Granny Bulletin: January 2019

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. Report from Funders Concerned About AIDS
  2. What Does your Shirt Say?
  3. Are you Ready to Stride to Turn the Tide?
  4. Fundraising Corner: Ideas for Small & Mighty Groups
  5. Save the Date: Aeroplan Miles Matching Week is Back February 11-17!

Happy New Year Grandmothers and Grandothers!

The turning of the calendar from one year to another brings an opportunity for reflection and even sometimes, a moment of pause. For many, it is a time of setting intentions and resolutions, planning ahead and perhaps an embracing of fresh starts, activities or pursuits. However you are beginning this New Year, we wish you all good health, joy and happiness in 2019.

We have seen a flurry of events and group meeting announcements shared on Facebook and with us via email. We, too, are planning for an energetic and busy year within the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and are so happy that you are with us for what will be a great year. We want to share what we hope will be three sparks of inspiration as this New Year begins and we continue our collective work in solidarity with African grandmothers.

We know all too well about the invisibility that grandmothers face at large in society, but we know too, that while there remains much work to do, increasingly, African grandmothers’ voices are being heard, and their contributions and leadership are being noted.

You’ll recall from the December Granny Bulletin, the update we shared about Stephen and his recovery.

Ilana penned her annual letter to grandmothers and grandothers – you can find the full letter in the Members Section of the Grandmothers Campaign website. We wanted to share some of her reflections with you here.

“The Solidarity you show every day in the Campaign has a direct and palpable impact on the way people respond to the Campaign. The way African Grandmothers know you stand with them and will not drift away or change priorities (as so many donor organizations do), and the way the SLF is able to maintain our deep commitment to respecting the direction and trajectories of our grassroots partners and the Grandmothers themselves. Because of your tenacity, creativity, commitment and enthusiasm and perseverance (!), we are able to ensure that Grandmothers and their groups can plan into the future, school fees for next year, a bigger vegetable garden plot, a brick-making machine for the community, an office to meet in… and the SLF can plan for all this too.
The ripple effects across generations, through tens of thousands of lives, both in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the Campaign and our own families and communities, and as a global inspiration – of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and the $33 million raised – is simply revolutionary, stirring, and intensely meaningful. As I write, I feel words are inadequate to capture the significance of your dedication and tireless efforts, and the extraordinary strides and life-altering progress made by the African Grandmothers and their grassroots organizations. It fills our hearts and keeps us in exhilarated lock-step with you!”

We hope this will embolden and energize you as we set about this important solidarity work!  

Asmita, Winnie, Megan and Sarah

1. Report from Funders Concerned About AIDS

The 16th annual Philanthropic Support to Address HIV&AIDS report recently released by Funders Concerned about AIDS (FCAA) revealed that in 2017, private philanthropic funding for HIV & AIDS decreased by 5%, or $37 million. While this is disconcerting on its own, the FCAA goes on to forecast that government funding for HIV & AIDS is also likely to fall back to stagnant levels in the coming years, despite UNAIDS reporting an increase this past July for the first time in several years. The FCAA points out that the reason for this increase is due to funds that had accrued in previous years without being spent, and is therefore not a sustainable increase, nor an accurate portrayal of future trends in government funding.

It is, however, quite hopeful to see that funding for certain vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQ communities, has risen. In addition, grants supporting general operating expenses and administration also increased, which is crucial if organizations responding to the AIDS pandemic are to function properly and build their capacity to implement effective programmes.

On the heels of this report, we want to reaffirm, acknowledge and applaud the collective work of grandmothers groups. Your fierce determination has provided consistent levels of funding to the Stephen Lewis Foundation since the launch of the Grandmothers Campaign, and your focus on ensuring community-based organizations have the resources they need to holistically support African grandmothers and the children in their care has never wavered. Let us hope that the international community can take a cue from your solidarity and belief that it would be detrimental to decrease or withdraw funding until the tide of HIV & AIDS has fully turned.

If you’d like to read more about the report and the FCAA’s full insights into current and future funding levels, click here.

2. What Does your Shirt Say?

Are you looking for a way to showcase your Campaign commitment and strike up conversation in your community?  Look no further for your chance to order a Grandmothers Campaign t-shirt, printed and coordinated by grandmothers group member, Carol, from the Peninsula Grannies.

These t-shirts are 100% cotton (with compacted yarns to minimize shrinkage).  They have tapered necks and shoulder and a tear-away label.  Available in sizes XS-4XL.  Available in a range of colours: Black, Charcoal, Maroon, Kelly Green, Navy, Purple, Red, Royal Blue – all with the white Grandmothers Campaign logo.

They are $23.00 each (which includes the shipping cost to one address per group, with no minimum amount).  All profits from the sales go towards the SLF (through the Peninsula Grannies).

The last date to order is March 15, 2019. Please contact Carol Schultz from Bruce Peninsula Grandparent Connection at or 519-795-7798.

3. Are You Ready to Stride to Turn the Tide?

Every June, grandmothers and grandothers walk in solidarity with the grandmothers of Africa who walk with purpose every day. This June marks the 10th Annual Stride to Turn the Tide walk. What started with one grandmothers group in Canmore, Alberta has blossomed into an annual event with thousands of participants and supporters coast-to-coast in Canada.

The online fundraising pages are live and we are eager to support grandmothers and grandothers who are interested in walking – whether virtually, with individual participants tracking steps taken over the course of several weeks, or with an in-person walk in June.

If you or your group are interested in Striding this year, you can learn more and set up your team’s page by visiting Stride to Turn the Tide or you can email

If you would like to be notified of a walk in your area to join or support, email or call us! We are excited to be Striding together this momentous year! 

P.S. If you’re looking for a way to showcase your Stride Pride, maybe a set of matching t-shirts? (See “What does your Shirt Say?” above.)

4. Fundraising Corner: Ideas for Small & Mighty Groups

Grandmothers groups across the Campaign range in size from one member to 400 members! While many hands make light work, some groups have fewer hands but just as much determination. In the spirit of sharing tips, tricks, and fundraising ideas with smaller groups – do you have great fundraising ideas, events, and initiatives that could be easily implemented by a grandmothers group with 10 or fewer members? Share ideas with us!

This trove of ideas will be equally helpful for new groups to help them build momentum. We’ll compile all the submissions we receive to share with you on the Grandmothers Campaign website, and add them to a special section in the Fundraising Catalogue.

To share an idea with us, send a short write-up directly to your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or email

Thanks very much for sharing your creativity and experience across the Campaign!

5. Save the Date: Aeroplan Miles Matching Week is Back February 11-17!

Aeroplan miles go the distance in facilitating all aspects of the work we do at the Stephen Lewis Foundation. From enabling travel for us to hear directly from African grandmothers and other experts and leaders, to project visits by the SLF’s trusted Field Representatives who conduct Monitoring and Evaluation work. Aeroplan Miles are vital to us doing our work and keeping our administrative costs low.

February 11-17, 2019 is Miles Matching Week where  miles donated to the SLF is matched by Aeroplan 1 for 1! We wanted to give you advance notice, in case your family or friends collect Aeroplan Miles and might want to donate as part of our annual push. We’ll share details that you can forward to anyone  who collects Aeroplan Miles in the February Granny Bulletin.

Comments are closed.