Granny Bulletin: March 2016 Special Edition
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:
- Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers
- African Grandmothers Tribunal Film now online!
- Reflection and Renewal British Columbia Super Gathering
- 10 Year Anniversary Campaign Resources
1. Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers
In honour of the “official” anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign launched on the eve of the International Women’s Day ten years ago, this month’s Granny Bulletin is absolutely overflowing with special videos and resources! In the last Bulletin we shared a new short video from Stephen and Ilana speaking directly to you, as cherished members of the Campaign. (In case you missed it, check out the video here!)
Today, we’re thrilled to share two additional short videos AND announce the free online release of 2013’s African Grandmothers Tribunal film. The first new video features a brief conversation with Mariam Mulindwa, a Ugandan grandmother who, as many of you will remember, testified at the Tribunal, and most recently attended the British Columbia Super-Gathering, hosted by the Greater Van Gogos this month.
The second video, Grandmothers to Grandmothers: Celebrate and Rededicate, we’re not ashamed to admit, brought tears to our eyes when we watched it for the first time. Actually, that may be an understatement, as those of us at the SLF who have been working alongside Canadian grandmothers since 2006 watched those first few moments of our fledgling movement reflected with such strength, tenderness and promise. And those of us who came to the Campaign as late as last year, felt the entirety and ‘magic’ of our shared journey as though we had been on it all along, too. It’s a touching and empowering tribute that we know you’ll want to share in your groups and communities at every opportunity!
With great affection,
Graham, Ilana, Sydney, Asmita, Janet, Sarah and Healy
2. African Grandmothers Tribunal film now online
To mark the occasion of the 10 Year Anniversary, we are delighted to announce that our moving documentary about the 2013 African Grandmothers Tribunal is now available for online streaming!
In recent years, the testimonies presented by African grandmothers participating in the Tribunal have helped chart a path forward for advancing African grandmothers’ human rights. Last week, Tribunal participant Mariam Mulindwa was in British Columbia for a ‘super gathering’ of grandmothers in celebration of the Ten Year Anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign. For the Foundation, this was an indispensable opportunity to get an update from Mariam on her life, the lives of her fellow Ugandan grandmothers, and the progress that African grandmothers have made over the past three years.
We invite you to see Mariam’s video and then with her words in mind, (re)watch the Foundation’s documentary about the African Grandmothers Tribunal, and encourage you to share the film with friends and family!
“From the Tribunal, we’ve moved forward. Now, if older women want to demand access to health care, they know where to go. If they want to know about their land rights, they know where to go. We’ve found that our voices are being raised. We know what we want. We want our rights as grandmothers to be recognized.”
3. Reflection and Renewal: British Columbia Super Gathering
Grandmothers and grandothers from across BC gathered in Vancouver March 11 and 12 for a province-wide gathering with 23 of 25 grandmothers groups in the Greater Van Gogos and another 19 groups from across the province participated in the gathering – that’s 42 groups! The weekend kicked off with a rousing conversation between Stephen and Ilana as they reflected on 10 years of the Campaign. They took us back to the beginnings of the Grandmothers Campaign in Canada, the struggles and triumphs of African grandmothers as they raise their orphaned grandchildren, and the ground they’re claiming in the struggle for human rights in the face of the AIDS pandemic. They rallied grandmothers and grandothers to continue our work raising funds in solidarity with African grandmothers, entreating us to support them as they storm the bastilles in Africa.
More than 350 grandmothers networked, shopped at a fantastic marketplace and shared experiences. Three guests from Africa – Siphiwe Hlophe, founder of Swaziland Positive Living (SWAPOL), Mariam Mulindwa, grandmother and advocate from Phoebe Education Fund for AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (PEFO) and Ida Nambeya, consultant to the Grandmothers to Grandmother Campaign – moved and reinvigorated grandmothers.
For Siphiwe and Mariam, this trip marked a return to Vancouver, where three years ago, they testified at the African Grandmothers Tribunal.It was in many respects, a reunion of sorts of three powerful African women leading their communities to change.
4. 10 Year Anniversary Campaign Resources
Check out the Grandmothers Campaign website for a variety of new resources including a updated Grandmothers Campaign flyer, new postcard, action plan and a pin to help you and your group mark the 10 Year Anniversary. Contact the Grandmothers Campaign to order materials or if you have questions.