, and re-open the possibility of decent futures for so many people infected with and affected by HIV & AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The SLF is now in the process of documenting this bigger picture of change, unveiled by our partners' work: the story of a journey towards resilience and new hope for life." 

For more information, check out these sections:

3. Sustaining a Movement Powered by Love

"From Canada, to Swaziland, to Uganda and now in South Africa, we have moved from mourning to a movement. We have been doing our part, and have become experts on how to survive and thrive in the midst of the AIDS pandemic.... 

We will continue to struggle, and we will not give up the fight against HIV & AIDS. We will never give up because this grandmothers movement is powered by love." 
--excerpt from the South Africa Grandmothers Statement.
 
This year we are marking the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign, and last month, you were among the first in the world to read the powerful South Africa Grandmothers Statement. The grandmothers of South Africa called upon their government and the international community to recognize their human rights and support them in their courageous efforts to lead Africa through the AIDS pandemic.

The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign has supported grandmothers in South Africa and across the continent for 10 years and will continue to do so for years to come. Your creative events, fundraisers, and sales generate essential financial support for community-based organizations that are run by and for grandmothers.

In honour of the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign, there's an additional way in which you and those in your communities can help sustain the grandmothers movement. You and your supporters are invited to participate in the 10 for 10 Initiative by making a monthly donation of $10 a month (or increasing an existing monthly donation by $10). Your monthly donation will provide reliable and long-term funding to our community-based partners working with and for grandmothers.

4. Changes to Aeroplan's Beyond Miles Member Donation Program

Like so many of the Foundation's collaborations with its partner organizations, the recent South Africa Grandmothers Gathering was facilitated in large part by generously donated Aeroplan Miles! As you know, these Miles allow us to fund the travel of African grandmothers, create partnerships through our mentorship programme, send our field representatives to visit partner organizations, and much more—all without diverting precious funds from the critical work at the grassroots. 
 
Recently, Aeroplan made some changes to its Member Donation Program (no longer called Beyond Miles):  

  • For every donation of Aeroplan miles, Aeroplan will also make a 10% contribution!
  • The charities who receive the most frequent donations will now receive the most visibility on their website. Please consider giving the SLF small donations (min of 1,000) on a regular basis to keep our presence strong on the Aeroplan site. We want to make it easy for Aeroplan members to find us!
  • You can also set up your account to automatically give 2% of all earned miles.
  • We will still have a ‘Match Week’. Stay tuned for the dates when Aeroplan will match all donations to the SLF for one week in 2017.

We hear from many of you that you are encouraging your networks to put their unused Aeroplan Miles to good use, even by incorporating it into your events and presentations. Thank you for understanding the value of these miles and how critical they are to our work! For more information on how the Foundation uses donated Miles, click here

5. Registration is Open for Regional Gatherings and Conversations with Stephen and Ilana

Last month we let you know about the Regional Grandmothers Gatherings taking place in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Toronto at the end of September and beginning of October. Many of you will receive invitations to them in the next few weeks (if you haven't already). In the meantime, you can learn more about each of them on the Regional Gatherings section of our website.

6. The Power of Solidarity

Ten grandmothers group members from Australia and Canada attended last month's South Africa Grandmothers Gathering and visited Zambian grandmothers and the community-based organizations that support them. They have returned with renewed passion and a wealth of information! They are eager to speak to grandmothers groups, community groups and schools about their experiences and everything they learned from their Zambian and South African sisters.  If you’d like to know if one of these fabulous women is available to speak to your group, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

7. Calling all Treasurers: Revised Treasurer's Resource Kit

Just in time for the Fall, we have a new and improved Treasurer's Resource Kit. In addition to a re-organization to make the information you need easier to find, this kit includes an important section for all group treasurers and chairs called "Controls and Accountability" that outlines our highly-recommended best practices for managing group finances.

The Treasurer's Resource Kit can be found in the Members Only section of the Grandmothers Campaign website. If you are a grandmothers group member and need the password or would like a copy of the kit emailed or mailed to you, please contact campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

8. Janet Walks the Runway?

Did you see our recent Facebook post with a photo of Janet Solberg (SLF Senior Advisor, Stephen Lewis' sister, and all around mensch!) walking the runway at Dare to Wear Love?

If you haven't "Liked" the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign on Facebook, the photo of Janet is only one of many treasures that you missed recently. We regularly share news on our Facebook page and we also use it to help connect grandmothers groups across the Campaign.

"Like" us on Facebook to make sure you see all of our important updates and don't miss any of the fun!

9. 10 Year Anniversary Pins: Back in Stock!

To mark the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign, we have beautiful commemorative pins to proudly showcase your commitment to turning the tide of AIDS in Africa.  We sold out of the first batch, but we just received our new order!

The metal pins (1in x .75in) are available to groups on consignment. For group members, the cost is only $1.50; if you want to sell them as a fundraiser, we suggest $5 a pin.

Please contact your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org to place an order or to learn more!

10. September Monthly Reveal: World AIDS Day Flash Mob Song!

On World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), we, alongside your Grandmother Regional Liaisons, encourage grandmothers groups to organize flash mobs in cities across Canada! What is a Flash Mob? It’s any group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an act/song/dance for a brief period of time, then disperse. The purpose in this case is to raise awareness of African grandmothers and of your work as grandmothers groups!
 
We are happy to tell you that we have secured the rights to use “Sisters are Doing it for Themselves” by Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics in a Grandmothers Campaign video compilation! We will feature the song and video clips from flash mobs in Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Interested but not sure how to get started? We can provide you with simple steps you can take to make your flash mob a success! A volunteer choreographer has created an easy dance and we’re producing an instructional video (featuring SLF staff members) which will be ready in time for your Fall Regional Gatherings. Don’t miss out! Contact your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or write to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org

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Special Granny Bulletin: July 2016

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

For 10 years Grandmothers Campaign members across Canada have stood in solidarity with the grandmothers of Africa as they raised their grandchildren and raised their voices. We knew that you would want to be the first in the world to read the Call to Action, the South Africa Grandmothers Statement, that the grandmothers of South Africa delivered just hours ago.
 
As you know, roughly three hundred South African gogos – supported by 21 of our community-based partner organizations – have come together in Durban this week for the historic South Africa Grandmothers Gathering. Taking place on the eve of the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, this Gathering signifies a watershed moment in the ongoing struggle for African grandmothers’ human rights. Over the past two days, its participants have discussed the challenges facing their communities in a series of ground-breaking, grandmother-led workshops addressing everything from raising orphaned and traumatized children, to combating stigma and discrimination, to starting community gardens and income-generating projects.

Today, participating South African grandmothers joined together with another 1,500 of their fellow gogos from the Kwazulu Natal region for a momentous Grandmothers March to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, where the International AIDS Conference is being held. Here, they presented the South Africa Grandmothers Statement—a powerful and urgent Call to Action in the face of the global AIDS epidemic.
 
You can read the South Africa Grandmothers Statement here.
 
Taken together, this week’s Gathering, the provocative and unequivocal South Africa Grandmothers Statement, and the fast-approaching International AIDS Conference provide a pivotal opportunity to bring African grandmothers' rights to the fore of international consciousnesses. We know that with your continued support they will make their voices heard.
 
To download a PDF of the South Africa GrandmothersStatementclick here. For more information on the Gathering – and the Foundation’s presence at next week’s International AIDS Conference – click here.
 
In solidarity,
Grandmothers Campaign Team

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You have been sent this email because you have provided your email address to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Occasionally you will receive email updates about the Foundation and our partner organizations in Africa.

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Please contact us if you wish to update your email address
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Tel: 416-533-9292 Toll-free:1-888-203-9990
Charitable registration # 89635 4008 RR0001
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Granny Bulletin: June 2016

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. "Now is the time to do more, not less!" Spotlight on Grassroots
  2. Tell Us Your Story
  3. Stride is Just a Step Around the Corner
  4. 10 for 10 and the POWER of 10
  5. Fiscal Year End
  6. Pin Sales
  7. June Monthly Reveal: Telephone Town Halls!

1. "Now is the time to do more, not less!" Spotlight on Grassroots

Our latest SLF newsletter, Spotlight on Grassroots, focuses on home-based care, “one of the most effective treatment and prevention strategies in the struggle to subdue the AIDS epidemic since its devastating emergence.”  We talked with the leaders of three community-based organizations in Tanzania, Namibia and Kenya.
 

“We certainly cannot deny that ARVs (antiretroviral drugs) are doing a lot of good. People are up and running again. But we also cannot deny that even the up-and-running clients can fall sick once more. And when they fall sick they will need our support to get better... In particular, we are aware that we are the fragile link between the health facilities and the community. Because we know the health facility will not come pick people up and say, ‘Hey, why haven’t you taken your treatment?’ Only the home-based care providers will do that.”

Lorenz Hembapu, Catholic AIDS Action, Namibia

You can read the full Spotlight on Grassroots in print or click on the link below to the electronic version, which also features three online videos.

Click here to read Spotlight on Grassroots >>

2. Tell Us Your Story

There is so much to celebrate about the Grandmothers Campaign! Thanks to the energy and efforts of thousands of grandmothers and grandothers, we have together created a vibrant, dynamic, and stereotype-shattering movement of older women from all walks of life. At the SLF, we are privileged to get to know each and every group – your unique identities, challenges, and proudest accomplishments. 

We’d like to make sure that you all have another opportunity to get to know each other, to share both how you are different and what brings you together. So, over the next few months, we are going to profile grandmothers groups on our Facebook page and at grandmotherscampaign.org.  Who knows, the media might even pick up on it!

Whether you’re part of a long-standing grandmothers group or one newly formed, with many members or few, hosting one event or twenty events in a year, we encourage you to participate and help generate excitement and momentum across the Campaign!

Please take a moment at your next meeting to reflect on the following questions and send us your responses. Thank you so much!

Group Profile Questionnaire 

  1. Why did you choose your grandmothers group name?
  2. When did your group form?
  3. What are some of your favourite events?
  4. What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
  5. What is unique about your group?
  6. Why do members of your group continue to stand in solidarity with African grandmothers?

If possible, please send us a photo of your group in action and don't forget to tell us who's in it!

Please email your group's answers and photo to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

3. Stride is Just a Step Around the Corner

The sun is shining, and it’s that time of year to put on your walking shoes, t-shirts, Stride scarves, hats, and sun block for the Stride to Turn the Tide!

Stride is a great way to show solidarity with African grandmothers across sub-Saharan Africa — who walk with purpose every day. They walk to get health care in far-away clinics and markets, to collect water and deliver grandchildren safely to school, to provide urgent home-based care, to protest violations of their human rights, and to enjoy precious time with family and friends.

There are more than 20 Stride walks happening across Canada this June and this year will be an exciting one!  To support the walks happening in your community, visit www.stridetoturnthetide.ca

4. 10 for 10 Initiative and the POWER of 10

We want to share with you two great ideas for marking the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign -- the 10 for 10 Initiative and the POWER of 10 (yes, that's a lot of 10's in one sentence).           
 

Grandmothers Campaign 10 for 10 Initiative
 

The grandmother-led 10 for 10 Initiative challenges supporters of the Grandmothers Campaign--be they members or friends or family--to donate $10 a month in honour of the 10 Year Anniversary. Monthly donations mean that our community-based partners have more reliable and long-term funding to carry out their transformative work at the grassroots. If you are already a monthly donor, you might consider increasing your donation by $10). To learn more, visit our 10 for 10 Page.

The Burnaby Gogos POWER of 10
 

The Burnaby Gogos in British Columbia came up with their own idea to engage supporters for the 10 Year Anniversary:
 

"To mark the Campaign’s 10 Year Anniversary, Burnaby Gogos launched a new fundraising campaign called the POWER of 10, on Mother's Day. The concept is simple: raise $10,000 - $10 at a time. With a population of more than 200,000 in Burnaby, if only 1,000 residents each donate $10, the goal will be easily reached.  
 
The POWER of 10 offers different opportunities to donate. We set up a fundraising page. We also borrowed an idea from our sister group, Golden Ears Gogos. They recently held a successful 100-day coin challenge, and created small decorated coin jars to hand out at the farmers’ market. Individual members keep a record of who has them. Any cash donations will be entered on our fundraising page to keep the measurements rising!
 
We were pleased to get an article and photo in our local newspaper and are also using our Facebook page to promote this fundraiser. We’ve chosen to wrap up the POWER of 10 at the end of the anniversary year, International Women’s Day 2017, with a celebratory event.
 
For more information email burnabygogos@gmail.com."        
    
 
And here's the power of a good idea. More grandmothers groups have already decided to participate, each raising an additional $10,000 this year in honour of the Anniversary.

5. Fiscal Year End

As the treasurers in the Campaign already know, the Foundation's fiscal year ends on June 30, 2016. So, if you want the funds you've raised attributed to this fiscal year, please send them in postmarked to the SLF by June 30. Here's the address:

Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501
Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 2E4

6. Pin Sales

Thanks so much for buying pins for your group members and selling them to the general public. Please make sure to send the proceeds postmarked by June 30, so that we can attribute them to funds raised on behalf of the 10 Year Anniversary. 

If your group has too many 10 Year Anniversary pins (pins you won't sell before June 30), please send them back to the office so that we can re-distribute them to grandmothers groups who haven't yet received them. If you'd prefer to hold onto pins to sell in the future, please send $1.50 per pin, postmarked by June 30. Any money raised by pin sales after that date can be submitted in the next fiscal year.

Thank you!

7. June Monthly Reveal: Telephone Town Halls!

Each month during the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign we will reveal something special to help you mark this milestone!

We are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting a series of town hall meetings (by telephone) for Grandmothers Campaign members. Each town hall will be on a timely issue relevant to African grandmothers and the Grandmothers Campaign.

The first in the series will be on June 21 from 1:00pm-2:30pm Eastern time.

Lee Waldorf, the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Director of Policy and former human rights advisor to the United Nations, will lead the telephone town hall to explore and discuss the anticipated Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS that will be the outcome of the United Nations' High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS (June 8-10, 2016).

We will circulate the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS to participants in advance of June 21. Lee will give us an overview, including the role of governments and funders in response to the declaration and how it's most likely to impact African community-based organizations. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, although you certainly don't have to speak in order to participate! The intention of the town hall is to give deeper insight into HIV/AIDS in Africa for all members of the Grandmothers Campaign.

If you would like to participate in this first telephone town hall about the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, please email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org by June 15 to RSVP. We'll send you the details!

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Granny Bulletin: April 2016

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers
  2. Paying Tribute to Mothers
  3. It's Time to Stride in Solidarity
  4. Monthly Reveals for the 10 Year Anniversary

1. Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers

Welcome to the April issue of the Granny Bulletin! 
 
In each edition of the Bulletin over the next year, we’ll be “revealing” a new activity, resource, event or idea that all grandmothers groups in Canada, the UK, the US and Australia can put their own spin on, to help mark and celebrate the Campaign’s Ten Year Anniversary. You’ll find the first reveal at the end of this Bulletin, so make sure you read all the way through and share with your group or region.  Our accomplishments over the past ten years should make all of us exceedingly proud!  For those of us at the SLF, it gives us tremendous strength and purpose to continue to support and amplify the voices of the African grandmothers and community-based organizations that are changing the course of the AIDS pandemic forever.
 
With admiration,

Graham, Ilana and the Grandmothers Campaign team

2. Paying Tribute to Mothers

Gogo (grandmother) Lindeni and four of her grandchildren, supported by Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) outside Durban, South Africa.

On May 8th, we celebrate Mother’s Day – a time to honour the mothers and grandmothers in our lives. It’s also a time to keep our partners in sub-Saharan Africa and the communities they serve close to our hearts, where Mother’s Day can often be a complicated occasion. In the midst of mourning the loss of so many mothers to AIDS, there is celebration of the life-giving contributions of countless grandmothers who have stepped in to care for millions of children orphaned by the virus – grandmothers who show astonishing resilience and who bring new meaning to mothering and Mother’s Day.
 
This July, on the eve of the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, hundreds of South African grandmothers will gather together to lay collective claim to their human rights, as grandmothers at similar Gatherings in Swaziland (2010) and Uganda (2015) have done before them. But first, they mark another Mother’s Day together. A Mother’s Day spent remembering lost mothers, and celebrating the grandmothers who have – with herculean effort and love – become mothers once again.

As grandmothers and members of the Campaign, your hearts have always been with the African grandmothers who have become mothers all over again, as they raise a generation of children orphaned by AIDS.
 
This Mother’s Day, the SLF is again offering two beautiful printed or electronic cards to commemorate and celebrate mothering in all its forms. 

We invite you to make a donation in lieu of a gift, and send a beautiful printed or electronic card to your loved one(s). You can send one of the Foundation’s two available cards yourself, have us send it on your behalf, or donate online and send an e-card for immediate delivery.

3. It's Time to Stride in Solidarity

The sun is shining, and it's that time of year to put on your walking shoes, t-shirts, Stride scarves, hats, and sun block and join us for the Stride to Turn the Tide! It’s now a spring tradition.

Stride is another great way to show solidarity with African grandmothers across sub-Saharan Africa -- who walk with purpose every day. They walk to get health care in far-away clinics and markets, to collect water and deliver grandchildren safely to school, to provide urgent home-based care, to protest violations of their human rights, and to enjoy precious time with family and friends. It’s why Stride has resonated with grandmothers groups all across Canada.

As you walk this year – whether around your community for one Stride day – or while tracking your steps by pedometer for many Stride days – celebrate the impact of your solidarity over the last 10 years, and remember the distance left to go.
And let’s make that number 10 matter. How about recruiting 10 more friends to walk with your group? Or get 10 more friends to pledge their support? Or collectively increase your team goal by 10 kilometres? These are just our ideas; we know you can think creatively to mark Stride in a special way! 

We’re here to support you! Traditional walk and virtual walk resources are available now at www.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride.

Need Stride Insurance?

If your group would like to be covered under the Foundation-organized insurance, please click here to access the Walk Registration form, which should be mailed or emailed to stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org by May 20th. Even if we have already been in touch about planning your walk, please send in a Walk Registration form to ensure coverage!
Here’s how the insurance process works:

  1. If your Stride location requires proof of insurance, print off and fill out the Insurance Information letter available here, and give this letter to your contact at your venue as a placeholder.
  2. Fill out your Walk Registration Form with your planned location and send it to us by May 20th.
  3. Once we have received your Walk Registration form, we’ll be in touch to provide you with your policy number and information in the weeks leading up to your walk.

And if you’re ready to start Striding, the online fundraising pages are live!  Have a look, register your team, and start fundraising today.  You can set up a fundraising page at www.stridetoturnthetide.ca and if you have any questions please contact the Stride Coordinator at 1-888-203-9990 ext. 302 or at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org 

We look forward to helping you Stride to Turn the Tide for 10 years of solidarity!

4. Monthly Reveals for the 10 Year Anniversary

Each month during the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign we will reveal a special resource or tool to help you mark this monumental year.
 

April Monthly Reveal: 10 Year Anniversary Pins and Materials 

To mark the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign, we have beautiful commemorative pins to proudly showcase your commitment to turning the tide of AIDS in Africa.  We know they’ll be a conversation starter!

The metal pins (1in x .75in) are now available to groups on consignment. For group members, the cost is only $1.50; if you want to sell them as a fundraiser, we suggest $5 a pin.
 
