Local Initiatives

North Bay Grandmothers have been active in our community since 2008.

We increased awareness and engaged our community in the struggle to turn the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa (click here to visit the North Bay AIDS Society website).

Another event was a meeting on May 8, 2014, in Lively at Christ Church, which four North Bay Grandmothers attended.  This meeting brought together two African grandmothers, Stephen Lewis Foundation personnel on tour, and Lively and North Bay Grandmothers and supporters.  The African Grandmothers, on tour with SLF staff, were Wairimu Mungai from Kenya and Netty Musanhu from Zimbabwe.  Wairimu started a wellness centre in her village, which is considered a model for other villages. Netty is a civil rights lawyer who works pro bono to defend abused women.  Both are now supported by SLF.  

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The African Grandmothers and SFL personnel led by Janet Solberg and Joe Cressy toured all of Ontario canvassing unions for funds in their Solidarity Tour van.  

North Bay grandmothers brought posters to demonstrate our past fund raisers and bags made by Caroline Haist's sister Marianne Wightman of Manotick.  Netty and Wairimu were delighted to receive a bag each. 

For more photos of this event click here.

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In May 2010 we sponsored Suzanne Brooks, a local grandmother, as one of 40 Canadian grandmothers at the First African Grandmothers Conference in Swaziland at which 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were represented (for detail of this conference, click here). 

In June 2010 we sponsored a presentation of this conference to the local community (see poster).

Suzanne’s was inspired as the result of meeting African grandmothers to write this promise:

My dear sisters across the ocean,

How often I think of you, remembering your tears when you shared your grief, and the radiance of your joy as you joined together in song. How warmly you welcomed us strangers into your circle.

We have carried your stories into our world, sharing them with others, and stretching the circle of joined hands that began with you in your centre and at the Manzini Conference.

Marching with you, walking with you, dancing with you still, we will carry your voices onward until the universe resonates with your love and joy and selfless caring for the children you protect and nurture.

Together we will change the world and make a place for each child to grow in health and dignity, and for you elders to be cherished and supported.

Suzanne Brooks

For slides of Suzanne's presentation, click here.

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On October 3, 2010, we hosted a grandmother and two grandchildren as part of the Afrigrand Caravan.  The caravan started September 7 in St. John's, Newfoundland, and made 40 stops on its way to its final destination in Victoria, BC.  The purpose of the caravan was to raise awareness and funds to support people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

For photos of this event, click here.


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In February 2009 ten North Bay Grandmothers took part in Nipissing University's International Food Fest to support the Student Refugee Sponsorship Program.  Each participant brought an ethnic dish representing her cultural background.

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Bunty Swanson and Zena Laroche made a presentation about the Grandmothers Organization and the Stephen Lewis Foundation to the Lutheran Women's Northeastern Conference at Lutheran Redeemer Church in North Bay in 2009.