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. 

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”.

In anticipation of World AIDS Day, we released the compilation video of the 2018 Flash Mobs on the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook Page yesterday. 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!)

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