Please contact your Campaign Officer to place an order or to learn more!
 
In addition, we have some great new 10 Year Anniversary print materials. Check them out below, and be in touch if you think they’ll be useful to your group.

10 Year Anniversary Materials:

Reflection and Renewal Gathering Correction! 

In last month's Granny Bulletin when referring to the success of the BC Super Gathering, we mentioned that 23 of 25 grandmothers groups participated. What we should have said is 23 of 25 grandmothers groups in the Greater Van Gogos and another 19 groups from across the province participated in the gathering - that's 42 groups!

Granny Bulletin: April 2016

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers
  2. Paying Tribute to Mothers
  3. It's Time to Stride in Solidarity
  4. Monthly Reveals for the 10 Year Anniversary

1. Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers

Welcome to the April issue of the Granny Bulletin! 
 
In each edition of the Bulletin over the next year, we’ll be “revealing” a new activity, resource, event or idea that all grandmothers groups in Canada, the UK, the US and Australia can put their own spin on, to help mark and celebrate the Campaign’s Ten Year Anniversary. You’ll find the first reveal at the end of this Bulletin, so make sure you read all the way through and share with your group or region.  Our accomplishments over the past ten years should make all of us exceedingly proud!  For those of us at the SLF, it gives us tremendous strength and purpose to continue to support and amplify the voices of the African grandmothers and community-based organizations that are changing the course of the AIDS pandemic forever.
 
With admiration,

Graham, Ilana and the Grandmothers Campaign team

2. Paying Tribute to Mothers

Gogo (grandmother) Lindeni and four of her grandchildren, supported by Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) outside Durban, South Africa.

On May 8th, we celebrate Mother’s Day – a time to honour the mothers and grandmothers in our lives. It’s also a time to keep our partners in sub-Saharan Africa and the communities they serve close to our hearts, where Mother’s Day can often be a complicated occasion. In the midst of mourning the loss of so many mothers to AIDS, there is celebration of the life-giving contributions of countless grandmothers who have stepped in to care for millions of children orphaned by the virus – grandmothers who show astonishing resilience and who bring new meaning to mothering and Mother’s Day.
 
This July, on the eve of the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, hundreds of South African grandmothers will gather together to lay collective claim to their human rights, as grandmothers at similar Gatherings in Swaziland (2010) and Uganda (2015) have done before them. But first, they mark another Mother’s Day together. A Mother’s Day spent remembering lost mothers, and celebrating the grandmothers who have – with herculean effort and love – become mothers once again.

As grandmothers and members of the Campaign, your hearts have always been with the African grandmothers who have become mothers all over again, as they raise a generation of children orphaned by AIDS.
 
This Mother’s Day, the SLF is again offering two beautiful printed or electronic cards to commemorate and celebrate mothering in all its forms. 

We invite you to make a donation in lieu of a gift, and send a beautiful printed or electronic card to your loved one(s). You can send one of the Foundation’s two available cards yourself, have us send it on your behalf, or donate online and send an e-card for immediate delivery.

3. It's Time to Stride in Solidarity

The sun is shining, and it's that time of year to put on your walking shoes, t-shirts, Stride scarves, hats, and sun block and join us for the Stride to Turn the Tide! It’s now a spring tradition.

Stride is another great way to show solidarity with African grandmothers across sub-Saharan Africa -- who walk with purpose every day. They walk to get health care in far-away clinics and markets, to collect water and deliver grandchildren safely to school, to provide urgent home-based care, to protest violations of their human rights, and to enjoy precious time with family and friends. It’s why Stride has resonated with grandmothers groups all across Canada.

As you walk this year – whether around your community for one Stride day – or while tracking your steps by pedometer for many Stride days – celebrate the impact of your solidarity over the last 10 years, and remember the distance left to go.
And let’s make that number 10 matter. How about recruiting 10 more friends to walk with your group? Or get 10 more friends to pledge their support? Or collectively increase your team goal by 10 kilometres? These are just our ideas; we know you can think creatively to mark Stride in a special way! 

We’re here to support you! Traditional walk and virtual walk resources are available now at www.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride.

Need Stride Insurance?

If your group would like to be covered under the Foundation-organized insurance, please click here to access the Walk Registration form, which should be mailed or emailed to stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org by May 20th. Even if we have already been in touch about planning your walk, please send in a Walk Registration form to ensure coverage!
Here’s how the insurance process works:

  1. If your Stride location requires proof of insurance, print off and fill out the Insurance Information letter available here, and give this letter to your contact at your venue as a placeholder.
  2. Fill out your Walk Registration Form with your planned location and send it to us by May 20th.
  3. Once we have received your Walk Registration form, we’ll be in touch to provide you with your policy number and information in the weeks leading up to your walk.

And if you’re ready to start Striding, the online fundraising pages are live!  Have a look, register your team, and start fundraising today.  You can set up a fundraising page at www.stridetoturnthetide.ca and if you have any questions please contact the Stride Coordinator at 1-888-203-9990 ext. 302 or at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org 

We look forward to helping you Stride to Turn the Tide for 10 years of solidarity!

4. Monthly Reveals for the 10 Year Anniversary

Each month during the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign we will reveal a special resource or tool to help you mark this monumental year.
 

April Monthly Reveal: 10 Year Anniversary Pins and Materials 

To mark the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign, we have beautiful commemorative pins to proudly showcase your commitment to turning the tide of AIDS in Africa.  We know they’ll be a conversation starter!

The metal pins (1in x .75in) are now available to groups on consignment. For group members, the cost is only $1.50; if you want to sell them as a fundraiser, we suggest $5 a pin.
 
Please contact your Campaign Officer to place an order or to learn more!
 
In addition, we have some great new 10 Year Anniversary print materials. Check them out below, and be in touch if you think they’ll be useful to your group.

10 Year Anniversary Materials:

Reflection and Renewal Gathering Correction! 

In last month's Granny Bulletin when referring to the success of the BC Super Gathering, we mentioned that 23 of 25 grandmothers groups participated. What we should have said is 23 of 25 grandmothers groups in the Greater Van Gogos and another 19 groups from across the province participated in the gathering - that's 42 groups!

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Granny Bulletin: March 2016

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Dearest Grandmothers & Grandothers
  2. Stride is at our Heels
  3. Grandmothers Campaign T-Shirts
  4. Beds Without Breakfast

1. Dearest Grandmothers and Grandmothers,

Ten years ago today, on March 7th, the eve of International Women’s Day, the Stephen Lewis Foundation launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.  For the first time, the struggles and experiences of African grandmothers were heard on an international stage.  They were the linchpins of their communities, holding them together even as they cared for a generation of children orphaned by AIDS and mourned the loss of their own adult children.  Their collective voices demanded to be heard.
 
Canadian grandmothers came together like never before, organizing in homes and communities with a great sense of urgency. It was your shared identity as grandmothers and years of experience in women’s groups, churches, synagogues, and as nurses, teachers, counsellors, or business owners, that compelled thousands of older women to build a grassroots grandmothers movement.
 
Ten years later, you’re still honouring your pledge from the first International Grandmothers Gathering in Toronto in 2006, “we will not rest until they can rest”.  And African grandmothers have become activists and advocates pushing for theirs and their grandchildren’s rights and protection.  They are now recognized as community experts and agents of change – all while continuing to care for their orphaned grandchildren, putting them through school, educating them about HIV and AIDS, and becoming small business owners to earn a living.
 
Over the next few months, we’ll have much to share with you to honour your commitment and celebrate your incredible achievements.  For now, we’ll leave you with a special 10th Anniversary video from Stephen and Ilana.  Enjoy!
 
Warmly,
 
Graham, Sydney, Asmita, Janet and Sarah

2. Stride is at our Heels!

This year’s Stride is a special opportunity to mark a decade of solidarity in the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. After all, your efforts have raised an astonishing $24 million in ten years.
 
Your collective contribution to sustainable funding has allowed African grandmothers to be part of psycho-social counselling, income-generating activities, HIV-prevention programmes, and to become expert leaders in advocating for their human and civil rights.
 
As you walk, celebrate the impact of your solidarity, and remember the distance left to go. And make that number 10 matter.
 
Whether you create a new personal goal to recruit 10 friends to join you, or get 10 more friends to pledge for you, or even to up your team goal by 10 kilometres – you can help to mark 2016 Stride in a special way!  This June, put on your walking shoes, t-shirts, scarves, hats, and sun block and join us in the Stride to Turn the Tide.
 
To set up your Stride page visit www.stridetoturnthetide.ca.  All forms and resources are posted online and if you have any questions please contact the Stride Coordinator at 1-888-203-9990 ext 302 or at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org  We look forward to helping you Stride to Turn the Tide!

3. Grandmothers Campaign T-Shirts

Spring is approaching so it is time for another order of Grandmothers Campaign t-shirts from Gathering Grannies. Please send orders or inquiries to lindataberner@yahoo.ca no later than April 6th. Shirts are $23 each, including postage. Further details can be found at Clothes & Accessories | Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign
Looking for a Grandmothers Campaign t-shirt specifically for the 10 Year Anniversary? We have a beautiful new 10 Year Logo for the Campaign, and you are welcome to use it on your own t-shirt designs. Just be in touch with us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org for the high resolution image!

4. Beds Without Breakfast

Thinking of travelling as the warmer weather approaches? Remember there are over 70 hosts from coast to coast ready to welcome fellow grannies and grandothers to their homes in return for a donation to the Foundation- a win-win arrangement. Please check the website for the latest update as homes are added or deleted and sometimes hosts' email addresses change. Go to http://www.grandmotherscampaign.org/events/national-events/beds-without-breakfast
If you have any questions please email lindataberner@yahoo.ca

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Special Granny Bulletin: Miles Matching

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

On February 23rd and 24th, the Aeroplan Beyond Miles Program will match donations to the Stephen Lewis Foundation – up to 500,000 Miles! 

As members of the Grandmothers Campaign, you know just how important Aeroplan Miles are to the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. 

Longtime Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign member Judy Johnson (British Columbia) talks about the value of the Foundation's partnership with Aeroplan… and the connections the Beyond Miles Program creates.

Aeroplan Miles allow our African programme representatives to visit and build dynamic relationships with our partner organizations. They help us bring leaders from partner organizations together to share their knowledge and build the capacity of their organizations. They facilitate groundbreaking events like the Ask Her Talks, the African Grandmothers Tribunal, and Hope Rising!  Miles have made visits with African grandmothers possible – to attend regional gatherings, raise awareness and funds, and build the solidarity that is at the heart of the Grandmothers Campaign.
 
We know you may not have your own Miles to donate – or are using them to visit grandchildren or warmer climates! – but if you feel so inclined, please share this message with family, friends or community members who have Miles to contribute.
 
This is a once-a-year opportunity to double the impact of the Miles contributed to the Stephen Lewis Foundation — Miles that are vital to the Foundation's ability to support community-based organizations in Africa as they struggle to turn the tide of AIDS.
 
Thank you for everything you do.
 
In solidarity,
 
Ilana and Graham
 

Seize the moment! February 23rd and 24th are the days to donate miles and have them matched. 

Learn More »

Granny Bulletin: December 2015

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers
  2. Ask Her Talks Videos Available!

A brief reminder to groups that any funds requiring a 2015 tax receipt must be postmarked on or before December 31st.  Thank you!


Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,

As this is the final Granny Bulletin of 2015, and we know that many of you are already happily surrounded by grandchildren and family, we’ll keep our remarks short yet heartfelt (as always!).

Thank you for your endless passion and perseverance!  Every talk in a school or a church, every hour spent setting up the perfect fundraising dinner or fabric sale, every group meeting spent learning more about the AIDS pandemic in Africa, means that your groups, families, and communities stand together in solidarity to support the extraordinary efforts of African grandmothers to turn the tide of AIDS.

Thank you for your commitment to lifelong learning! Whether it’s taking on a new role in your grandmothers group, speaking about the Stephen Lewis Foundation in public, or sharing the Foundation’s unique approach of partnership and solidarity, this commitment to learning ensures that the Campaign is always responsive and dynamic.

Thank you for your wisdom and generosity!  Whether you’ve been a member of the Campaign for one year or for ten years, you’re part of a rich and vibrant tapestry of grandmothers and grandothers in Canada, the U.K., and Australia, who feel a strong sense of connection and sisterhood with grandmothers in Africa, and with one another.  Your wealth of experience, expertise, and generosity of spirit are an inspiration to your families, communities, and to future generations.

You share all of these qualities and commitments with the African grandmothers and grassroots organizations who work so hard to restore dignity and hope to their families and communities.  But if there is any one word that comes closest to capturing the challenges, triumphs, grief, hopes, hard work, and determination of African grandmothers in the midst of the AIDS pandemic, it’s resilience.  Our African partners who are working with such urgency and tenacity at the grassroots have long known that the return to a full and vibrant life – the hallmark of resilience – is the real measure of victory over AIDS. 

As we reflect on the past year and look forward to the next, we at the Foundation are thinking about what resilience means to us and to our efforts to be steadfast and true partners of the experts in Africa for whom it is the lynchpin of success, of survival.

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. We know there are countless thoughtful and brilliant ideas to share in the New Year and we’re looking forward to hearing every one!  Until then, as 2015 draws to a close, thank you once again.  We wish you and your families all the best.

With affection,
Ilana, Graham, Janet, Yasmin, Sydney and Asmita
 
 
 2. New SLF Videos: The Ask Her Talks



We are delighted to share new videos from the second installment of the Ask Her Talksspeaker series that recently took place in Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto.  The grandmothers and grandothers who attended the Talks in each city were keen that we share them with you as soon as possible!

The African women who spoke at the Ask Her Talks come directly from grassroots organizations in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.  They are frontline workers, organizers and activists who are seized with the challenges of AIDS in the lives of their communities, day in and day out. In their Talks, each woman addresses the herculean efforts being made at community-level by tenacious grassroots organizations to hold governments accountable to those struggling with the virus, and to rebuild families and communities.

From beginning to end, the insights, humour, chagrin, and tough analyses of the African women who spoke at the Ask Her Talks challenges us all to think differently about philanthropy, change, and power.

Please enjoy the videos of the Ask Her Talks at http://www.askhertalks.com/watch and share them widely!

 

Granny Bulletin: November 2015

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. A letter from Kenneth Mugayehwenkyi
  2. South African Grandmothers Gathering 
  3. Holiday Tribute Cards

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,

In every edition of the Granny Bulletin, we begin with a few words from those of us who work most closely with you. This month however, we thought we would share a heartfelt letter from Kenneth Mugayehwenkyi, the Chair of the recent Uganda National Grandmothers Gathering in Entebbe. It’s a beautiful reflection on the Gathering, a call to support similar national gatherings across sub-Saharan Africa, and... well, we’ll let Kenneth’s letter speak for itself!
 
Dear friends from the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Canadian Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, Partners, and Colleagues,
 
I take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your selfless and generous contributions. The first ever National Grandmothers Gathering on the African Continent was a tremendous success, a dream come true. And it could not have happened without your support.
 
A decade ago, when we started working with grandmothers affected by HIV/AIDS, we saw and felt pain, suffering, despair and hopelessness. With support from The Stephen Lewis Foundation, grassroots organizations - founded by and for grandmothers - started to gain momentum and slowly the situation for grandmothers improved. Programmes geared to support grandchildren lessened their own burden. Healthcare support (including access to treatment) improved their health. HIV/AIDS prevention education reduced infections and stigma. And the multitude of social support groups reduced isolation and loneliness. Grandmothers experienced new hope and found strength to fight back and turn the tide of HIV/AIDS in their own communities. In villages and towns, grandmothers started to rewrite the story of HIV/AIDS.
 
As this was happening, we realized that organizations, media and politicians were virtually unaware of this shift and especially not aware of the grandmothers’ efforts and roles in making it happen. We decided to bring this to the attention of other grandmothers and the leadership across the continent.
 
First, we started with an African Grandmothers Gathering in Manzini, Swaziland. It was a successful and energetic effort, but it was a drop in the ocean and far away from the homes of many grandmothers. Our next step was to have grandmothers’ voices heard in within their own countries.
 
The Grandmothers Gathering in Entebbe, Uganda in October was just such a forum – a landmark in the Ugandan grandmothers’ efforts to have their voices heard and achieve dignity. At the Entebbe gathering, the grandmothers made it clear that they can no longer be left to struggle alone for the survival of our families and communities amidst the HIV and AIDS pandemic. They called on government, media, faith organizations, bilateral agencies, the business community, civil society organizations and the general public to act with urgency in support of the grandmothers.  
 
What we need now is to have similar gatherings in as many African countries, as often as possible. If a voice is to be heard, let it be the voice of our grandmothers, the voices of our unsung heroes. 
 
Thank you, and let us work together to do whatever it takes to keep the voices of grandmothers loud and acknowledged.
 
Kenneth E Mugayehwenkyi
 
 
 2. South African Grandmothers Gathering

As you read in Kenneth’s letter above, a remarkable transformation is taking place  in sub-Saharan Africa! Grandmothers (and the community-based organizations run by and for them) now have real momentum to articulate and claim their human rights. As members of the Grandmothers Campaign, many of you have been witness to this change for quite some time. Community-based responses that were once described as “temporary” or “band-aid” interventions -  only to be relied upon until the large internationally-recognized organizations paternalistically stepped in -  are now much more definitively recognized as the most effective, authentic and sustainable solutions.  Of course, African communities have always known this!  It’s also the way that we at the SLF (and all of you!) have purposefully worked all along.

In 2010, the SLF partnered with SWAPOL (Swaziland for Positive Living) to convene the first-ever gathering of grandmothers from across sub-Saharan Africa in Manzini, Swaziland.  Five hundred grandmothers came together to draft and deliver The Manzini Statement – a call to action to the world to recognize and support the critical role they play in holding families and communities together in the midst of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Last month, the SLF joined six of our community-based partners to organize the Uganda National Grandmothers Gathering in Entebbe.  It was an unprecedented opportunity for Ugandan grandmothers diversely affected by HIV and AIDS to voice their unique experiences, share strategies for responding to the pandemic, and collectively lay claim to constitutionally-protected rights.  They spoke about their grandchildren and about parenting in the context of HIV and AIDS. They spoke about the need for secure housing and pushed for access to pensions. They took this rare and precious opportunity to take time together, time away from their day-to-day responsibilities, and time to plan for their grandchildren’s futures.

You can see beautiful photos and read more about the Uganda National Grandmothers Gathering in our latest issue of Grassroots

At both the African Grandmothers Gathering in 2010 and the Uganda Gathering last month, the SLF facilitated and led a delegation of Canadian grandmothers, at the request of our African community-based partners.

The SLF is again working alongside our community-based partners to convene the South African Grandmothers Gathering in July 2016. We will be selecting a delegation of Grandmothers Campaign members to attend as observers.   The trip is open to grandmothers and grandothers in Canada, the UK, and Australia who belong to a registered grandmothers group and who are active members of the Grandmothers Campaign.

We know you already have many questions – you’ll find the answers in the trip Information Package, available now.  If you would like an Information Package, please send an email to campaigncoord@stephenlewisfoundation.org or call 1-888-203-9990, ext. 0.  Please share your first and last name and the name of your grandmothers group.

Applications will be sent out on/after Wednesday November 25th.

We’ll also be holding conference calls for those thinking about submitting an application, to answer questions and convey our excitement and enthusiasm!
 
