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:
- A World AIDS Day 2019 message from Stephen Lewis “Communities Make the Difference”
Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,
In communities around the world, events are being held to mark World AIDS Day and to recognize the achievements and contributions that community-based organizations have made in the response to the AIDS pandemic. While there remain urgent and ongoing needs, the leadership of courageous grandmothers, youth, women and HIV advocates has brought resilience and hope back to communities across sub-Saharan Africa.
Our community-based partners, who are leading the response to the AIDS pandemic, are coordinating activities today and throughout the month, which are dedicated to raising awareness about the spread of HIV transmission rates, prevention, and education. They are reflecting on the milestones achieved while remembering and honouring those who have died.
The Grandmothers Consortium in Uganda is marking the day with their national Grandmothers Champions, and grandmothers across the country are engaging in activities and advocacy to raise awareness of their needs, rights and entitlements.
In Zambia, Community Based Care Foundation (CBCF), an organization committed to strengthening the capacities of communities and families affected by HIV and AIDS and raising a healthy and empowered HIV and AIDS-free generation, is holding a World AIDS Day commemoration including dances, songs, and drama while also offering HIV testing to the community. Over the past week, Young Happy Healthy and Safe has engaged young people through their roadshow to provide sensitization activities, including HIV prevention and sexual health education, counselling and testing.
In western Kenya, Community Research in Environmental and Development Initiatives (CREADIS) will focus their World AIDS Day commemoration on the theme of celebration. Throughout their day of activities, they are integrating poetry, music, drama and speeches as they raise awareness and celebrate the efforts and achievements made in antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence amongst those living with HIV, as well as through HIV prevention and education. And The Centre for the Human Rights and Rehabilitation in Malawi will hold their annual commemoration and candlelight memorial.
Across the Grandmothers Campaign, we are also marking the day with our supporters and communities, participating in walks and vigils, standing in solidarity with African grandmothers, amplifying their voices while raising awareness and funds to support their continued efforts.
The achievements of our grassroots partners, the grandmothers and young leaders inspire hope for healthy and resilient communities now and into the future. Our collective movement of solidarity is strengthened and deepened with your ingenuity, love and commitment.
Ruth-Anne, Winnie, Megan and Sarah
1. A World AIDS Day 2019 message from Stephen Lewis
“Communities make the Difference”
Hallelujah! UNAIDS has announced that the theme for this World AIDS Day is: “Communities Make the Difference.” I don’t want to be smug about it, but we have been pressing that theme for more than 15 years. It’s been ridiculously hard to get the international experts to realize that the top-down focus on medical interventions is never going to end the pandemic. Time and again we’ve learned that prevention and care, in particular, happen with community support. Community health workers, nurses, counsellors, teachers all work tirelessly to soothe the wounds and pain of HIV and AIDS. Their commitment and dedication has restored a sense of well-being and promise to their communities.
Our Foundation is wedded to that principle. Our entire rationale is entrenched in community-based, grassroots initiatives. When you contribute to the Foundation, you contribute to the love that holds communities together, spreads to families and neighbours and friends and children, forging a bond that withstands the assault of AIDS.