Granny Bulletin: November 2016 — Child Treatment, Flash Mob Teaser, and Holiday Tribute Cards

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. Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers
  2. Treating the Whole Child
  3. Holiday Tribute Cards are Here!
  4. November Monthly Reveal: Flash Mob Teaser

1. Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers

Ten years ago, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign started in earnest with a relatively small number of women, full of hope, determination, and the knowledge that, in the words of Margaret Mead, “a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

Today, our movement of nearly 10,000 grandmothers and grandothers in Canada, the UK and now Australia, is well-known for the diversity of activities organized by grandmothers groups, each a reflection of unique interests, locations and identities. You should also know that your commitment to and celebration of SOLIDARITY with African grandmothers and with one another, is equally well-known and deeply admired, not only in your own communities, but also among international organizations and funders who care about HIV and AIDS in Africa. Your reach is wider than you know!

Most importantly of course, the African grandmothers and the community-based organizations who partner with the Foundation, know well who you are! On every visit to our African partners, the grandmothers ask us, “How are the Canadian grandmothers? What are they doing now?” Their work would be impossible without the funds that you raise and their spirits are buoyed by the knowledge that you care so much about them and the bonds of grandmotherhood.

On World AIDS Day, December 1st, we have another special opportunity to show African grandmothers (and the world!) what solidarity looks like – and keep HIV and AIDS in Africa at the forefront of people’s minds. Flash Mobs garner a lot of attention, especially when they involve groups of grandmothers letting loose, defying dated stereotypes, and claiming space!

You can read more about the Flash Mobs below and watch a special video featuring Stephen Lewis, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Canadian grandmothers, and some of our African partners practicing their dance moves!

We hope you’ll join us!

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

2. Treating the Whole Child

At the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, five long-time partners of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, based in Uganda and South Africa, participated in the Conference’s Global Village in order to bring urgent attention to the critical role of community-based organizations in reaching HIV-positive children and youth in sub-Saharan Africa.  It’s no secret that it’s the grassroots organizations that have gained the trust and confidence of children and youth and therefore offer some of the most authentic insights into what it means to treat “the whole child.” You can read about their work in our new report, Community-Based Organizations: Reaching HIV-positive Children & Youth in sub-Saharan Africa.


“HIV & AIDS continues to wreak havoc on the families and communities of sub-Saharan Africa, and the epidemic has had an especially devastating impact on children and youth. In 2016 there are a staggering 14 million children who have been orphaned by AIDS, and close to three million children living with AIDS. Only one in three HIV-positive children currently has access to treatment. Rates of treatment default and new infections among adolescents are alarming, and 7 in 10 new infections for teenagers in sub-Saharan Africa are among girls.

One of the biggest challenges is that a whole generation of parents has died and community structures have been badly compromised. In so many cases it has been the grandparents — predominantly elderly, widowed women — who have stepped into care for the orphaned children. But the grandmothers themselves have been traumatized by loss, and are sorely lacking the physical, emotional and material resources they need to care for this multitude of children. These families struggle with poverty, making malnutrition a constant threat. HIV-positive children are often ostracized and discriminated against, with little protection from abuse.

Education is terminated and children’s hopes of living productive, self-supporting lives are dimmed. Gender-based discrimination greatly increases girls’ vulnerability to sexual exploitation and violence, as well as their risk of HIV infection. And children struggle with all of the grief and loss they have endured, and continue to suffer.

The response that community-based organizations are rolling out – through a multitude of varied interventions – is driven by a single, essential insight. Children infected and affected by HIV & AIDS must be supported as whole persons. The community-based organizations that are succeeding in reclaiming these children’s lives have learned that HIV treatment must be delivered as a part of much more encompassing, holistic programmes of support, which address the children’s multiple vulnerabilities. The provision of a range of wrap-around services to accompany ARV treatment is absolutely necessary.”

Read the full report here.

3. Holiday Tribute Cards are Here!


Our popular December Holiday Tribute cards have arrived!  Each card represents a donation of $10 or more, made in lieu of – or in addition to – a traditional gift.

Tribute Cards (similar to those pictured above) feature African grandmothers or grandmothers and children and include 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!”

Grandmothers group members are invited to make a personal donation in place of a traditional gift and receive a Holiday Tribute card to share, or request packages of five cards to provide to your supporters when they make holiday tribute donations. As with personal tribute donations, each card represents a donation of $10 or more.

Donations of $20 or more are eligible for a tax receipt.

To make a personal donation for a Holiday Tribute card visit or call 1-888-203-9990, ext. 0. To request packages of five cards for you group, please email or call us at 1-888-203-9990, ext. 0.  Please note that as December is a busy mailing season we ask that you request your cards as early as possible to ensure they make it into your mailbox in time.


4. November Monthly Reveal: Flash Mob Teaser

As you know, on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), grandmothers groups across the Campaign will be participating in Flash Mobs to the song “Sisters are Doing it for Themselves” to raise awareness and build the movement.

To build excitement for the Flash Mobs, as our November Monthly Reveal, we wanted to share a video of people across the country practicing the Flash Mob including Stephen Lewis, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Ida Nambeya Makuka, and the grandmothers and staff members from PEFO, Kitovu Mobile, and Mavambo Trust who attended the Fall Gatherings.


It’s not too late for Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign groups to decide to participate in the Flash Mob! To get all of the materials and learn more, contact us at We’re having a national Flash Mob conference call on Monday, Nov. 21 and we’d love to include you.

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