 
3. Holiday Tribute Cards

Our popular December Holiday Tribute Cards have arrived! Each card represents a donation of $10 or more, made in lieu of a traditional gift.  There are two beautiful cards with images that celebrate African grandmothers and their grandchildren, and include a special holiday message.  To make a personal donation and send a card, please call 1-888-203-9990, ext 0.  To order cards for your grandmothers group ($10 each), please call or email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 

 Granny Bulletin: October 2015

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Dearest Grandmothers & Grandothers 
  2. Sisterhood and Solidarity in Uganda
  3. OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH - Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes
  4. Regional Gatherings
  5. The Ask Her Talks are fast approaching! 

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
What a Fall it’s been!  There were the Grandmothers Gatherings in four regions in Canada. Each one, as always, was a true reflection not only of your unique regional identities, but also of the work you’ve done across regions, sharing ideas and celebrating your collective creativity, commitment and power!
 
At the National Grandmothers Gathering in Uganda, you were well represented by your sisters in the Grandmothers Campaign who travelled from across Canada, and from the Guildford and Godalming Grandmothers group in the United Kingdom.  As you’ll see below, they have much to share!
 
With endless appreciation for all you do,
 
Ilana, Graham, Janet, Yasmin, Sydney and Asmita




2. Sisterhood and Solidarity in Uganda
 
This month, hundreds of grandmothers from across Uganda made history in Entebbe, coming together for Uganda's first National Grandmothers' Gathering. It was an unprecedented opportunity for older women diversely affected by HIV and AIDS to voice their experiences, share innovative strategies for responding to the pandemic, and collectively lay claim to constitutionally-protected rights too often denied. 
 
The Ugandan grandmothers were joined by grandmothers from Kenya and South Africa, as well as 22 members of the Grandmothers Campaign, from Canada and the UK, who represented the many thousands of members of the Campaign. Over the first two days, the Ugandan grandmothers met in workshops, to rigorously discuss the difficult issues affecting them and their communities. On the culminating day of the Gathering, they walked jubilantly through the streets of Entebbe, demanding access to education, healthcare, land, legal representation, and freedom from violence and theft.  The colourful signs they carried had messages like “Education for our orphans is a right not a request”, “We need no sympathy, but your support”, and “My grandmother is my hero”.  They made a striking presence!
 
The participants then released the powerful Ugandan Grandmothers Statement (see below), calling on government, the private sector, civil society, media, UN Agencies and members of the international community to support their collective vision for a future in which their grandchildren and communities are thriving, and have left the ravages of AIDS behind.  Members of the Grandmothers Campaign played a unique role here, as they took fastidious word-for-word notes during every workshop which were then shared with the African community-based organizations who were working with the Ugandan grandmothers on the Statement.
 
The 22 grandmothers who participated in the National Grandmothers Gathering in Uganda are eager to share the experiences, stories and lessons learned with others in the Campaign. Please contact AsmitaSydney or Yasmin if you’re interested in having someone speak at your events, group meetings, etc.
 

Ugandan Grandmothers’ Statement 
Grandmothers’ Gathering, Entebbe, Uganda, October 5-7, 2015
 
We, 500 grandmothers from every region in Uganda, have come together for three days in Entebbe for the first ever National Grandmothers Gathering. We are celebrating our triumphs over the devastation that HIV and AIDS has wrought: over the painful losses of our loved ones, over stigma and discrimination, and over the threat to our very survival. Our love and labour has sown the seeds of new hope for our grandchildren, our families and our communities.
 
Our journey has been a long one, but our strength has been growing. We joined with other grandmothers in Toronto in 2006 breaking through silence and stigma. In Swaziland in 2010, we looked toward the future. Now, united in Uganda, we are claiming that future.
 
We have done our part. We care for the sick, we work the land, we hold our collective memory, and fueled by our love we raise the next generations, provide food, schooling, homes and security.
For far too long we have not been counted, we have not been valued, we have been made invisible. It is time for our contributions to be recognized and our rights to be protected.
 
Health care services must respond to the needs and realities of grandmothers and the children in their care, including: accessible grandmother-friendly HIV related services, specialized clinics and mobile care.
 
We must be protected from land grabbing and our property and inheritance rights guaranteed– not just on paper but in reality.
 
We demand an end to violence against grandmothers, whether it is domestic violence, elder abuse, or rape.
 
We are productive members of our society, and every government programme and policy should be designed with us in mind. But that is not enough, concrete action must be taken to ensure we can access them.
 
Our efforts to secure livelihoods for our families must be supported. Economic opportunities should be expanded for those of us still able to work, and social benefits extended to those who cannot. Protection from theft is essential, as well as greater access to credit and markets.
 
We are raising generations of grandchildren ruptured by trauma, and require financial assistance and psychosocial support.
 
While we welcome the commitment to move the provision of social pensions from 15 to 40 districts, we urge our government to reach all of the grandmothers of our nation as soon as possible.
 
To our government, the private sector, civil society, media, UN Agencies and members of the international community — the grandmothers of Uganda have a powerful vision for a future in which our families and communities are thriving, and have left the ravages of AIDS behind. With the support of our community based organizations we have made huge strides, and we know a vibrant future is possible, but we cannot do it alone. To our Canadian sisters in the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, you are an important part of our story, and we feel your solidarity as we build momentum.
 
We are 500 grandmothers here today, but we represent millions more. We are not young, but we are strong. We want the world to know how much we have achieved and how much we have overcome. We have breath to sing and energy to dance. We are moving forward! Join us!
 







3. Book Launch Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes
 
As you’ll know from previous Granny Bulletins, the SLF is offering Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes, to members of the Campaign and to the public.  At $12 each plus mailing costs, it’s a wonderful fundraiser for your group and an essential part of any grandmother’s home library!  It was launched officially at the National Grandmothers Gathering in Uganda this month.
 
This book gives voice to letters of strength, courage and resilience exchanged between 30 grandmothers in Uganda, South Africa, and Kenya. Representatives from Reach Out Touch One Ministries (ROTOM) in Uganda, Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS (GAPA) in South Africa and Pendeza (PENAF) in Kenya were on hand for the official launch.
 
Purchasing Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes is a unique way to support the authors, while also contributing to other community-based organizations that work with grandmothers.  Six dollars from the sale of each book will go to ROTOM, PENAF and GAPA (split evenly); three dollars will go towards printing costs; and three dollars will go to our other African community-based partners who work with grandmothers.
If your grandmothers group would like to order multiple copies they are also available “on consignment”.  We’ll send you the books and you can send back the funds for books sold.  You can also return unsold copies – although we don’t think that will be necessary!
For more information or to order your copy now, please get in touch with your Grandmothers Campaign Officer, or send an email to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org


Stephen Lewis Lewis is joined by Kenneth Mugayehwenkyi, Joanne Kepher, Robina Ssentongo (translation), and by grandmothers representing ROTOM, PENAF and GAPA at the launch the book, 'Grandmothers: Africa's Unsung Heroes' in Entebbe, Uganda! 


4. Another Successful “Gathering Season”!
 
A big thank you and congratulations to those who organized and participated in Gatherings across the country this Fall! From Fredericton to Ottawa/Gatineau to Peterborough to Lethbridge, this was an opportunity for groups across the regions to connect, share resources and ideas, and learn more about our African partners.  As staff members at the SLF, we know just how privileged we are to work alongside all of you when we attend gatherings, spend time with you (in person!) and marvel at the all the ways you encourage and support one another.
 
This year, we were so fortunate to host two guests from the Botswana Organization of Retired Nurses (BORNUS), Mrs. Lesego Mabona and Mrs. Annette Dube, in Toronto.  Mrs. Mabona is one of the founders of BORNUS and Mrs. Dube runs one of their grandmother support projects.  We were thrilled that their schedule permitted them to spend some time with us, and allowed them to attend two Fall gatherings in Peterborough, Ontario and Lethbridge, Alberta.  Of course, it would have been ideal if they were able to attend every gathering, but it just wasn’t possible on this trip.  There will be other opportunities though so if you’d like to host a guest from one of our African community-based partners at your next gathering, we’ll do our best to make it happen!
 
In Fredericton, the Atlantic grandmothers groups created a truly memorable Gathering.  A few of the highlights for us included the Bay Grandmothers’ book club.  Each book is selected so that learning about Africa never stops, alongside all of their other efforts in the Campaign.  In addition, we were able to talk about the ‘project cycle’ – how we work with our African partners to build the trust and flexibility necessary to best meet their priorities. The day was also special because it ended with a thoughtful presentation from three Atlantic grandmothers who traveled to Ethiopia with the SLF last year.  They shared photos, stories and Ethiopian bread and coffee!
 
The Ontario Regional Gathering in Peterborough was a busy day filled with networking, a wonderful (and all-too-tempting) marketplace, and presentations by a range of speakers about the AIDS pandemic and the urgency of African grassroots responses.  Mrs. Mabona and Mrs. Dube from BORNUS spoke about their determination to rise to the challenges that HIV/AIDS brought to their community, by caring for and serving others.  BORNUS reaches every age group and they have some of the most innovative income generating projects, including a grandmothers bee-keeping initiative!  Hearing directly from these accomplished grandmothers about the impact of BORNUS on the entire community was reenergizing for all of us.  

The Alberta Gathering in Lethbridge focused on learning more about the incredible strides being made at the grassroots, and how the SLF supports this important work. There was no one better to share this than Mrs. Mabona and Mrs. Dube! They led us through BORNUS’ journey through the years, from their humble beginnings to the multitude of activities they currently engage in, including their multiple partnerships with community members, organizations and government.  Needless to say, it left us all feeling inspired that anything is possible! Another highlight was the “speed round” fundraising ideas session, where each group had only a few minutes to talk about their most memorable events. While it certainly kept us on our toes, all of the groups used their time in the most inventive ways!
 
Ottawa-Gatineau’s GrannyFest rotated four groups in a ‘Carousel of Stories from Africa’ so that Eastern Ontario grandmothers could share experiences in Africa on SLF-led trips. One group had just recently returned from the National Grandmothers Gathering in Uganda and so had many insights to share! Ilana Landsberg-Lewis spoke about the SLF’s groundbreaking Impact Assessment Framework – something we know grandmothers groups are interested in – it’s all about resilience!
 
The final Gathering this fall season will be in Quebec on October 30th in Hudson QC, hosted by Grannies Aid for Africa. Best of luck!


5. The Ask Her Talks are fast approaching! 
  
As we mentioned in the previous Granny Bulletin, the second installment of the Ask Her Talks speaker series will be taking place in conjunction with World AIDS Day in three Canadian cities: Edmonton (Nov 23), Winnipeg (Nov 25) and Toronto (Dec 1). These Ask Her Talks will feature an all-new slate of five African women experts - from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe - who will share critical insights on the state of the AIDS epidemic and reveal what is truly working, and what is not, in the world of philanthropy.
 
For more event details, to watch the last Ask Her talks, and to purchase tickets ($20 each), visit askhertalks.com
 
If you missed the window to buy advance tickets using the grandmothers’ promotional code, fear not – tickets are still available, but they are going quickly so be sure to purchase them soon before we sell out (as we happily did during the first round in May!).
 
If you would prefer to purchase a hard ticket, please email us at askhertalks@stephenlewisfoundation.org and we’ll put you in touch with local grandmothers who are selling hard-copy tickets.
 
As always, we are lucky enough to be working closely with grandmothers groups in Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. These groups will be hosting an intimate event for Canadian grandmothers in each city to meet with the five speakers, to provide a chance for conversation and connection. More details to come!     
 
For those who cannot make it to these Ask Her Talks, rest assured – we will be sharing online video clips and other resources from these Talks with all members of the Grandmothers Campaign. We know you’ll find the Talks to be enlightening, stimulating and provocative. 



 

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Granny Bulletin: September 2015

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Ten Year Anniversary
  2. Ask Her Talks 
  3. Gatherings
  4. New Team Member: Asmita 
  5. New Regions for Campaign Officers  
  6. Ugandan Grandmothers Gathering
  7. Stride Thank You 
  8. Cycle Tour

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
It seems to me like the past few months just flew by.  It could be that, at least in Toronto, the summer started late and hasn’t quite given up on itself yet.  It could be that the Fall is always such a busy time at the Foundation and for many of you too: grandmothers gatherings from the East Coast of Canada to the West, planning for our upcoming Ask Her Talks in November, or the imminent Ugandan Grandmothers Gathering in Entebbe where 22 members of the Grandmothers Campaign have been invited as delegates – all of which you can read about below!
 
It’s also because we’re getting so close to the 10 year anniversary of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.  In 2006, when I first started at the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Grandmothers Campaign was brand new.  The Toronto Gathering had just happened, bringing together 100 African grandmothers with 200 Canadian grandmothers for two days of workshops on topics ranging from grief to stigma to parenting – all created and facilitated by African grandmothers.  An international solidarity movement was born, the likes of which had never before been seen!  From 4 grandmothers groups to 40 to 120 within the span of 8 months, grandmothers and grandothers from every corner of Canada responded with the same love and passion and determination they had for their own families; their own grandchildren.  In the Toronto Statement, the African grandmothers’ declaration that “we will not raise children for the grave”, was met by the Canadian grandmothers’ pledge, “we will not rest until they can rest”.
 
From that extraordinary beginning to this day, I have seen thousands of older women shatter stereotypes about what it means to be a “granny”, pull off tens of thousands of inspirational fundraising events, offer each other support and find unexpected new friendships, and speak to countless schools, faith communities and community groups to raise awareness.  Most importantly, I have had the privilege of being part of a movement that values solidarity rather than simply charity.  A movement of grandmothers and grandothers in Canada, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. who cherish, learn from, and champion the experts on the AIDS pandemic in Africa – the African grandmothers.
 
There are so many ways to mark 2016 as the 10 Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.  We want to hear every idea, big or small, whether you’ve been in the Campaign for 10 years, or 10 minutes!
 
One exciting initiative will take place in March and September 2016.  Stephen Lewis will be engaging in a series of talks to and for grandmothers groups, in locations across Canada!  The first of these talks will be at the British Columbia “Super” Gathering, taking place in the Greater Vancouver area on March 11 and 12, 2016.  Grandmothers and grandothers from all across BC are invited. 
 
In September 2016, four talks will be scheduled in communities representing different regions of Canada.  We have been in close conversation with the Grandmother Regional Liaisons for each region to talk through how each is determined.  If you have feedback or questions for us, or don’t know how to get in touch with your Grandmother Regional Liaison, please email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 
We also hope to have grandmothers from a handful of our African partner organizations attend events throughout the series in March and September!
 
This will be a real milestone for all of us – a moment to take stock and appreciate all that we’ve accomplished, to look back in order to move forward, and most importantly, to recommit ourselves to the African grandmothers that continue to hold families, communities and indeed, an entire continent together.
 
Warmest regards,
 
Graham Coultas
Director, Grandmothers Campaign
 
2. The Ask Her Talks coming to Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto!
 
We’re delighted to announce that the second installment of the Ask Her Talks speaker series will be taking place this Fall, in conjunction with World AIDS Day! These Ask Her Talks are a unique opportunity to hear directly from an all-new group of dynamic, expert African women at the frontlines of the response to the HIV & AIDS epidemic. The five speakers will address a wide range of issues, from the growing power of young women’s activism around HIV & AIDS in Kenya, to the remarkable organizing for access to treatment in South Africa. 
 
Here are the details for this upcoming round of Talks!
 
Edmonton: Monday, November 23rd at the Royal Alberta Museum
Winnipeg: Wednesday, November 25th at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre (The Met)
Toronto: Tuesday, December 1st (World AIDS Day) at TIFF Bell Lightbox
 
The all-new group of women featured in these Talks includes:
 
Peres Abeka, Chairperson and co-founder of the Young Women Campaign Against AIDS (YWCAA) in Kenya
Kidist Belete, Founder and Executive Director of Developing Families Together (DFT) in Ethiopia
Hope Chigudu, Co-founder of the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network
Vuyiseka Dubula, Past General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in South Africa
Dorothy Onyango, Founder and Executive Director of Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya (WOFAK)
 
For more details on these three events, please visit the Ask Her Talks website at www.askhertalks.com.
 
Tickets are $20 each and will go on sale to the public on October 6th, but grandmothers in the following three cities will receive an email next week, giving them early access to tickets. If you do not live in Edmonton, Winnipeg or Toronto but would like receive early access to tickets, please send an email to askhertalks@stephenlewisfoundation.org (being sure to include the city where you would like to attend), and we will send you the appropriate ticket information.
 
For those who cannot make it to these Talks, rest assured - future Ask Her Talks will be hosted in different cities and provinces across Canada, and we will be sharing online video clips and other resources from these Talks with all members of the Grandmothers Campaign.
 
Join us, and leave the Talks inspired, challenged and informed!
 
3. Grandmothers, it’s Gathering Time!
Gathering Season is upon us!  This is a terrific time and opportunity for grandmothers groups to spend time with SLF staff and learn more about their African sisters, to network, share resources, and plan for the upcoming year.  This Fall, there are four gatherings to tell you about from the East Coast of Canada all the way to the West Coast, each involving networks of groups working together. Here is a snapshot of the gatherings for September and October:
 
September 19th
Ontario Gathering, hosted by Grandmothers Together Peterborough, with the Ontario Regional Resource Group (ORRG)
 
September 25th/26th
Atlantic Gathering, hosted by Grandmothers Helping Grandmothers Fredericton
Alberta Gathering, hosted by Harambee Grandmas of Lethbridge
 
October 17th
Ottawa’s GrannyFest, hosted by the Ottawa/Gatineau Regional Network
 
To learn more about the gatherings please visit our Regional Gatherings page.
 
4. New Team Member: Introducing Asmita
Please join us in welcoming Asmita Persaud to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Asmita take on the role of Grandmothers Campaign Officer from Laura, who leaves us to pursue a Masters degree in Education.  We’ll all miss her, but she promised not to go too far away! 
 
Asmita asked to share a few words of welcome:
 
I am excited and honoured to join the Stephen Lewis Foundation as a Grandmothers Campaign Officer! I have already been so inspired by your commitment to African grandmothers, and the wide range of creative events and fundraising efforts that you work so hard on.  I look forward to getting to know many of you across Canada, in the UK and in Australia!  My background is in Sociology with a focus on women's rights and poverty reduction strategies.  In my spare time, I enjoy theatre and improvisational comedy, and I’m relearning the clarinet, (much to my neighbours' dismay!).  I cannot wait to work together to support the urgent work at the grassroots in Africa! 
 
Asmita has already made a great addition to the Campaign!  And as so many of you know, additions to the team often mean a minor reshuffling of the regions that each Campaign Officer works most closely with.  Please share this updated configuration with members of your group.
 
