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COMMUNITY: Grandmothers mark 10 years of solidarity and $25M raised

Three members of the Terra Nova Grannies — Frankie O’Neill, Kay Matthews, and Jill Whitaker — were in Halifax Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers’ Campaign in Canada.

Pictured from left to right are: Justine Ojambo, national director Phoebe Education Fund for AIDS Orphans (PEFO), Uganda; Jill Whitaker; Frankie O’Neill; Marium Mulindwa, Grandmother, (PEFO), Uganda; Kay Matthews, Immaculate Nakyanzi, Grandmother, (Kitovu Mobile AIDS Org.), Uganda.

Stephen Lewis and Ilana Lewis, co-founders of the campaign from the Stephen Lewis Foundation, were the speakers on Friday evening. 

The G2G Campaign is an unparalleled movement committed to supporting grassroots efforts to turn the tide of AIDS in Africa. 

Since its inception, more than 10,000 grandmothers from across Canada have raised over $25 million in support of community-based organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. 

These African organizations are run by and for grandmothers caring for children who have been orphaned by the global AIDS epidemic. 

With an estimated two million new HIV infections each year, efforts are being redoubled to raise funds and awareness in 2016.

An estimated 14 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS and 90% of the children orphaned by the disease live in sub-Saharan Africa. 

In some countries up to 60 per cent of these children live in grandmother-headed households.

Some women are caring for 12 or more of their grandchildren.

School fees, adequate nutrition, housing, counselling, property rights, and income generation are problems for many.

Guided by the principles of solidarity and social justice, the Campaign is redefining retirement for many of its Canadian members.

They have become a powerful force in supporting African grandmothers with the support of these grandchildren and the struggle to secure their human rights.

Suggestions for the use of the funds raised in Canada come from the African grannies themselves, not the other way around. 

This 10 Year Anniversary signifies a decade of learning, fundraising, and building solidarity for the Canadian grannies. 

The Terra Nova Grannies are just completing their current fundraiser, a sale of fall bulbs which will brighten many St. John’s gardens in the spring.

Their next activity will be another of their very popular scrabble afternoons which will take place on Nov. 5 at the Lantern, 35 Barnes Rd., from 2 to 5 pm. 

With prizes, fellowship, good food and fun, these afternoons are always popular.

Everyone is welcome.


Submitted by Jill Whitaker

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