5. New Regions for Grandmothers Campaign Officers
We’ve redistributed the regions to reflect the new member of our team!
 
Yasmin, ext. 230 ymussa@stephenlewisfoundation.org
Lower Mainland/Greater Vancouver area, Ottawa and all (613), Alberta and United States:
 
Sydney, ext. 309 soastler@stephenlewisfoundation.org
Atlantic, Greater Toronto area, BC Interior, UK and Australia:

Asmita, ext. 302 apersaud@stephenlewisfoundation.org
Quebec (with Janet), Saskatchewan, Manitoba, BC Islands, Yukon and Ontario (519) & (705)
 
6. Ugandan Grandmothers Gathering 
In just a few days, the 22 grandmothers who have been selected as delegates to represent the Grandmothers Campaign at the Ugandan Grandmothers Gathering will be on their way to Entebbe.  When they return, they’ll have so much to share, including stories, photos and new insights into the lives and experiences of Ugandan grandmothers!  Each traveller has committed to one year of sharing what she learned with grandmothers groups, faith communities, schools, media and community organizations.  We’re happy to connect you or your group with a returning delegate!  Just email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.  Here are the delegates: 
 
Fran Reed, Camrose, AB; Judy Dube, Edmonton, AB; Cheryl Fraser, Kelowna, BC; Penny Lewis, Richmond, BC; Diane Walker, Vancouver, BC; Jill Whitaker, Portugal Cove-St. Philips, NL; Catherine Dougherty, Barrie, ON; Alix Lipskie, Barrie, ON; Carol Barnhardt, Guelph, ON; Laurie Wierzbicki, Oakville, ON; Jennifer Baniczky, Ottawa, ON; Stella Val, Ottawa, ON;  Suzanne Brooks, North Bay, ON; Jeanne Kennedy, North York, ON; Adele Colby, Tichborne, ON; Ruthann Hicks, Toronto, ON; Jo-Anne Page, Toronto, ON; Sharon Polansky, Toronto, ON; Jane Patrick, Sutton, QC; Nola Ayers, Regina, SK; Wendy Dunnett, Cranleigh, Surrey, UK; Val Hewitt, Farncombe, Surrey, UK;
 
7. Stride Thank you
Congratulations to everyone who participated in Stride to Turn the Tide this year! After a successful 6th year, Stride has now raised an incredible $1,751,000 since 2010!
 
In past years, staff here at the SLF have taken a page out of Stephen’s book, and have ‘watched from the sidelines and cheered’ you all on. But not this year! We have been so moved by all that you accomplish every year through Stride, that this year we decided to join you all in a virtual Stride. Between mid-February and the main Stride weekend in June, we “visited” every grandmothers group in Canada! Working together, the staff of the Foundation walked more than 22,000 kilometres in total – enough steps to cover the route from our office in Toronto out to the west coast and up to Whitehorse and then back across the country all the way to St. John’s (touching every grandmothers group along the way). We hope you enjoyed ‘following’ our walk this year as much as we enjoy supporting and hearing about each of your walks every year.
 
We look forward to many years to come of walking in solidarity with all of you across Canada, and, together, walking in solidarity with the grandmothers in Africa!

8. Cycle Tour
Congratulations to the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa Cycle Tour and the Grassroot Grannies Ride to Turn the Tide in Ottawa, who collectively rode 565 kilometres over three days in September! Both events went off without a hitch and together, they raised an incredible $129,000 and counting. Our deepest and most heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated!





 

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Granny Bulletin: June 2015

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes Book is Now Available
  2. Apply Now to Attend the National Grandmothers Convening in Uganda
  3. Stride to Turn the Tide is Fast Approaching
  4. The Ask Her Talks
  5. June 30 – End of Fiscal Year

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Welcome to the June edition of the Granny Bulletin!  We have so much to share with you, including updates on Stride to Turn the Tide, and details about a new book from (and by!) African grandmothers, now available to members of the Grandmothers Campaign!  We’ll also tell you about how you can apply to represent Canadian grandmothers as a member of an SLF delegation to the first National Convening of Grandmothers in Uganda, in October.

Our new Spring edition of Spotlight on Grassroots newsletter will be available soon, but we thought you’d like a sneak peek! The SLF and our community-based African partners are developing a new tool for measuring impact.  Here are some excerpts:

There is a hidden story in the response to the AIDS pandemic on the African continent. It’s a story about the remarkable progress that communities have made, and the deeply human changes that people experience with the support of their community-based organizations. 

Now the challenge is to develop a method of meaningfully documenting this impact. Traditional impact models have focused on quantifiable results – numbers of children in school, of people accessing medication, of clinics, etc. What they continue to miss, and what the Foundation has found most critical, is the qualitative, harder-to-measure results... Activities and numbers can be easily documented. However, measuring quality of life, sustainable livelihoods, happiness, well-being, participation in community development – these are more ephemeral, and yet equally urgent...

With this in mind, the Foundation, in consultation with our partners, set out to develop an impact assessment tool that would reflect the whole story of what it really takes to resurrect lives and communities and what it really means to turn the tide of AIDS – a tool sophisticated enough to measure success in the most human of terms.

Our partners tell us that what is fundamentally at stake in the response to the HIV&AIDS pandemic is resilience: people’s ability to cope with crisis and move forward.  This can be seen in renewed stability and dignity at home and in the community.

The concept of resilience is a lynchpin to success – not because it envisages a future when all troubles come to an end, but because it is an approach that renews and restores people’s capacity to manage the ongoing stresses and crises that life may bring.  Resilience is about returning to a full life, with all of its possibility and complexity.

Resilience is the real end-game.


Watch for your copy of Spotlight on Grassroots newsletter in your inbox or mailbox.  Not signed up for the newsletter?  Visit www.stephenlewisfoundation.org and scroll to the bottom of the page.  To get multiple copies for your grandmothers group, send us an email at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 
As always, our deepest gratitude for your commitment to African grandmothers and the community-based organizations that work so hard to turn the tide of AIDS in Africa.

Warmest regards,
Ilana, Graham, Yasmin, Sydney, Tammy, Laura and Janet
 

1. Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes Book is Now Available




A few months ago, we told you about a new book, co-written by three of our African community-based partners – ROTOM in Uganda, PENAF in Kenya and GAPA in South Africa.  Using storytelling, photography and dozens of letters passed between African grandmothers who live thousands of kilometres apart, Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes helps to document the diverse experiences and lives of older women raising orphaned grandchildren.

Grandmothers: Africa’s Unsung Heroes is now available!  Each copy is $12, plus mailing costs.  It’s a wonderful way to support the book’s authors, while also contributing to other community-based organizations that work with grandmothers.  Six dollars from the sale of each book will go to ROTOM, PENAF and GAPA (split evenly); three dollars will go towards printing costs; and three dollars will go to our other community-based partners who work with grandmothers.

If your grandmothers group would like to order multiple copies they are also available “on consignment”.  We’ll send you the books and you can send back the funds for books sold.  You can also return unsold copies – although we don’t think that will be necessary!

For more information or to order your copy now, please get in touch with your Grandmothers Campaign Officer, or send an email to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 

2. Canadian Grandmothers Trip to Observe National Grandmothers Convening in Uganda

As many of you will remember, in May 2010 the SLF partnered with Swaziland for Positive Living (SWAPOL) to hold the historic African Grandmothers Gathering in Manzini, Swaziland.  Five hundred grandmothers from across sub-Saharan Africa came together to call for action the world over to recognize and support their role in holding together families and communities in the midst of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

You can read more about the African Grandmothers Gathering and watch the SLF’s short film about it, at http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/get-involved/past-events/african-grandmothers-gathering.

Another extraordinary gathering is about to take place, this time in Uganda!  The first-ever National Convening of Ugandan Grandmothers will be held in October 2015!  The SLF is working with our community-based partners in Uganda to bring together nearly 1,000 Ugandan grandmothers for a three-day conference to foster solidarity, identify shared priorities and develop a plan of action.

The SLF will be selecting a delegation of Grandmothers Campaign members – from Canada, the UK and Australia – to attend the Ugandan Convening as delegates and observers.

We know the timeline is tight – only four months to go – but we, and our partners in Uganda, needed to be certain of some key details before extending the official invitation.  We knew you would want to know the opportunity existed, even if some are unable to participate without more lead time.  But don’t worry, we’re sure there will be other opportunities!

We have many, many details to share with you and we know you’ll have many questions!  There are a few key things you can do to get more information and – if you’re interested – start the application process.

Email us at campaigncoord@stephenlewisfoundation.org to get the Information Package and Application, or call us at 1-888-203-9990, ext. 0. 

Join us on a conference call on Thursday June 11 at 2pm EASTERN time if you would like to learn more information about the Convening. You can sign up by emailing campaigncoord@stephenlewisfoundation.org. Although not mandatory, the call will be a great way to connect before the applications are due with any questions you might have – but please read the Information Package and Application first! And of course, feel free to email or call us with questions if you can’t make the call.

And if you’d like to learn a bit more about what the gathering will be like....

Watch the African Grandmothers Tribunal film and read the testimonies of Ugandan grandmothers Immaculate Nakyanzi and Mariam Mulindwa in the Tribunal Report. 

www.africangrandmotherstribunal.org/report

Watch the SLF’s short film about the 2010 African Grandmothers Gathering.  It will give you some insight into what the National Grandmothers Convening in Uganda will be like! 

www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/get-involved/past-events/african-grandmothers-gathering

The Information Package and Application contain the answers to many questions, including those around eligibility, how participants are chosen and the Selection Committee, estimated costs, dates, deadlines, visa requirements, immunizations, Aeroplan miles, post-trip commitments and dozens of other questions that we anticipate will arise.  We encourage you to read both documents thoroughly!

Finally, the Application Deadline will be Wednesday June 24th, although we’ll be reading and assessing applications as they are submitted.


3. Stride to Turn the Tide

Stride season is upon us! We’ve heard from many groups across the country that plan to walk this year in solidarity with African grandmothers. It’s not too late to join a Stride walk near you! This year groups are getting creative, and in addition to traditional walks, some are planning a day in the park, others are organizing smaller neighbourhood walks, and some are even trying out a virtual Stride walk.  

In fact, this year, out of appreciation for all that African and Canadian grandmothers do (and because it’s fun!), the SLF Staff Team is doing a Virtual Stride Walk to “visit” every grandmothers group in Canada. We started in Toronto in February and headed West.  After a long trek through Ontario, the Prairies, along the West Coast and up to Whitehorse, we’re on our way East, to our grand finale in St. John’s, NL. So far we’ve walked more than 16,000 kilometres... but we can’t rest yet. We’ve still got 5,000 more kms to walk! We hope you are all having just as much fun with Stride as we are this year... we look forward to hearing all of the great Stride stories from groups across the country!
 
If you still haven’t joined your local Stride walk and want to, or if you have questions about insurance, online fundraising pages or media, please get in touch with us at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org.  And if your group has already planned a walk, don’t forget to send in your Walk Registration form to make sure you’re covered by our insurance.

You can see the Stride fundraising pages at www.stridetoturnthetide.ca

Happy Striding!
 

4. The Ask Her Talks

 
Last month, we told many of you about a new Stephen Lewis Foundation initiative – the Ask Her Talks, which took place over three days in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.  The Talks gave the podium to knowledgeable, dynamic and informed African women, who spoke about what happens when crises strike – such as the AIDS pandemic, Ebola and sexual violence in conflict – and the role that philanthropy should now play in a transformative space.

As Ilana wrote,

It is rare that we have an opportunity to witness such passion and intelligence from a multiplicity of speakers in one evening. From beginning to finish, the insights, humour, chagrin, and tough analysis of the African women who spoke at the Ask Her Talks gave us something profound upon which to reflect.

It was an honour to hear Theo Sowa's analysis of the decline in funding for women's rights organizations, Netty Musanhu's incisive remarks about the way in which funding can ignore and subvert the realities of grassroots communities, Jessica Horn's insights about the response of women's community efforts to subdue the Ebola virus, Marie Jeanne M'bachu's searing account of the resilience of women in response to sexual violence as a strategy of war, and Jennifer Ayot's experiences as a human rights lawyer working in the 'post-conflict' areas of Northern Uganda. Working with the women of the inaugural Ask Her Talks – and the thousands more who inspired us to hold the Talks – is a remarkable experience. 

Just as the evening’s host Jackie Richardson promised, we were inspired and enlightened. With her warmth and supranatural voice raising the rafters of all three venues, Jackie paved the way for the powerful words of these African women as they challenged Canadians to think differently about philanthropy, change and power.

Be sure to watch for details of the next series of Ask Her Talks in new cities, featuring a new slate of uniquely qualified, dynamic and experienced African women activists and grassroots leaders. Stay tuned!

Videos of the Ask Her Talks will be online soon, but you can watch a four-minute “teaser” here: http://bit.ly/1eRUdZ3.
 

5. End of Fiscal

A reminder to groups – and especially group treasurers – that June 30, 2015 marks the end of the fiscal year at the Stephen Lewis Foundation. In order to ensure your group’s funds are included in the 2015 fiscal year, please make sure any outstanding donations are postmarked by June 30.  Thank you!

 

 Grandmothers Campaign website | Like the Campaign on Facebook 

You have been sent this email because you have provided your email address to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Occasionally you will receive email updates about the Foundation and our partner organizations in Africa.

Click here to unsubscribe carlilh43@gmail.com from this list.

Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E4, Canada
Tel: 416-533-9292 Toll free: 1-888-203-9990
stephenlewisfoundation.org | info@stephenlewisfoundation.org


Granny Bulletin: March 2015

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Grandmothers Campaign 10 Year Anniversary
  2. Stride to Turn the Tide Returns!
  3. Grandmothers Campaign T-shirts and Beds Without Breakfast

1. Grandmothers Campaign 10 Year Anniversary

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
International Women’s Day on March 8th marked the 9 year anniversary of the launch of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.  We can hardly believe that so much time has passed!  There were four groups when the Campaign began, 40 groups at the first-ever Grandmothers Gathering in Toronto, and more than 240 groups today in Canada, Australia, the UK and the US. From then to the present, grandmothers and grandothers work together with a collective focus and a fiery spirit that is unparalleled.
 
As we approach the 10 year anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign, there is so much to celebrate!  Nearly 10,000 grandmothers and grandothers from all walks of life are working together for a common cause; a breath-taking $22 million has been raised for the African grassroots organizations that are turning the tide of AIDS at community level; members of the Campaign relentlessly raise vital awareness of HIV & AIDS and the expertise of African grandmothers; and perhaps surprisingly for many, close friendships and community networks blossom as if they were destined to be.
 
We are now, as always, buoyed, inspired, encouraged and awed by all that you accomplish and by your continued commitment to your African sisters.  Grandmotherhood is a powerful bond!
 
As the ten year anniversary approaches, we have started to ask ourselves important questions.  How should we celebrate our achievements, while holding the knowledge that these precious moments of celebration and reflection come far less often for the African grandmothers we feel so connected to?  How do we honour, include, communicate with, and take guidance from African grandmothers?  How do we use the 10 year anniversary to rejuvenate ourselves and welcome new members? And how do we ensure that every grandmothers group feels equally included?
 
Of course, the anniversary is still a year away, but we’d love to get your thoughts and ideas at campaigncoord@stephenlewisfoundation.org. We do have something special in mind with African grandmothers and Stephen Lewis, but we’ll let you know more as things develop!
 
Thank you for all that you do.  Enjoy the signs of Spring!
 
Warmly,
 
Graham, Ilana, Yasmin, Sydney, Janet and Laura
 

2. Stride to Turn the Tide Returns!

How do we know spring is in the air? Well, all the signs are upon us! The days are lengthening, the birds have exploded into song and Stride to Turn the Tide is back! This is, of course, the national walk created by Canadian grandmothers in support of the grandmothers of sub-Saharan Africa who walk with purpose every day. They walk to far-away clinics and markets, to collect water and deliver grandchildren safely to school, to provide urgent home-based care, to boldly protest violations of their human rights, and to enjoy precious time with family and friends.
 
Traditionally, grandmothers groups across Canada have organized a one-day walk with family, friends and community members. Whether in parks or malls, for 1km or 10 kms, with t-shirts, scarves, banners, musicians or mascots, each walk takes place on one of three weekends in June and each walk is a remarkable statement of solidarity with African grandmothers and an expression of the many avenues of creativity and community building employed by the women of this Campaign. No walk is the same and we’d like to share another great suggestion on how this event could be tailored to fit your community.   
 
Here’s another idea, inspired by the Quinte Grannies and Blooms for Africa. Why not try a virtual walk? Now, “virtual walk” still means putting one foot in front of the other, but instead of walking for one day, participants track their steps using a pedometer (or smart phone if you have one!) over a longer period of time.  You’ll still collect pledges and work together to turn your steps into kilometres, and then turn those kilometres into virtually walking to one (or more!) of our partner organizations in Africa.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly kilometres add up just by tracking your usual daily steps, and then pushing yourself to go just a little further! 
 
No matter how you choose to Stride, we’re here to support you! Traditional walk and virtual walk resources are available now at www.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride or email us at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 
And if you’re ready to start Striding, the online fundraising pages are live!  Have a look, register your team, and start fundraising today.  You can set up a fundraising page at www.stridetoturnthetide.ca.
 
But wait!  There’s more!
 
The SLF staff will be doing our own Virtual Stride Walk to “visit” every grandmothers group in Canada!  SLF staff members have just begun counting our steps (and walking more) each day to reach our goal of over 21,000 kilometres!  Why 21,000 kilometres? That’s the distance it takes to make a virtual visit to every Canadian grandmothers group, urban or rural, big or small – including of course, Whitehorse and St. John’s.
 
We’ll also be virtually visiting the grandmothers groups in Australia, the UK, and the United States, but with the caveat that we’re allowed to fly into the nearest international airport and walk from there!
 
Every staff meeting, we’ll talk about the grandmothers groups we’ve visited so that everyone at SLF gets to hear about all the wonderful work you do.  21,000 kilometres is a long walk, but we are walking not only in solidarity with African grandmothers, but also in solidarity with you.  We’ll be posting updates on the Stride page of the Grandmothers Campaign website, so check us out!


3. Grandmothers Campaign T-shirts and Beds Without Breakfast

Submitted by Linda Taberner, Gathering for Grannies
 
Grandmothers Campaign T Shirts

Spring is approaching so it is time for another order of Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign T-shirts from Gathering for Grannies. Please send orders or inquiries to lindataberner@yahoo.ca no later than March 27. Further details can be found here.
 
Beds without Breakfast

Over 70 hosts from coast to coast would love to have more guests. This win-win programme enables you to stay with a fellow granny for far less than you would pay at a hotel and the Foundation receives the donation. Remember to tell your family and friends as many hosts are happy to welcome guests referred by, but not travelling with, grannies. More information can be found here
 

 Grandmothers Campaign website | Like the Campaign on Facebook 

You have been sent this email because you have provided your email address to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Occasionally you will receive email updates about the Foundation and our partner organizations in Africa.

Click here to unsubscribe carlilh43@gmail.com from this list.

Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E4, Canada
Tel: 416-533-9292 Toll free: 1-888-203-9990
stephenlewisfoundation.org | info@stephenlewisfoundation.org

 

Granny Bulletin: December 2014

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
In this, our final Granny Bulletin of 2014, we would like to take a moment to say a heartfelt and profound thank you to every member of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.  Your ingenuity, passion and commitment to African grandmothers is extraordinary and all of us at the Foundation are heartened to know it will continue into 2015.
 
We would also like to share a letter from Stephen Lewis, which was sent to our supporters just the other day. We don’t always share these types of letters (which include a fundraising request) with members of the Grandmothers Campaign simply because we know you do so much already – organizing fundraisers, speaking out in schools and to service clubs, riding, walking and pledging – donating your precious time and talents in the spirit of sisterhood and social justice. We deeply respect and honour all that you do! 
 
On the other hand, in this letter Stephen speaks about the emerging Ebola crisis in Africa and we know many of you have questions about the impact of Ebola on the response to the AIDS pandemic. This letter offers compelling thoughts directly from Stephen about the critical importance of refraining from pitting tragedy against tragedy, and compelling the international community to do more.
 
With warmest wishes,
 
Ilana and Graham
 


A Message from Stephen Lewis
 
What I am about to write is difficult, but it’s not meant to be invidious.
 
In the tragic saga of Ebola, there have been, thus far, more than fifteen thousand cases and more than five thousand deaths. It’s a death rate approximating 35%.
 
In the ongoing saga of HIV and AIDS, there have been, since the beginning of the pandemic in the early 1980s, 78 million infections and 39 million deaths. That’s an exact death rate of 50%.

If people feel that the comparison is unfair — that my reference to HIV and AIDS covers too much time — then let’s look at the most recent period for which HIV data is available. In 2013, UNAIDS reports that there were 2.1 million new infections and 1.5 million deaths.
 
Under no circumstances can one depreciate Ebola. It is a terrifying, hideous infectious disease that causes death and panic in equal measure. It’s now also responsible for the evisceration, perhaps fatally, of three countries in West Africa. No less a person than the President of the World Bank has said that Ebola may have devastated the economies and social structures of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea for a generation or more.

Commensurate with the Ebola plague has come the revelation that the health infrastructure in West Africa fundamentally doesn’t exist; that health workers of every occupation are in desperately short supply, that the international community is painfully slow to respond, that the World Health Organization is fatally flawed in both capacity and leadership, that if it wasn’t for an NGO like Doctors Without Borders the death toll would be exponential.
 
But there’s another consequence, a perfectly understandable consequence.
 
What marginal international funding there is for humanitarian intervention has gone/is going overwhelmingly to Ebola. How could it be otherwise? However, we must step back for a moment and ask what’s taking a hit as a result.
 
The answer is HIV and AIDS. You see, the overall amount of money available is still largely the same… it’s just being channeled in a different direction. What should happen is a dramatic enlargement of the financial foreign aid pie. But it’s not happening.
 
More’s the pity, because the work being done on HIV at grass-roots level is exactly the kind of community-based model that helps a country fight a scourge. Health systems are strengthened and with them, the capacity to intervene and hold things together.
 
If we lose that now, we’re in trouble on HIV and AIDS. No one — I repeat, no one — should reduce his or her contribution to Ebola. It’s the life and death struggle of the moment.
 
But even while supporting the fight against Ebola, we ask you not to forget about HIV. You can’t imagine how many governments are doing just that… the constant, repetitive drum-roll that AIDS is over, that AIDS is a thing of the past, that the AIDS-Free generation is upon us; it’s sheer unmitigated nonsense.
 
Just look at the numbers with which I started this letter.
 
It’s awkward to write a letter like this. Someone might make the argument that I’m plumping for AIDS over Ebola. That’s simply not the case. I’m trying to lay out the facts as we know them, and hoping against hope that some of you will agree. It’s not to give less to Ebola; it’s a plea that we not forget the Foundation’s stalwart grassroots partners in the process.
 
Thank you,

Stephen Lewis
Chair of the Board and Co-Founder
Stephen Lewis Foundation
 

 Grandmothers Campaign website | Like the Campaign on Facebook 

You have been sent this email because you have provided your email address to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Occasionally you will receive email updates about the Foundation and our partner organizations in Africa.

Click here to unsubscribe carlilh43@gmail.com from this list.

Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E4, Canada
Tel: 416-533-9292 Toll free: 1-888-203-9990
stephenlewisfoundation.org | info@stephenlewisfoundation.org

 

Granny Bulletin: December 2014

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
In this, our final Granny Bulletin of 2014, we would like to take a moment to say a heartfelt and profound thank you to every member of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.  Your ingenuity, passion and commitment to African grandmothers is extraordinary and all of us at the Foundation are heartened to know it will continue into 2015.
 
We would also like to share a letter from Stephen Lewis, which was sent to our supporters just the other day. We don’t always share these types of letters (which include a fundraising request) with members of the Grandmothers Campaign simply because we know you do so much already – organizing fundraisers, speaking out in schools and to service clubs, riding, walking and pledging – donating your precious time and talents in the spirit of sisterhood and social justice. We deeply respect and honour all that you do! 
 
On the other hand, in this letter Stephen speaks about the emerging Ebola crisis in Africa and we know many of you have questions about the impact of Ebola on the response to the AIDS pandemic. This letter offers compelling thoughts directly from Stephen about the critical importance of refraining from pitting tragedy against tragedy, and compelling the international community to do more.
 
With warmest wishes,
 
Ilana and Graham
 


A Message from Stephen Lewis
 
What I am about to write is difficult, but it’s not meant to be invidious.
 
In the tragic saga of Ebola, there have been, thus far, more than fifteen thousand cases and more than five thousand deaths. It’s a death rate approximating 35%.
 
In the ongoing saga of HIV and AIDS, there have been, since the beginning of the pandemic in the early 1980s, 78 million infections and 39 million deaths. That’s an exact death rate of 50%.

If people feel that the comparison is unfair — that my reference to HIV and AIDS covers too much time — then let’s look at the most recent period for which HIV data is available. In 2013, UNAIDS reports that there were 2.1 million new infections and 1.5 million deaths.
 
Under no circumstances can one depreciate Ebola. It is a terrifying, hideous infectious disease that causes death and panic in equal measure. It’s now also responsible for the evisceration, perhaps fatally, of three countries in West Africa. No less a person than the President of the World Bank has said that Ebola may have devastated the economies and social structures of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea for a generation or more.

Commensurate with the Ebola plague has come the revelation that the health infrastructure in West Africa fundamentally doesn’t exist; that health workers of every occupation are in desperately short supply, that the international community is painfully slow to respond, that the World Health Organization is fatally flawed in both capacity and leadership, that if it wasn’t for an NGO like Doctors Without Borders the death toll would be exponential.
 
But there’s another consequence, a perfectly understandable consequence.
 
What marginal international funding there is for humanitarian intervention has gone/is going overwhelmingly to Ebola. How could it be otherwise? However, we must step back for a moment and ask what’s taking a hit as a result.
 
The answer is HIV and AIDS. You see, the overall amount of money available is still largely the same… it’s just being channeled in a different direction. What should happen is a dramatic enlargement of the financial foreign aid pie. But it’s not happening.
 
More’s the pity, because the work being done on HIV at grass-roots level is exactly the kind of community-based model that helps a country fight a scourge. Health systems are strengthened and with them, the capacity to intervene and hold things together.
 
If we lose that now, we’re in trouble on HIV and AIDS. No one — I repeat, no one — should reduce his or her contribution to Ebola. It’s the life and death struggle of the moment.
 
But even while supporting the fight against Ebola, we ask you not to forget about HIV. You can’t imagine how many governments are doing just that… the constant, repetitive drum-roll that AIDS is over, that AIDS is a thing of the past, that the AIDS-Free generation is upon us; it’s sheer unmitigated nonsense.
 
Just look at the numbers with which I started this letter.
 
It’s awkward to write a letter like this. Someone might make the argument that I’m plumping for AIDS over Ebola. That’s simply not the case. I’m trying to lay out the facts as we know them, and hoping against hope that some of you will agree. It’s not to give less to Ebola; it’s a plea that we not forget the Foundation’s stalwart grassroots partners in the process.
 
Thank you,

Stephen Lewis
Chair of the Board and Co-Founder
Stephen Lewis Foundation
 

 Grandmothers Campaign website | Like the Campaign on Facebook 

You have been sent this email because you have provided your email address to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Occasionally you will receive email updates about the Foundation and our partner organizations in Africa.

Click here to unsubscribe carlilh43@gmail.com from this list.

Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E4, Canada
Tel: 416-533-9292 Toll free: 1-888-203-9990
stephenlewisfoundation.org | info@stephenlewisfoundation.org

 

Granny Bulletin: May 2014

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Welcome and Sneak Peek of Tribunal Film
  2. Grandmothers Campaign T-Shirts
  3. Stride To Turn the Tide
  4. Order Your Kazuri Jewellery
  5. Beds Without Breakfast
  6. Show and Tell - Send Us Your Videos!
  7. News From Your Campaign Team

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
It looks like spring has finally sprung in Canada, and while some of us might be wishing away swollen rivers and soggy trails, it seems like the perfect time to celebrate new beginnings.  First, a heartfelt welcome to new members and groups in Canada – and also to new members in the UK and Australia!  The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is made up of thousands of passionate older women who use every skill and resource at their disposal to stand in solidarity with African grandmothers, and raise the critical funds and awareness necessary to turn the tide of AIDS in Africa.
 
We’re just so eager to share something with you that we might as well get to it right away!  We are happy – no thrilled! – to share a special SNEAK PEEK trailer of the upcoming African Grandmothers Tribunal Film. At the Tribunal, African grandmothers from Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe testified about their struggles and their hopes, issuing a joint Call to Action for further support and systemic change. Canadian grandmothers bore witness to these testimonies, listening and responding with strength and tenderness – recommitting to the promise they made in the Toronto Statement, “We will not rest until they can rest”.
 
We wish we could be there with all of you as you get your first glimpse of the Tribunal film. We know you’ll be as deeply moved as all of us and that you’ll want to watch it again and again.
 
To view the trailer, please click here!
 
Warmest regards,
 
Ilana and Graham


Grandmothers Campaign T shirts
 
Most of you are familiar with the black shirts with the white Grandmothers Campaign logo, but for those who are not, they can be seen online here. They cost $20 each including postage and group orders are preferred when possible. Sweatshirts are also available for $25 each. The next ordering deadline is May 15th.
 
For further information or to order please contact Linda Taberner at lindataberner@yahoo.ca. Linda is a long-time member of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign who has been generously donating her time and talent to make sure that the Campaign shirts are available to everyone.  Thank you Linda!
 

Stride to Turn the Tide
 
Stride season is upon us! We've heard from many groups across the country that plan to walk this year in solidarity with African grandmothers... and it’s not too late to start planning your Stride!
 
No matter the scope of your walk – Stride is a great way to come together as a community and raise awareness and funds. Remember, this isn’t a marathon. It’s a leisurely or spirited walk or run – with friends and family, outdoors or indoors (yes, mall-walking counts too), for new groups or established groups, on city sidewalks or country lanes. Be creative and think of your African sisters with every step!
 
To kick-start your Stride fundraising, new and improved Stride online fundraising pages are available at www.stridetoturnthetide.ca. We've already heard some great feedback and would love to have as many groups as possible take advantage of this helpful tool.
 
This year, the SLF will be organizing insurance for all Stride walks. In order to be covered, please click here to access all Stride materials, including the Walk Registration form, which should be mailed or emailed to stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org by May 16th. Even if we have already been in touch about planning your walk, please send in a Walk Registration form to ensure coverage!
 
Since we know that many venues have asked for insurance information up front, we have created an Insurance Information letter that you can edit and print off – this should be all you need to secure your venue.
 
Here’s how the insurance process works:

  1. If your Stride location requires proof of insurance, print off and fill out the Insurance Information letter available here, and give this letter to the Walk venue.
  2. Fill out your Walk Registration Form with your planned location and send it to us by May 16th.
  3. Once we have received your Walk Registration form, we’ll provide you with your policy number and information in the weeks leading up to your walk. 

As always, please be in touch at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org with questions you might have about planning a Stride walk, or setting up your online fundraising pages. Happy Striding!
  

More Kazuri Jewellery Success!
 
In 2013, 73 grandmothers groups and 4 “grand-other” friends hosted over 210 successful Kazuri sales from Nova Scotia to British Columbia to the Yukon.
 
Kazuri continues to be a popular, fun and effective fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  Who doesn’t want to support 300 Kenyan women who earn a living wage by crafting colourful, hand-made jewellery AND at the same time raise funds for hundreds of African community-based organizations that are turning the tide of AIDS?
 
If you would like to host a Kazuri sale (or add it to an existing fundraising event) in Fall 2014 or would like more information, please contact Lori Blinn at loriblinn@rogers.com.  Please note that the deadline for submitting Fall orders is June 2014.
 

Beds without Breakfast

As the weather warms up and some of us start to think about travel plans within Canada rather than heading south, we’d like to remind you about Beds Without Breakfast. 60 host grandmothers in communities across the country have opened their homes to grandmother-travellers in return for a donation to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
 
Hosts and travellers alike rave about the friendships they develop and the connection they feel to grandmothers across Canada. Plus, when travelling somewhere new, host grandmothers are the perfect source of local knowledge to make your visit memorable!
 
There’s no need to sign up or become a host grandmother in order to find a Bed Without Breakfast. Just plan well ahead, as grandmothers lead busy lives!
 
Interested in hosting? New hosts are always welcome!  To find a Bed Without Breakfast or for more information on travelling or hosting, please click here or write to Linda Taberner at lindataberner@yahoo.ca.
 

Show and Tell... with an emphasis on the Show

From time to time, grandmothers groups send us fabulous video shorts of fundraising initiatives such as sack gardening, Stride hikes, guest speakers or educational presentations, and we have long wondered, wouldn’t it be great if we could share these with everyone?
 
It turns out we can!  We would like to invite you to submit short videos that highlight the work of your grandmothers group.  Videos can include yourself, your group or your whole community and could include one or more fundraising initiatives, or even promotions for an upcoming event.  Each video should be between 2 and 5 minutes in length and all participants must agree to have it posted on YouTube and/or Facebook.
 
To submit a video or for more information, please email us at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 
 
News from your Campaign Team

Welcome to Gerri! 
A warm welcome to Gerri Lutaaya, who has joined us on the Grandmothers Campaign team during Tammy Ebuen’s maternity leave. Gerri has already been reaching out to many groups and in her words, “I have been learning so much about the Campaign and I am humbled by the extraordinary commitment, creativity and drive you all share!”. We couldn't agree more!

A Note From Sydney 
The last few months have been a whirlwind... nobody knows that better than members of the Grandmothers Campaign! From the Tribunal to the recent Grandmothers Campaign trip to Africa, to the countless events held, time flies. I would like to slow down and take a moment to say hello to those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of speaking with yet. Looking back at how I started here at the Foundation - transcribing interviews for the upcoming Grandmothers Book - it is only fitting that after a short time filling in on the Programmes Team, I returned “home” to the Grandmothers Campaign a few months ago. Hearing stories from grandmothers in Africa and Canada, I learned not only about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, but also about the dynamic women who are at its heart - talk about smashing stereotypes! I look forward to learning more about you and about the Campaign and working together to continue this remarkable and vital work for African grandmothers. 
 

Granny Bulletin: February 2014

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Stride to Turn the Tide
  2. A Campaign Baby
  3. Grandmothers Trip Updates
  4. Dare to Wear Love Challenge
  5. Upcoming Art Shows

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Thank you.  

Thank you for a remarkably busy and productive 2013, filled with cycle tours, fabric sales, public presentations, craft shows and countless inspiring displays of solidarity with African grandmothers!  Our partners in Africa continue to use the funds, raised by you through the Grandmothers Campaign, carefully and wisely with all the expertise and knowledge at their command.

There are so many wonderful things to look forward to now that the great Canadian polar vortex is behind us.  The feature film from the African Grandmothers Tribunal is in the works and we have the happy problem of far too many hours of excellent footage from our post-Tribunal visit to the African grandmother testifiers.  We will of course make the film available to each and every grandmothers group as soon as it’s finished!

The Grandmothers Campaign trip to Africa is fast approaching – 22 grandmothers and grandothers leave at the end of this month for Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa.  They’ll return home at the end of March, ready to share their experiences and the work of the African projects with grandmothers groups across Canada.

We always look forward to the provincial and regional gatherings that bring groups together to reflect, reenergize, and celebrate your remarkable achievements.  The bonds of grandmotherhood and women-centred organizing are so clearly and beautifully present in all that you do!

There is still so much urgency and so much more work ahead.  As we get ready to leave on this exciting upcoming trip with representatives from some of your groups, I am filled with a new kind of excitement around the great strides (pun intended) made by the African grandmothers and the projects behind them!  The Tribunal flowed from the vital and dynamic addition to the grandmothers’ work in their communities: claiming their rights and making their voices heard in the corridors of power at the local and national levels.  I know that when we visit grandmothers and their projects in Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa this time around, we will see the very important and stunning work of combining direct service delivery with African grandmothers’ advocacy to promote, secure and claim their rights in their own countries.

Warmly,
Ilana

A SPECIAL NOTE:  Between February 27th and March 24th, some Campaign staff members will be out of the office, in Africa.  Our intrepid colleagues, Sydney Oastler and Janet Solberg will hold down the fort in the absence of the full team.  You can reach Sydney at soastler@stephenlewisfoundation.org or 1-888-203-9990, ext. 309.  Janet can be reached at jsolberg@stephenlewisfoundation.orgor ext. 224.

1. Stride to Turn the Tide

There is simply no better way to banish those winter blues, than to start dreaming about Spring – and nothing says Spring like the annual Stride to Turn the Tide Walk!  

Planning for Stride 2014 is already underway in many communities and we’re thrilled to share that the NEW online fundraising pages are now live at www.stridetoturnthetide.ca.  Organizing a walk and reaching out to your friends and family has never been easier!

NEW Stride planning documents are also up at www.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride, including the Walk Handbook, registration forms, scarf order form and directions for ensuring your event is covered by the Foundation’s insurance.

At the five year mark, the Foundation would like to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the visionary grandmothers of Canmore, Alberta who first dreamed up a national grandmothers walk, and to the dedicated and equally visionary members of Stride’s National Steering Committee who took every challenge in stride.

Of course, a hearty thank you to each and every past, present and future participant in Stride to Turn the Tide, who see every step and every dollar raised as an act of solidarity with the grandmothers of Africa.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Stride Coordinator, Sydney Oastler, by email at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org or by phone at 1-888-203-9990 ext. 309.

2. A Campaign Baby

We are thrilled to share that the Grandmothers Campaign is about to grow with the addition of one very special grandother.  In March, Tammy Ebuen, whom many of you know as one of the Grandmothers Campaign Officers at the Foundation, will be welcoming a baby into the fold.  We are of course sad to part with Tammy during her maternity leave, but are excited to meet Baby Ebuen!  We know you join us in wishing Tammy well!

3. Grandmothers Campaign Trip to Africa

Next week, 22 Canadian grandmothers will visit African grandmothers, and the grassroots organizations that support them, in Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa.  Each Canadian grandmother is an ambassador for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and for the thousands of passionate and dynamic Canadian women committed to this incredible international movement – you!

After the trip, we’ll share stories and photos through the Granny Bulletin and atwww.grandmotherscampaign.org.  In addition, every Canadian grandmother on the trip made a commitment to share their experiences through presentations to grandmothers groups and to the larger community for one year.  We know you’ll want to invite them to speak to your group, so without further ado, here are the grandmothers, and grandothers, participating in the trip:

British Columbia

Tina Filippino –Merville Grand Mothers
Paxie Vreede –Nan Go Grannies (Nanaimo)
Joan Wenman –Victoria Grandmothers for Africa
Sharon Henderson – Nelson Grans to Grans
Marlene Larsen – Burnaby Gogos
Judy Johnson – Abbotsford Area Gogos

Alberta

Chris Hume – GrammaLink-Africa (Red Deer)
Candice Jackson – The GANG (Edmonton)
Alison Longson – Ujamaa Grandmas (Calgary)

Saskatchewan

Sheila Fahlman – Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers Regina

Manitoba

Deb Radi – Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg
Nina Logan – Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg

Ontario

Sheila Green – Unitarian GoGos (Ottawa)
Bev Hopkins – Port Perry G-Moms
JoAnne O’Shea – Grandmothers and Grandothers (Barrie)
Marg Wilson – Grandmothers and Friends for Africa (Guelph)
Jo-Anne Page – Toronto Grandmother’s Embrace
Terry Wood – Omas Siskona of Kitchener-Waterloo

Quebec

Mia Overduin – Grands and Friends/Gogo Grannies of Aylmer (Gatineau)

Nova Scotia

Norma Carey – South Shore Supporting African Grandmothers (Lunenburg)
BJ Kirby – Dartmouth Grannies Group
Winnie Kwak – Malaika Grandmothers of Halifax

To get in touch with a trip participant in your region, contact your Grandmother Regional Liaison or your Grandmothers Campaign Officer atcampaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.  

Thank you to the insightful grandmother members of the Selection Committee, who put so much care and thought into reviewing the applications, ensuring that every decision was made collaboratively and with integrity.

For questions about the selection process or other related inquiries, please contact Graham at campaigncoord@stephenlewisfoundation.org.  

4. Would you Dare to Wear Love? Join the Challenge!

The Stephen Lewis Foundation is launching its fifth Dare to Wear Love Challenge and the Grandmothers Campaign team is daring to take on our socks-and-sandals-loving co-worker, Janet Solberg.  She says,

“For this challenge, my colleagues will be able to dress me -- however they like -- and I will remain dressed that way for the whole day. My feet are already killing me in anticipation. And my lips tingling at the thought of lipstick.”

We thought that grandmothers from across Canada might also be interested in the Dare to Wear Love Challenge.  Wear only what you make, create new styles that reflect your grandmothers group, or let your grandchildren dress you for a week!

Registration is now open!  Wearing Canadian (whether Canadian-made, Canadian theme, Canadian symbols) gives participants one of four chances to walk the runway with Canadian celebs, in a custom-designed outfit, at the Dare to Wear Love Gala (an event in support of the SLF!) on Friday March 28th 2014!

Do you live too far from Toronto to attend the Dare to Wear Love Gala, but want to participate in the challenge? Don’t let that stop you! You can still fundraise and wear Canadian. If you win one of the runway spots, you can assign your spot to someone else.

Find out more HERE.

5. Art Shows from Coast to Coast

Grandmothers groups across the country are coming up with exciting new ways of using the arts to highlight the strength and courage of African grandmothers!
The Royal City Gogos in New Westminster, BC are wrapping up “Celebrating African Grandmothers”, a juried art exhibit that includes paintings, collage, textile art and sculpture. The art show has toured 14 cities in BC and Alberta, and now the Royal City Gogos are putting these brilliant art pieces up for auction! Online bids are being accepted until February 28, and the live/silent auctions will take place on March 7th beginning with the highest online bids for each piece. If you would like to own some of this artwork, clickhere to view the art for auction, and click here to submit an online bid. The live and silent auctions will start from the highest online bid.

As one Art Show ends, another begins! The Omas Siskona of Kitchener-Waterloo are launching their own textile project, “Creating Futures: Threads of Hope for African Grandmothers”.  The show encourages members of grandmothers groups and other quilt or fibre artists to submit digital images of their work by March 1, 2014 for consideration. 

“Creating Futures” will open at the City of Waterloo Museum on May 21, 2014 and will tour grandmothers groups across Ontario from October 2014 through April 2015.  To submit an image or inquire about hosting the art show in your community, please visitwww.omas-siskonakw.org or send an email to textileartproject@gmail.com

 

Granny Bulletin: November 2013

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

 

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. The Report of the African Grandmothers Tribunal is AVAILABLE NOW!
  2. Books We Love
  3. Holiday Cards are here!



1. The Report of the African Grandmothers Tribunal is AVAILABLE NOW!

 

We are pleased to share the Full Report from the African Grandmothers Tribunal with you, to mark World AIDS Day.  December 1st is many things to many people – a day to reflect, to raise awareness, to commemorate those who have passed, to rally and rage, to celebrate life, and to nurture hope.  The Tribunal was an historic and transformative moment for African grandmothers and their families, for the grassroots organizations that support them, and for this growing international movement of older women in Africa, who continue to nurture their grandchildren as they chart a new path through the pandemic. 

 

It is time to recognize that grandmothers at the forefront of the HIV and AIDS crisis must have our human rights respected and protected. We will not let the AIDS pandemic defeat us nor destroy our communities, but we cannot prevail alone. Africa cannot survive without us. We call on you to act with urgency and purpose to support our efforts to secure justice.”                                                      
African Grandmothers Tribunal Call to Action

 

You can find the report at http://africangrandmotherstribunal.org/report/

 

We are equally pleased to offer a whole host of additional Tribunal resources!  We now have hard-copy DVDs of the full Tribunal proceedings, including all of the testimonies, presentations and judgements.  Over the next few weeks, we will be sending out one DVD to the main contacts of all grandmothers groups (if you haven't received one already).  We also have copies of the Fall 2013 Grassroots newsletter, which focuses exclusively on the Tribunal and includes beautiful colour photos, along with excerpts from the testimonies and judgements.  It’s a wonderful resource to share!  If you would like extra copies of Grassroots, please emailcampaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org

 

 

2. BOOKS WE LOVE38 Ways to Entertain Your Grandparents


 

A fun fundraising idea from Sallie Mark of Grandmothers Linked in Toronto:

 

“38 Ways to Entertain Your Grandparents, a charming little book that Toronto-area G to G groups have been selling at fundraisers for the last year and a half, is now available to grandmothers groups across the country on consignment, in units of a dozen.  It makes a unique and practical gift for a new grandparent and at just twice the price of a greeting card, it’s easy to add on to an existing fundraiser!”

 

For more information, email salliemark101@icloud.com or to order yours, click here.   
 


Today’s Grandmother: Your Guide to the First Two Years


Angela Bowen, a member of the Grandmothers Campaign in Saskatoon, recently published her book “Today’s Grandmother: Your Guide to the First Two Years” and it is available to grandmothers groups with a portion of the funds donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  “This is the how-to-guide for grandmothers-to-be and grandmothers... Get practical information and sensible tips to navigate this wonderful, transforming, yet sometimes challenging relationship with your new grandfamily...”

 

For more information, or to order yours, click here.

 

 

3.  Holiday Cards are Here!

 

Another reminder that our Holiday Tribute Cards are available now!  We have two beautiful cards to choose from this year, and both include a special holiday message. These are not intended as traditional cards, but rather as a special way to honour the people you love; they represent a donation made in lieu of gifts. Your group is welcome to order these cards for your upcoming events or for use by your membership. To learn more or to order cards, please emailcampaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.  Another great way to keep African grandmothers in our hearts this holiday season!

 

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Granny Bulletin: October 2013

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Tribunal Resources
  2. Dare to Dine!
  3. 2014 Grandmothers Campaign Trip to Africa
  4. Welcome to Moni Kim
  5. Who's Your Contact?

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
Welcome to the October edition of the Granny Bulletin!  Fall is always a busy time on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign – last weekend alone there were fabric sales, Fall fairs, variety shows, community dinners and art shows, to name but a few.  As the days get cooler and the leaves flutter to the ground, we are again reminded of the gifts of togetherness and warm solidarity shared with our chosen community of grandmothers and grandothers in Canada and in Africa.
 
In this Granny Bulletin, we’ll offer further reflections on the Tribunal, make introductions to a new member of the Campaign staff, Dare you to Dine, and make the “big reveal” on the 2014 Grandmothers Campaign Trip to Africa.
 
First though, we’d like to share a personal message from Janet Solberg, our much beloved member of the SLF family and Campaign liaison to a number of groups:
 
Dear Grandmothers across the country: Since you feel like my extended family, I wanted to make sure that you’d heard that my husband Henry died August 12th. He’d been ill with dementia for a number of years but he died of cancer very suddenly. As you can see, I’m back at work. It’s been a difficult time, but I’m keeping busy and my family, friends and co-workers are, as you would expect, loving and supportive. I also want to say thank you to those of you who have written me by e-mail and post. I treasure your caring friendship more than you will ever know. 
 
We’re so thankful for Janet’s experienced presence on the Campaign, and we know you join us in welcoming her back to our chosen community.
 
With gratitude,
 
Ilana and Graham


1. Tribunal Resources

As we mentioned in last month’s Granny Bulletin, the Foundation is putting together a whole host of resources to connect you to the African Grandmothers Tribunal. In early November, a hard-copy DVD of all of the testimonies, judgements and presentations will be sent to the main contacts of all grandmothers groups. In addition, the Fall 2013 Grassroots newsletter focuses exclusively on the Tribunal and extra copies will be available for grandmothers groups. If you would like multiple copies of Grassroots and have not yet indicated interest, please emailcampaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org. We’ll get them out to you hot off the presses!
 
Click here to learn about additional Tribunal resources!

 

2. Dare to Dine!


Dare to Dine is a simple, fun, and scrumptious way for grandmothers groups to raise funds and awareness for the African grandmothers through the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

 

With so many creative options, there is always an opportunity to make Dare to Dine your own! Such was the case for the Bronte Grandmothers in Oakville, ON.  When one member fell in love with a set of “Blueberry” china that had been donated to a fundraising yard sale, she couldn’t help but want it for herself.  Her group agreed she could buy the set, but only on the condition that she host a Dare to Dine “Blueberry Luncheon”.  A win-win! 

 

We’re here to support you as you Dare to Dine!  For more information and resources, please visit:http://www.grandmotherscampaign.org/events/national-events/dare-to-dine.  

 

For questions or support, call us at 1-888-203-9990, ext. 230 or email campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org

 

3. 2014 Grandmothers Campaign Trip to Africa

In the July 2013 edition of the Granny Bulletin, we outlined plans for a Grandmothers Campaign visit to SLF partner organizations in Ethiopia, Botswana and South Africa.  We’re delighted to share further details and the full application with you now!

 

The Foundation always carefully considers the advantages and disadvantages of organizing a visit of this magnitude – where 20 Canadian grandmothers will travel to three sub-Saharan African countries. We ALWAYS follow the lead of our African grassroots partners who have asked us to think carefully before undertaking this kind of trip.  There is much to contend with at the grassroots, and the projects often do not have the capacity or human resources to support volunteers or visitors, as they invariably need to be oriented to the culture, the work and the reality of the AIDS crisis.  At the same time, given the increasing scarcity of international funding, grassroots organizations just don’t feel like they can say no to visitors.

 

Given those considerations, the SLF is working closely with our African partners in Ethiopia, Botswana and Durban, South Africa, to facilitate a visit that feels good and right to the African grandmothers, the grassroots organizations that support them, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and Canadian grandmothers.  Some of our partners have talked to us at length about their eagerness to share their work more directly and intimately (as representatives of hundreds of similar grassroots projects) with Canadian grandmothers – provided that the SLF is willing to facilitate a trip.

 

What does this mean?  Our partners have told us that they can manage some visitors (but not volunteers, as these organizations have their own) under very specific conditions.  We know from experience that the Foundation’s role is to prepare Canadian grandmothers for what they are going to see, to support and ‘counsel’ them, to answer questions as they arise before and during the trip, and to contextualize what visitors are seeing with daily de-briefings.  Moreover and just as important, our role is to guide visitors in how to conduct themselves in a way that makes the African grandmothers and the projects feel comfortable, including culturally appropriate behaviour and issues for discussion. 

We’d like to share a few additional details with you before proceeding to the application itself – which contains much more information! 

  • Funds for this trip will come from the participants themselves and each traveller will be expected to raise the Aeroplan miles necessary – no funds will be redirected from the projects, including those necessary to host Canadian grandmothers.  In the past, grandmothers groups have helped their members to raise the necessary Aeroplan miles.
  • The Selection Committee will be comprised of three members of the SLF staff, including Graham Coultas and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis; two Grandmother Regional Liaisons, Theresa Randles (Ontario) and Linda Wills (Atlantic Region); and three “grandmothers-at-large”.  Please let us know if you are interested in being on the selection committee.
  •  The initial evaluation by the Selection Committee will be carried out with applicant names and grandmothers groups redacted.
  • Applications are due on Friday, November 1st.  Letters of nomination are due on Wednesday, November 6th.  If you have trouble meeting these deadlines, please get in touch with us at:campaigncoord@stephenlewisfoundation.org.  
  • Every effort will be made to ensure regional representation.

Just as the organizations we will visit are in a sense, ambassadors for hundreds of African grassroots organizations that partner with the Foundation, the Canadian grand(m)others who are selected for this trip are ambassadors for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.  We have deep relationships of respect and trust with our African partners and will continue to work closely with them on every aspect of planning and preparation.

 

Click here for the full application for the 2014 Grandmothers Campaign Visit to African Partner Projects – available in the Member’s Only section at www.grandmotherscampaign.org.   

 

We know you’ll have comments and questions and we look forward to them!

 

In solidarity,

 

Ilana and Graham

 

4. Welcome Moni Kim

The Grandmothers Campaign is absolutely thrilled to announce a new edition to our team – albeit not a new member of the Foundation.  When Moni first began at the Foundation in 2004, she was our very first Finance Manager – in fact, some of you may remember talking with Moni about tax receipts!  Others may remember Moni from our 2008 Grandmothers Campaign trip, where she accompanied grandmothers and staff as we visited grassroots projects in Uganda, South Africa and Swaziland.  Since then, Moni has been a senior member of the Programmes team, working closely with dozens of grassroots organizations in 15 countries.
 
Moni will be taking on a portfolio of Canadian grandmothers groups in Alberta, as well as working with the team on special projects including our upcoming 2014 Grandmothers Campaign Trip to Africa.  We know you join us in welcoming Moni to the Campaign!
 
Hello grandmothers and grandothers!
 
I have marvelled at the growth of the Grandmothers Movement in Canada and in Africa since its genesis at the 2006 Grandmothers Gathering. Your collective action and resolve to stand in solidarity with African grandmothers and their grassroots organi­zations over the past seven years has significantly contributed to securing better lives for African grandmothers, children, and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. I will be integrating the experience I’ve gained from working on the Programmes team to make closer connections between Canadian and African grandmothers – in order to continue our work to make this an international solidarity movement. This means that I’ll be in touch with African grandmothers about the efforts and sisterhood of Canadian grandmothers; and African grandmothers can now share their updates to Canada in a more direct way.  It is an exciting time to be part of the Grandmothers Campaign and I look forward to working together soon! 
 
Moni


5. Who's Your Contact?

With the welcome addition of Moni to our team, we wanted to take a moment to share some of the upcoming changes to your primary contact and support person for your group which will be taking place in November. 

 

Yasmin      

ymussa@stephenlewisfoundation.org

, ext. 230

  • Greater Vancouver region, BC Islands
  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario East – 613 only
  • Ottawa-Gatineau Region

Tammy
tebuen@stephenlewisfoundation.org, ext. 302

  • BC Interior
  • Atlantic provinces
  • Ontario – 416, 905, 519

Janet
jsolberg@stephenlewisfoundation.org, ext. 224

  • Quebec (except Gatineau area)
  • Ontario Near North – 705, 807
  • Territories

Moni
mkim@stephenlewisfoundation.org, ext. 226

  • Alberta

 

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Special Bulletin: Tribunal Note from Ilana-Landsberg Lewis

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

Hello all!
 
I am writing about a very special part of the Tribunal that may involve many of you.
 
In our conversations with the African grandmothers and projects about the Tribunal, everyone felt it would be an important and meaningful support if there were a show of solidarity from the Canadian grandmothers.
 
We have agreed that a march, of sorts, would be quite a dramatic and marvelous beginning to the Tribunal, and would mean a lot to the African grandmothers who are so courageously sharing their stories that day. We’d like to invite you to participate in this action.
 
As we write this, though, we know there is one real difficulty -- and so to deal with it upfront – we can only reserve 250 seats on the floor for those of you who march, and we know that there will be many more at the Chan Centre.
 
It’s a real conundrum and we hate to leave anyone out when this is such an important moment and way to acknowledge the Canadian dimension of this work, and important to the African grandmothers to have that solidarity as they prepare to tell intimate stories on a stage in front of ‘strangers’.
 
So, we have a few suggestions, knowing that there isn’t a perfect way to do this…
 
1)    For those of you who are coming with friends and family, we lovingly ask that you make a choice: if you would like to sit with friends and family who are not members of the Campaign, we ask that you not participate in the march. Otherwise, your friends will take ‘spaces’ from grandmothers in the movement – because the marchers, all of whom are members of the Grandmothers Campaign will be directed to a specific and limited number of seats, and cannot re-join their friends and family elsewhere. We are sorry that you have to make this choice, and hope that you’ll agree and understand.
2)   For those of you on the shuttle buses from the hotel, we know that you have travelled far to be with us, and that the bus may be held up by traffic, so in fairness, we have taken that into consideration. We’ll make more information available on the day of the Tribunal. 
3)   We will allot tickets to grandmothers who are not taking the shuttle bus on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please arrive at the Chan Centre before 9AM and line up OUTSIDE in the designated area – there will be clear signs.
4)   We are handing out two verses to We Shall Overcome (sung at the 2006 Gathering by both Canadian and African grandmothers. The African grandmothers know it and love it, so it’s a good connector and meaningful. All of the grandmothers who are NOT marching into the room can stand and sing with the grandmothers marching; it will be quite dramatic and lovely and that way all Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign members will be involved and part of this moment.
5)   We encourage you all to wear your group t-shirts – many of you have already indicated that you will – and it will make it so vivid and apparent that you are all in the movement together!
 
For those of you who are coming without family/friends (unless these friends are from your grandmothers’ group; of course, they will be marching with you!) - you will come together outside the hall, and when everyone is seated (at about 9:50am), you will all take a short march into the Chan Centre Hall and be directed to a reserved section on the floor. You must sit in this reserved section and not take a seat elsewhere!
 
NO placards, please…we’ll have some project-approved Tribunal signs for some of you to take, should you wish!
 
As soon as the 250 Canadian Grandmothers enter the hall, you will be directed to the special area of seats reserved for you, and the Tribunal will begin!
 
We look forward tremendously to seeing you there! The African grandmothers and project staff who are coming are delighted that you will be with them and will open the morning in this way!
 
Affectionately,
Ilana and Graham

Granny Bulletin: August 2013

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:   

  1. Tribunal Updates: Live Streaming, Tickets and more!
  2. Stride 2013: Note from the National Walk Committee
  3. Grandmothers Campaign T-Shirts

1.   Tribunal Updates: Live Streaming, Tickets, and more!
 
September 7, Vancouver BC
www.africangrandmotherstribunal.org
 
Anticipation is building for the Tribunal. It's less than two weeks away! We are happy to announce that our panel of Tribunal judges and speakers is now complete. Theo Sowa will be the fourth and final judge, and David Suzuki will join Stephen Lewis for opening remarks. Theo Sowa is the CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund and is a member of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s African Advisory Board. Her work on women’s rights includes strengthening women-focused development programmes in Africa, and advocacy related to women and HIV/AIDS issues. Dr. David Suzuki is a renowned scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is a Companion to the Order of Canada and Professor Emeritus at UBC. We know you’ll be as excited as we are about their participation!
 
 Watch the Tribunal Wherever You Are! Live Streaming Available
 
We are happy to confirm that we will be live streaming the Tribunal on Saturday September 7th, from 10:00am to 4:30pm (Vancouver time) for those who would like to participate from afar!
 
There will be one stationary camera facing the stage where the grandmothers will testify and where the judges will sit.  Because there will not be an active camera operator, there won’t be a close-up of the testifiers (no zooming in or out). 
 
Please note that there are only a limited number of live-streaming connections available.  If you are unable to login, it may well be that there are no available connections.  Of course, you may continue to try throughout the day as others may disconnect, freeing up a connection. This is a great reason for members of groups, or more than one group, to gather and watch together from one location.  If your group is planning on doing this, we suggest securing a venue with a strong internet connection, and consider borrowing or renting a projector and appropriate sound equipment for the day. 
 
To protect the identities and testimonies of the African grandmother testifiers, access to live streaming will be only be available through a special link and password.  Members of grandmothers groups are encouraged to be in touch with Sydney atsoastler@stephenlewisfoundation.org to request the link and password if you do plan on live streaming the Tribunal
  
An Important Change—Please Read
From the Greater Van Gogos
 
In a previous Bulletin, we invited Canadian grandmothers to participate in an airport welcome event for our African guests. This now has to change. The Public Service Alliance of Canada/Union of Canadian Transportation Employees are currently on strike and we will not cross the picket line.
 
As a result, the welcome has been moved to the Westin Bayshore Hotel in downtown Vancouver (1601 Bayshore Drive). Please gather at the hotel on Friday September 6 at 11AM PDT, and feel free to wear your group t-shirts, or anything else bright and colourful! The Welcome will be attended by African grandmothers, their project support staff and SLF staff. A portion of this event will also be filmed for an upcoming Tribunal video. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Hannah Diamond at hannahdiamond@shaw.ca.
 
Tickets 
 
Tickets to the Tribunal are still available, but selling fast! All advance codes have now expired and tickets have been made available to the general public. No code is required for purchase, and tickets can be bought here .   If you are attempting to purchase tickets and they are sold out, please contact Sydney atsoastler@stephenlewisfoundation.org and we will make every effort to make additional tickets available.
 
2.   Stride 2013: Note from the National Walk Committee
Submitted by the 2013 Stride National Walk Committee
 
Dear Grandmothers,
 
Stride National Walk continues to be an amazing success with more than $285,000 raised for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. This could not have happened without the thousands of volunteer hours dedicated to Stride by grandmothers and grandothers all across the country. Thank you for your compassion, commitment and solidarity with the African grandmothers and their grandchildren orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.
 
The 2013 Walk Survey was completed by 66% of grandmothers groups participating in Stride. A resounding 93% are in favour of Stride continuing. This is a strong endorsement for Stride as an effective fundraiser, a community builder, and a vehicle to raise awareness and strengthen the grandmothers movement in Canada. Of particular interest is the extensive diversity and creativity of Stride Walks and Stride Events.
 
This is the final year for the National Walk Committee, as the Foundation will be taking over the governance and management of Stride in the future. We have had significant support from the Foundation and would like to highlight this year’s staff: the Stride Coordinator, Shama Joshi, and also Yasmin Mussa and Graham Coultas. We also want to acknowledge the terrific promotional work done by the Regional Liaisons.
 
There are still so many opportunities to ‘grow’ Stride, whether it is with new or reenergized groups, new multi-group walks, alternative Stride events, strategies to broaden the donor base, new community partnerships, new sponsorships etc. We are confident that Stride will continue to be a consistent and successful fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, with grandmothers continuing to play an integral part in its success.
 
In sisterhood,
The grandmothers on the 2013 Stride National Walk Committee
Carole Holmes
Lorraine Green
Pam Farron
Sharon Vanclief
 
 
3.   Grandmothers Campaign T-Shirts
Submitted by Linda Taberner, Gathering for Grannies, ON
 
The next deadline for ordering Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign or Turning the Tide t-shirts is September 10, 2013. Please note that the price is now $20 including shipping, but attendees at the ORRG Gathering on September 21 in Belleville can collect them in person for $17 each (orders still need to be made in advance). Sweatshirts are also available for $25.  For inquiries or more information, please emaillindataberner@yahoo.ca or click here.
 

Granny Bulletin: June 2013

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Monday June 17th – African Grandmothers Tribunal Telephone Town Hall
  2. Behind the Scenes of the Grandmothers Book: Community Engagement at Hope for the Elderly (HOFE)
  3. Introducing the NEW Treasurer’s Guide
  4. Group Focus: Rayanna’s Hope for Africa
  5. Omas Siskona Textile Art Show

END OF FISCAL YEAR AT THE SLF

 
Just a reminder to groups – and especially group treasurers – that the official end to the fiscal year at the Stephen Lewis Foundation is June 30.
 
In order to ensure your group’s funds are included in the 2013 fiscal year, please make sure any outstanding donations are postmarked by June 30.
 
______________________________________________________
 1.   Monday June 17th – African Grandmothers Tribunal Telephone Town Hall

Join SLF Executive Director Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, and Grandmothers Campaign Director Graham Coultas, for a telephone town hall on Monday June 17th at 12noon EDTto learn about the upcoming African Grandmothers Tribunal.  Who will attend?  What will the African grandmothers talk about?  What is the role of the judges?  Of Canadian grandmothers?  And just what is a tribunal anyway?  
 
This will be a moderated live call and we encourage you to ask questions!  There is no cost to participate and you do not have to rsvp. 
 
At 12noon EDT on Monday June 17th, just call:  1-888-886-7786 (or 416-764-8658 if you are in the Toronto area).  It’s simple!
 

2.   Behind the Scenes of the Grandmothers Book: Community Engagement at Hope for the Elderly (HOFE)
 
Long-time SLF staff member Joanna Henry has been busy visiting the African community-based organizations, with whom we partner, to talk with grandmothers about their lives, struggles and hopes in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These conversations and interviews will appear in and inform the Grandmothers Book. Joanna generously agreed to share some of her personal reflections in Granny Bulletins. These are her personal notes but we thought you would love a sneak peak at the stories behind the making of the book.
 
“There is a long tradition of elder abuse in Malawi, most especially of elder women in rural areas.  The belief in witchcraft and sorcery is prevalent and it is through this lens that older women are often used as scapegoats for community ills. [You can] imagine the rash of abuse, persecution and violence that erupted upon elder women when the AIDS pandemic hit...”
 
This is exactly why engaging entire communities is so critical to turning the tide of AIDS.
 
To read Joanna’s full reflection on her time at HOFE, click here
 
 
3.   Introducing the NEW Treasurer’s Guide
 
We want to support you in your fundraising efforts; that’s why we’ve developed a "Treasurer's Guide" to provide your group with important information – from FAQs, to tips, to suggestions and recommendations. Click here to download this vital resource!
 
In future, you will be able to find the Treasurer's Guide on the Fundraising Page in the Members Only Section of our website athttp://www.grandmotherscampaign.org/members/fundraising-ideas. Please emailcampaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org if you do not have the password to access the Members Only section.
 
 
4.   Group Focus: Rayanna’s Hope for Africa
 
Stony Plain, AB, grandmother Florencia Lemmer, co-founded her group “Rayanna’s Hope for Africa” in order to honour her granddaughter. Click here to read more about Rayanna’s story.
 
 
5.   Creating Futures: Threads of Hope for African Grandmothers
 
The Omas-Siskona of Kitchener-Waterloo are thrilled to be presenting “Creating Futures: Threads of Hope for African Grandmothers”, a textile art show in support of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. This vibrant, creative and inspiring exhibit will raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic, while celebrating the hope and extraordinary resolve of African grandmothers and the talent of the Canadian arts community. “Creating Futures” opens May 21, 2014 at the City of Waterloo Museum, and will be available to travel to Ontario grandmothers groups beginning October 1, 2014. For more information on donating a piece of artwork to the exhibit or to invite the art show to your community, please visit http://www.omas-siskonakw.org/textile-art-project-2014.html.
 

Granny Bulletin: April 26, 2013

The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

1.   Behind the Scenes of the Grandmothers Book: Gogo Nasilia
2.   Deadline: April 25th - Bid on Stephen Lewis’ tie in the “Tie One On” Auction
3.   New Addition to our Grandmothers Team
4.   Stride to Turn the Tide 2013: Online Fundraising Pages are Live!

1.  Behind the Scenes of the Grandmothers Book: Gogo Nasilia


Long-time SLF staff member Joanna Henry has been busy visiting the African community-based organizations we partner with, to talk with grandmothers about their lives, struggles and hopes in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  These conversations and interviews will appear in and inform the Grandmothers Book.  Joanna generously agreed to share some of her personal reflections in Granny Bulletins. These are her personal notes but we thought you would love a sneak peak at the stories behind the making of the book. 

 

Hope for the Elderly (HOFE)

Lilongwe, Malawi

 

We arrived early in the morning at the HOFE community centre on the day we planned to interview Gogo Nasilia. Even though staff members at HOFE knew the way, Nasilia had come herself to walk us to her home. She greeted us like long-lost relatives and then grabbed my hand and started marching across the open field without a moment to lose.  She was clearly a woman on a mission and this was her day!  To say her pace was brisk would be an understatement and it matched the flow of words coming out of her mouth. Of course, we were well ahead of the translator, and we laughed a lot at the impossible lack of comprehension between us coupled with our mutual delight in sharing this unlikely walk. At least that is what I was laughing about. She might have been laughing at my poor choice of footwear. 

 

We wound our way on a rough mud train through the long grass, walking past freshly plowed fields, small round huts and fences made of reed.  She would call out and wave to any and all people, no matter how far away and children ran alongside excitedly, but our pace never faltered until we reached Nasilia’s home.  We walked through her large reed gate and came into a small compound with two red brick houses and a small reed outdoor kitchen.  There were a few goats taking advantage of the small sliver of shade on the porch of the house, so Nasilia shooed them away and took us inside.  She went into her bedroom and came out with a mosquito net for us to sit on, since she did not have a mat.  This in itself was striking.  I have yet to be in another home that didn’t have a mat for sitting, as this is such a basic necessity and costs very little.

 

Gogo Nasilia looks after three orphaned grandchildren, two girls and one boy, and their shoes and mosquito nets were piled neatly in one corner.  On the window sill, there was a flashlight cobbled together using batteries, duct tape, a small wire and a tiny light bulb.  When I asked Nasilia about it, she laughed and said her grandchildren had made it. It looked to be the only source of light in her home. 

 

Our interview was really a conversation – intimate and vulnerable.  I was struck with how open Nasilia was willing to be.  When this is overlaid against the context of community dynamics that do not encourage sharing personal information, and in fact where the sharing of personal information actually makes you open to abuse, it was even more remarkable.  In this community, where there are so few resources, when everyone is so desperate - silence is the rule.  And the grandmothers here have both been silenced and have practiced survival silence for most of their lives.  The support worker from HOFE, kept remarking “You don’t understand.  Gogos can’t talk that freely, they never talk that freely.” Nasilia was clearly struck by the moment.

 

Nasilia had the type of face that seemed to hold bottomless sorrow in the cracks and crevices of her smile and around the corners of her eyes. She could become so still when she was thinking. It felt like she would bring forth each memory from a quiet place and gently unwrap it in front of me. 

 

I remember her sharing the story of when she nursed her beloved cousin to death –she peeled back the memories, layers of grey and tattered sorrow, only to reveal a golden heart deep in the centre. 

 

Her cousin was like a sister to her, and more than that, she was her “person.” She was the woman whom she could talk to about her problems. They allowed each other the space to talk, they were confidants, and they helped each other the find the strength to overcome the hardships of life. They shared resources, secrets and laughter, and together life was a bit easier. Their relationship was precious. 

 

She also spoke of the loss of resources and how the passing of her cousin meant she lost the one person whom she could borrow from in a moment of trouble (and vice versa), who could help with piece-work or share the work in the garden.  She also talked about how caring for her cousin took her away from her own work, and drained her home of what little resources she had. Imagine needing special medicine, food, and transportation for a family member you know will not make it and wondering how those left behind will survive once this is over?  Especially since Nasilia inherited the children of her cousin as well.

 

There was also an emotional toll. Nasilia spoke of the physical and mental degradation of her loved one before the end. With a quiet and even voice, she spoke in detail of the smells, the fluids, the demands, and it was clear as she spoke, there had never been any room for her to process what it meant to have her best friend deteriorate before her eyes and under the touch of her hands. 

 

Loss stacked up upon loss, but I couldn’t shake the profound loss of the one person who walked shoulder to shoulder with her. I was struck by how much poorer Nasilia’s life was since the passing of her cousin. It seemed to be a greater set-back than any amount of physical resources. 

 

When I asked Nasilia what her cousin was like before she was sick, her whole face lit up like a light snapped on behind her eyes. She sat forward and as she talked, her hands that had been folded quietly in her lap like sleeping birds, took flight and began to dart around in the air as she described the things they would do together. The only other time I would see this type of animation and joy on her face was when she began to speak of her life since joining the grandmothers group with HOFE. It was a new experience for all of the grandmothers in this community to share their hearts and their burdens, and she was quietly surprised and hopeful at the tender beginnings of trust they were building together.  

 

Finally, I asked Nasilia why she was the one who took her cousin in to care for her during her last days.  Her cousin had been abandoned by her family when they realised she had AIDS. Given the toll and drain upon the household, and the sheer number of people lost to this disease, it isn’t that difficult to understand how one more person dying of AIDS would be abandoned - by necessity, by hearts no longer able to make room for pain, or homes too impoverished to shoulder the burden.  

Nasilia’s answer? 

She simply loved her. 

She deserved to die in the gentle embrace of someone who loved her. 

No matter the cost. 

 

Nasilia somehow understood that death with dignity was the greatest gift she could give. She had so few resources, but she had love in abundance. In this place of dire poverty I jotted in my notebook “rich in love.”

 

The staff at Hope for the Elderly (HOFE) are passionate about empowering grandmothers and educating the public on the rights and inherent value of seniors.  Gogo Nasilia’s community has only recently been reached by HOFE. In next month’s edition we will share Joanna’s reflections on her time with HOFE and their innovative work in Nasilia’s community and beyond. 
 

2.   Deadline: April 25th -  Bid on Stephen Lewis’ tie in the “Tie One On” Auction

Submitted by Chris Clemens, member of the Oceanside Grandmothers in BC

Stephen Lewis, David Suzuki, Rick Hansen, Peter Mansbridge, George Stroumboulopoulos, Tiger Williams, Robert Bateman, Joe Clark, Thomas Mulcair, and Stuart McLean. What do these respected Canadians have in common? For one thing, along with nearly 30 other celebrities, they have all autographed their own ties and donated them to the Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers on Vancouver Island. The grandmothers have sewn most of them into evening bags.  Until April 25, the ties and bags are featured in an online auction that will direct funds to the grassroots projects of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign: http://oceansideg2g.charitybids.com/
 
We encourage all grandmothers and grandothers to bid!!
 

3.   New Addition to our Grandmothers Team
We are thrilled to welcome Yasmin Mussa to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign team! As a past volunteer, 2009 Dare Campaign worker, and Stride Coordinator, Yasmin continues to bring her energy and enthusiasm to supporting the grassroots. In fact, working at SLF sparked an interest in HIV/AIDS that led Yasmin to a placement at a paediatric HIV clinic in Botswana, where she saw first-hand the heroic role of African grandmothers in communities.  Please see below for a note from Yasmin. We hope you will join us in welcoming Yasmin to the Campaign as a newly-minted grandother
 
Warmly,
Graham, Janet, Tammy and Shama
 
Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers, 
 
It is an honour and utter joy for me to be joining the Grandmothers Campaign team. For the groups that I have been lucky to interact with thus far, you have solidified for me the compassion, commitment and solidarity that this movement exemplifies. For groups that I have not met yet, I very much look forward to providing support wherever possible. I am always just an e-mail or phone call away!
 
Best regards,Yasmin
 

4.   Stride to Turn the Tide 2013: Online Fundraising Pages are Live!
The Stride to Turn the Tide fundraising pages are now live!
 
Your group can fundraise online for Stride by visiting www.stridetoturnthetide.ca to set up your fundraising page. It’s fast and easy! If you are new to online fundraising, don’t hesitate to contact the Stride Coordinator, Shama Joshi, for assistance. Shama can be reached at 1-888-203-9990 ext. 260, or email at: stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
 
Don’t forget to visit the Stride webpage on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign site at www.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride to access the walk planning documents.
 
“Stride to Turn the Tide” National Walk- You can do it your way!
Stephen Lewis says “It’s hard work raising money. But it’s the indispensable heart of everything we do and stand for”.... and STRIDE for!
 
Yes, Stride is a fundraiser, a very successful one but more than that it is also an effective vehicle for raising awareness; it is a terrific team builder; it encourages partnerships and community involvement; and it builds solidarity with our African sisters.
 
Join Stride even if you do not walk! Dream up inventive ways to participate. Stride can be creative, entertaining, fun and tailored to your granny group and community. It can be as vigorous as the Bow Valley Mountain Grannies who hiked the Ha Ling peak in Canmore, Alberta, or as gentle as the Grandmothers of Steel and Mabibi Wa Tama from Hamilton who strolled Van Wagner's Beach along Lake Ontario.
 
Stride events are accompanied with African drumming, bag piping, Zumba dancing, cadets marching, poets reading, and politicians speaking. There have been Stride picnics, plant sales, heritage tours, barbeques, Kazuri sales, farmer’s market booths, Sunday sundaes and even Frisbee golf! Enjoy the planning as much as the event.
 
A number of grandmothers groups raised questions about the involvement of GRAN, the Grandmothers Advocacy Network, in Stride. The Stride Co-chairs wrote about this extensively last year and we have summarized the main points. Please go to: www.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride.




Granny Bulletin: March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013: The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

A warm Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign welcome to the following new groups in Halifax, Windsor and Osoyoos:
 
·         PAL Grannies, Halifax, NS
·         W.E. “heart” Grandmothers (Windsor, Essex), Windsor, ON
·         Osoyoos Grandmothers for Africa, Osoyoos, BC
 

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. Focus on African Projects: Ekupholeni, South Africa
  2. Focus on Fundraising: Find cookbooks, t-shirts and even a place to stay on our website!

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
We are writing to you today to share some news about a change taking place on the Grandmothers Campaign team.  Helen Silbiger, a Grandmothers Campaign Officer and member of the team since 2006, will be leaving the Stephen Lewis Foundation at the end of this month.  Some of you will remember Helen from her earliest days on the Campaign, first as a dedicated volunteer and then as a passionate staff member, and self-proclaimed “grandother”.
 
Those of us who have worked closely with Helen over the years know that her knowledge of the Campaign and of each and every group she works with is deep.  Helen's commitment to the Campaign and the SLF is almost the stuff of legend, and we cannot express adequately our profound sense of gratitude for her dedication, and the contribution she has made to building the Campaign with all of you!  While it is always sad to see a beloved colleague depart, Helen leaves the Campaign with the confidence that she made an incredible and enduring contribution, and the knowledge that she will be missed by her colleagues and by many of you. We know that Helen will always be a member of the SLF-Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign family, and we know that she will take the experience and capacity that she has developed with her into the next exciting chapter of life!
 
Helen has some reflections that she lovingly put together, and that we'd like to share with you:
 
I started working on the Campaign at a time when my own mother had just become a grandmother for the first time. In her interactions with her new grandson, I saw the unconditional love that being a grandmother brings.  It became evident to our family that my mom’s already overly generous spirit had obviously not reached its full capacity!  In this new love, she immediately understood how her role as “grandma” changed her outlook on life, but more importantly, her drive to see positive change in this world. Watching this new grandma in action helped me to understand the inspiration and motivation that propels so many of you forward.
 
So I would like to take this time to thank you all for not only reminding me of the important and special role that grandmothers play in all of our lives, but also for teaching me so much more about the breadth and depth of human capacity and spirit. In all of you I have learned that compassion does not lead to charity, it leads us all to action. It is through your actions that we are beginning to see recognition in Canada that grandmothers here and in Africa are actively involved in social change and are a force to be reckoned with. Thank you for sharing with me your passion, drive and determination that the grandmothers in Africa will not be unsung heroes. And thank you for the change you have all brought about in my life. The grandmothers in Canada will forever be etched into my life-story.  You have all played an important part in forming the stronger, more determined and more compassionate woman that I am now.
 
I’d also like to take this time to reflect on what I have learnt from our incredible partners in Africa.  I have been inspired by so many of grandmother’s stories of strength, courage, and resilience. Without their efforts, communities would be devastated and families would be torn apart. Instead there is real hope on the ground and determination that their grandchildren will go to school, not just elementary school but secondary school too, and university. And that they will live full and complete lives.
 
In solidarity,
Helen

  
We would also like to welcome Yasmin Mussa, to the Grandmothers Campaign team.  Yasmin has been working at the Foundation since January on Stride to Turn the Tide, and worked on the Dare Campaign two years ago, so some of you may already have had the pleasure of speaking with her.  She is excited and honoured to be coming into a new role on the Grandmothers Campaign (and we're delighted to have such a strong team member joining us!), and looks forward to working with and learning from grandmothers groups across the country.  We know she’ll send a more fulsome introduction soon! 
 
Over the last several weeks, Helen and Yasmin have been working closely alongside Graham to ensure a smooth transition that honours your work, and your special relationship with the Foundation.  As of Monday, April 1st, Yasmin will be taking over as a Grandmothers Campaign Officer full-time. You can reach Yasmin at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org. We know that many of you will want to be in touch with Helen before the end of March to wish her well as she embarks on this new stage of her life, and we encourage you to do so.
 
To Helen, all of us who have worked with you on the Campaign want to extend a heartfelt Thank You!  Your commitment, wisdom, and energy will be missed, and we wish you the very best for the future!
 
In solidarity,
 
Ilana, Graham, Zahra, Joanna, Janet and Tammy
 
 
1.      Focus on African Grandmothers: Ekupholeni, South Africa
 
“What do we know? That HIV is still widespread in the Katorus region and that the effect of the virus on the social fabric of the community cannot be underestimated.  As long as children grow up without parents, grannies struggle with HIV positive teenagers, and wives mourn husbands, Ekupholeni has a significant role to play in helping to heal the Katorus region of South Africa.”

-Ekupholeni
 
 The grandmothers in the “Grannies Group” at Ekupholeni in South Africa are celebrating five years of support, friendship and healing.  Many of them are now raising teenagers and struggle to understand and manage the “teenage behaviour” that stems from losing one or both parents to AIDS, and coping with the stigma of HIV:
 
“Children experience unique challenges with the virus.  Striving to “fit in”, children and especially teenagers find it difficult to take their ARVs during school hours without their peers noticing.  They have to come up with various reasons to be excused from extra-curricular activities during the week.  As HIV positive children live to become HIV positive teenagers, we are handling a host of new challenges.”

-Ekupholeni
 
The grandmothers at Ekupholeni never have to face these challenges alone.  While meeting to share problems, life experiences, and to support one another, the grandmothers also work side-by-side making traditional outfits for the Venda and Zulu groups, like hats and dresses. This income-generating activity is enabling the Grannies Group to be financially independent.  Ekupholeni also provides psychosocial counselling to the grandmothers, and programmes to the children in their care. Through the Teen Khululeka Support Group, HIV positive teenagers attend a therapeutic camp and work with facilitators throughout the year to learn about drug adherence, nutrition, stigma and discloser of HIV status.  Ekupholeni knows that when the grandmothers and grandchildren work toward healing themselves, they can better support each other, and their families, neighbours and communities.
 
The Stephen Lewis Foundation has partnered with Ekupholeni to support the heroic efforts of grandmothers and communities since 2005. 
 
 
2.      Focus on Fundraising: Find cookbooks, t-shirts and even a place to stay on our website!
 
The Grandmothers Campaign website, www.grandmotherscampaign.org, hosts a wealth of information and resources by and for grandmothers groups across the country.  TheProducts and Services section contains many unique crafts, books, clothing and other items that raise funds for the indomitable grandmothers of Africa. 
 

Stirring Memories: Recipes and Reflections
 
Edmonton: The GANG’s new cookbook, “Stirring Memories: Reflections and Recipes” is the newest addition to this section of our website.  Read more about the cookbook below. 
 
Submitted by Grace Hamilton, The GANG, Edmonton, AB
Last Spring, the fundraising committee of The GANG [ Grandmothers of Alberta for a New Generation] acted on an idea that had been percolating or parking on the back burner for a couple of years! Without any previous publishing experience, they plunged into compiling a collection of recipes and the memories and stories evoked by them, with contributions from members, friends, supporters and community leaders.  With enthusiasm, collaboration, determination, and a lot of learning, they soon had a collection of 80 submissions, some funny, some sad and some treasured family recipes such as the one entitled Chicken Soup - The Real Deal, submitted by Ilana Landsberg-Lewis! 
 
The book, with the autographs of friends beside their submissions, as well as space to add your own recipes and memories, becomes a treasured keepsake and is a fundraising project worthy of consideration by grandmothers groups across Canada.
 

Beds Without Breakfast
 
If you’re looking for a place to stay while travelling to another town, or city across Canada (and beyond!), consider using Beds Without Breakfast! 
 
Submitted by Linda Taberner
Hosts from coast to coast await more guests in this wonderful win-win-win system, with the Foundation receiving a donation every time a visiting grandmother/grandother stays with a host granny. Guests and hosts alike have enthused about their experiences when meeting each other. So far the system has raised about $7,000 for the Foundation but has the potential for much more. Please tell your friends and family as many homes also accept referred guests.
 

Grandmothers Campaign T-shirts
 
Need some of the latest trends in Grandmothers Campaign “gear”?  Visit the Clothes and Accessories section which includes the nifty t-shirts described below. 
 
Submitted by Linda Taberner, Gathering for Grannies, Newcastle, ON
Gathering for Grannies continues to offer Grandmothers' Campaign t-shirts twice a year and the next deadline for orders is April 5th. These are black t-shirts with the white circular campaign logo and they come in S-XXL at a cost of $18 each including postage. Group orders are preferred as they are more cost effective.
 


Special Granny Bulletin: February 26, 2013

February 26, 2013: The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Special Bulletin:

  1. 2013 Stride to Turn the Tide

Welcome to a special edition of the Granny Bulletin! We are thrilled to help launch the 2013 Stride to Turn the Tide, the national walk and fundraising initiative of Canadian grandmothers, which will take place in June 2013.

This special Bulletin was submitted by Carole Holmes and Lorraine Green, Co-Chairs of Stride to Turn the Tide National Walk, and Shama Joshi, Stride Coordinator. Please share far and wide!   


Photo by Tom Thorne
 
Dear Grandmothers Groups,                                      

In 2012, the Stride to Turn the Tide National Walk surpassed $1 MILLION in donations raised. What an amazing feat in just 3 years! These funds support and more importantly, sustain, many grassroots programmes run by and for African grandmothers and the children in their care. To see photos from past Stride events, click here to visit the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page.

A big thank you to those grandmothers and grandothers who have walked in the past, and to those who continue to walk year after year. We stride with our sisters across Canada, in solidarity with our sisters in Africa, who walk out of necessity and in order to survive the AIDS pandemic. We welcome each and every one of you to join Stride in 2013 so that grandmothers in Africa can continue to turn the tide of AIDS in their communities.

We also want to encourage NEW WALKS again this year. The enthusiasm and passion groups bring to planning their first walk is inspiring. Stride builds team spirit and fosters solidarity among walkers across Canada. Stride also helps group members to bond and to work together to focus on a very tangible goal that serves to sustain our African sisters.

Getting started is as easy as picking up the phone and calling the Stride Coordinator, Shama Joshi, at 1-888-203-9990 ext. 260, sending an email tostride@stephenlewisfoundation.org, or checking out the planning tools atwww.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride.

Date 
The main weekend for the walk is June 8-9, 2013. However, groups are welcome to organize their walk the weekend of June 1-2 or the weekend of June 15-16 and still have access to our national insurance coverage.

Alternatives to Walking
Stride continues to encourage alternate activities, should a group not want to organize or join a walk. What about a picnic? A garden party? A bake sale at a farmer’s market? Or perhaps ice-cream sundaes on Stride Sunday? We welcome you to be part of the success of Stride with innovative and fun alternatives to walking.

Stride Coordinator 
The Steering Committee is pleased to announce that Shama Joshi will be the national Stride Coordinator this year. Shama has worked with supporters of the Stephen Lewis Foundation as a staff member for four years, and brings a wealth of both technical and coordinating experience to Stride. Although she has been in contact with Canadian grandmothers many times during her tenure at the Foundation, Shama is very excited to work full-time on a grandmother-led project!
Shama can be reached at stride@stephenlewisfoundation.org, or via phone at 1-888-203-9990 ext. 260.

Communications 
Regular updates on the walk will be in the Granny Bulletin. You can find everything you need to plan your walk at www.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride, including: the Stride Handbook, Insurance Information/Application Form, Registration Forms, Pledge Forms, Stride Publicity/Media Toolkit, event posters and leaflets, and instructions for ordering the trademark Stride Scarf! You might also like to read last year’s Post-Walk Report.
Of course, Shama will be available to answer your questions, as will members of the National Walk Committee.

Walk Promotion 
Shama will be in touch with you shortly to offer assistance with your Stride plans and to help you promote your walks and all related Stride activities. In addition, we are developing a Stride slide show to assist granny groups in promoting Stride within their groups and beyond. We are very pleased that the slide show will be accompanied by Stephen Lewis’ Stride to Turn the Tide endorsement! We expect this tool to be available by the end of March.

Donations and Training
New, easy-to-use ONLINE FUNDRAISING PAGES are coming soon! We expect that the website will be up in mid-March. Create a walk, join a walk, or make a donation – just a few of the fabulous features of the website!
Paper pledging remains, however, groups are encouraged to work closely with Shama to help as many walkers as possible use the online donation pages. We know the online system increases fundraising. Lorraine Green, our new Co-Chair, has excellent knowledge about online fundraising and will be working closely with staff at the Stephen Lewis Foundation to provide assistance and training in this area. We ask that you survey your group for anyone interested in learning how to set up and operate the online fundraising pages. This “tech” person will act as a point of reference for setting up walkers online, alleviating some of the challenges for those of us who are less “tech savvy”.

Scarves 
The colourful triangular, African-made cotton scarf, with the bilingual wording "Grandmothers to Grandmothers in Solidarity", is our “brand” for walks across Canada. The scarves are available for purchase at $10 each and can be ordered by using the scarf order form at www.grandmotherscampaign.org/stride.

Stride and GRAN 
Similar to last year, all GRANs are most welcome to walk and fundraise for Stride. In some Stride walks, GRANs set up a booth at the walk. Most walks are open to anyone who registers and wants to fundraise for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

Multiple Group Walks
Large walks that bring groups together are a terrific way to share the work of hosting a Stride event. They build solidarity among groups, create opportunities to work together on future events, achieve greater visibility in communities and in the media, and often raise more money as a result. We encourage you to reach out to the groups around you!

Our hope is that every grandmothers group will join Stride in some way!

“We Stride So She Can Turn the Tide”
 

In solidarity,
 

Stride to Turn the Tide National Walk Steering Committee:
 
Carole Holmes, Co-Chair
Lorraine Green, Co-Chair
Pam Farron, Past Co-Chair
Sharon Vanclief, Financial Representative
Shama Joshi, Stride Coordinator
Graham Coultas, Grandmothers Campaign Director, Stephen Lewis Foundation

 

Special Granny Bulletin: February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013: The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmothers groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Special Bulletin:

  1. Grandmothers Team Update from Ilana
  2. New Tribunal Date: September 7, 2013

Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
There are so many exciting initiatives on the horizon for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign!  The interviews for the Grandmothers Book in Canada and in Africa are well underway, Stride to the Tide is coming up in June, the African Grandmothers Tribunal in Vancouver, and of course there are dozens of marvellous speaking and fundraising events organized by grandmothers groups happening every month.  The momentum continues!
 
I know that things have been moving so well, and that change is always tough when everyone is feeling good about the constellation of Campaign staff!   After several years, I know you’ll appreciate the deep commitment that every single staff member of the SLF has to the Grandmothers Campaign – to all of you!  In that spirit, I am writing to you today to tell you about an important change in the SLF staffing of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign:
 
Zahra Mohamed, the current Director of the Grandmothers Campaign, is going to take on a new role as Director of Stewardship at the Foundation, and Graham Coultas from the Learning and Resource Development Team will be taking over the position of Director of the Grandmothers Campaign.
 
Graham has been with the Foundation for seven years, taking on a number of different roles, most recently with the Learning Team managing the African Grandmothers Tribunal and taking on pieces around the Grandmothers Book – projects he will continue working on in his new role!  Many of you will remember Graham as our much beloved “Julie” or “Jules” (Grandmothers Campaign Coordinator from 2006 – 2009), and many of you have long-standing relationships with Graham, who was there with me and all of us at the very inception of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, often travelling across the country to attend events, help with new groups, and spend time with all of you.  I know you’ll be delighted to see Graham again, support his transition from Julie to Graham, and all the courage and happiness he brings with it!  His love and knowledge of the Campaign is deep.
 
Zahra’s move to Director of Stewardship couldn’t come at a better time for the Foundation.  There are two pressing reasons for this – one is that the crisis on the continent around funding is critical – money going to grassroots organisations has diminished, and donors have been pulling out summarily because of the global recession.  The need to raise more funds to ensure that the work continues apace is urgent.  At the same time, major events like the Hope Rising concerts have brought us into contact with new supporters.  Zahra has an extensive background in stewardship and fundraising, and as you know has a deep understanding of the work in Africa.  She brings patience, thoughtfulness and creative insight to her new role, along with the invaluable experience of working on the Campaign, alongside all of you.  So many of you have taken the time to share how much you enjoy working with Zahra, from her first “official” Campaign activities as a Programme Officer on the Caravan, to the hundreds of  conference calls, speaking engagements and visits all over Canada.  We know you’ll miss her!
 
Zahra and Graham have already been working closely to make the transition as smooth as possible.  Their combined years of experience working in the Foundation, and shared knowledge and love of the Grandmothers Campaign are a tremendous asset to the transition!  As of February 28th, Graham and Zahra will officially take on their new roles, and I know that you’ll want to join me in recognizing Zahra’s brilliant contributions, and welcoming Graham back to the Campaign!
 
With much love and anticipation for all the good to come,
 
Ilana
 
**************************************
 
NEW TRIBUNAL DATE:  September 7, 2013
 
In the last Granny Bulletin, we shared the exciting news that the Stephen Lewis Foundation is working closely with our partners at community-level in Africa to organize and host the African Grandmothers Tribunal.  The Tribunal is the first of its kind, and will shine a light on African grandmothers as experts and agents of change in the context of the pandemic in order to build awareness, raise funds, and produce significant recommendations for change.
 
For Canadian grandmothers and grandothers, the Tribunal is a unique opportunity to hear directly from African grandmothers about their lives and priorities.  As members of the Grandmothers Campaign, the act of bearing witness to the testimonies of African grandmothers promises to be a transformative experience, deepening our understanding of the lives of African grandmothers and the grandchildren in their care, exploring the critical work of community-level organizations, and raising awareness about the pivotal role that funding is playing in facilitating the work of those at the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic.
 
When we first shared details of the Tribunal with you, everything seemed to fall into place for May 2013 in Vancouver.  However, we now have the opportunity to hold the Tribunal in a larger venue  - the CHAN Center holds over 1000 people - (and with some esteemed colleagues and partners who we want to have with us!) on September 7th, 2013.  This new date makes more sense for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that so many of you have already told us you want to come – fabulous!  It is also the weekend of Grandparent’s Day and we have been working closely with grandmothers and grandothersin and around Vancouver and Victoria to have the Tribunal dovetail with other events in the region.
 
We will have more details about the African Grandmothers Tribunal online soon, and will share details about registering to attend in an upcoming Granny Bulletin.  Anyone and everyone is welcome to register with no limits on the number of grandmothers and grandothers who can attend from any one group.  Members of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign will be given advance access, of course.  Thank you so much and stay tuned!



Special Granny Bulletin: January 10, 2013

January 10, 2013: The Granny Bulletin is a regular email update on the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, intended to keep grandmother groups across Canada informed about, and connected to each other and the grandmothers and grassroots projects in Africa that are supported through their dedicated fundraising and awareness-raising efforts. Please share this information with others in your group who don’t use email.

In this Granny Bulletin:

  1. African Grandmothers Tribunal

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,
 
We have something exciting to share with you: the Stephen Lewis Foundation is organizing and hosting the African Grandmothers Tribunal, on Sunday May 26, 2013 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Tribunal is the first of its kind, and will shine a light on African grandmothers as experts and agents of change in the context of the pandemic, in order to build awareness, raise funds, and produce significant recommendations for change. 
 
We are holding the Tribunal in Vancouver as a first step in planning some major Foundation events outside of the Toronto-area, and across Canada. In this way, we hope not only to engage more Canadians, but importantly to honour you, the grandmothers and grandothers who work so tirelessly in support of African grandmothers.
 
Six grandmothers from sub-Saharan Africa will come to Canada, alongside representatives from six community-based organizations.  In the presence of a small panel of internationally-recognized “judges”, the grandmothers will speak about their own experiences. How their lives would change with real access to healthcare and health information, adequate nutrition and housing, pensions, property rights and protection from sexual violence. How they are entitled to meaningful participation at all levels in decisions that affect them, and other issues that affect the enjoyment of their human rights. Alongside representatives from community-based organizations, grandmothers will speak to the critical role of those organizations in securing human rights and pressing for change, and the urgent need for more funding at the grassroots to sustain their work.
 
As Canadian grandmothers and members of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, you stand in solidarity with African grandmothers, raising the funds and awareness so vital to the success of the grassroots organizations. The Tribunal is an historic opportunity to support them in another way – by bearing witness to their testimonies.
 
Members of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign will have advance access to seats at the Tribunal.  And of course, we’ll find creative ways to ensure that grandmothers outside of Vancouver, who cannot attend in person, can equally bear witness to the testimonies of African grandmothers at the Tribunal.
 
We know you’ll have many questions about the Tribunal. What we’ve shared here is just a snippet that focuses more on the broad strokes of “what, where and when”, rather than the “how and why”. Rest assured more information is coming!  Soon, we will have a page up on the Stephen Lewis Foundation website with further details. So, stay tuned!