Granny Bulletin: May 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. Geneva Forum for Health Award
  2. Powered by Love Book Club Resource
  3. Ilana’s Podcast: Grandmothers on the Move! New Episodes and New Information
  4. Watch for the SLF’s new Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter
  5. Hear about the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering
  6. African Food for Thought and Your Book Club

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,
There are moments in the life of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, when we allow ourselves brief reflective pauses from the urgency of our collective work. We take stock of all of the marvelous work you do in your communities. These are moments when we celebrate your collective passion and leadership. These are moments in which we marvel at the tremendous energy, love and commitment you bring to the Grandmothers Campaign and these are moments in which we think, “this conversation, this event, this milestone has a tremendous impact. It makes the movement richer”. All of you are part of this, in the myriad ways that you contribute and give of your time and skills.  
We are in such a moment now, where the confluence between the amazing efforts in communities and the recognition of this work, its growth and energy and depth, is shining a spotlight on this movement of solidarity of which we are all a part. Last week at the Atlantic Book Awards ceremony, Powered by Love: A Grandmothers’ Movement to End AIDS in Africa won best book published in Atlantic Canada!
We have more exciting news to share with you, today! It’s an important, international recognition of all that you do – in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – to raise awareness and funds for, and in solidarity with, African grandmothers. Read on!  We hope you’ll be excited by this news as well!
In solidarity,
The Grandmothers Campaign team

P.S. Thanks to the grandmothers who attended the Atlantic Books Awards in Halifax. It was great to have your enthusiasm and energy be part of this event.

Photo credit: Alexis MacDonald/SLF

1. Geneva Forum for Health Awards – Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is one of the four Winners!

The Geneva Forum for Health Awards are presented  out during the World Health Assembly, recognizing and honouring global health leaders “who have made fundamental improvements in delivering high-quality, sustainable, patient-centred healthcare. Particular emphasis is placed on proven, disruptive innovations that have the potential to become global best practice.”  This year, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a recipient of this award – an award that is often given to health ministries (another recipient this year is the Chilean Ministry of Health for innovative food labels), world leaders (including  Gro Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization), agency leaders, and large Foundations (last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation won for malaria programming)!
Ilana will be travelling to Geneva, Switzerland next week to accept the award on behalf of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and we’ll have more to share with you then.
Here’s what the Geneva Forum for Health says about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign:

“Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a unique fundraising initiative conducted in solidarity with African grandmothers raising 15M children orphaned by AIDS. It has attracted more than 10,000 volunteers forming 300 local chapters who raise money through everyday fundraising activities such as potlucks, art auctions and quilting bees; the movement has since spread international. The movement is grounded in building solidarity, respecting African grandmothers’ expertise and amplifying their voices to promote authentic and substantive response to the AIDS epidemic. 
African grandmothers supported by the initiative are vocally demanding access to education, healthcare, land, legal representation and freedom from violence. 
Collective vision defined by African grandmothers calls for a future in which grandchildren and communities are thriving, and have left behind the ravages of AIDS.”

2. Powered by Love Book Club Resource

There’s a new Powered by Love resource for book clubs that we think will be of interest and use to grandmothers groups as well. The Book Club guide includes an overview of the writing of the book and a list of questions to help lead conversations and prompt reflections. Don’t have a book club? Create one! Or use questions from the guide to start conversations about Powered by Love at the beginning of your meetings!

The guide can be downloaded from the Powered by Love book website. There is also  a link to it from the Resource list on the Grandmothers Campaign website.

3. Ilana’s Podcast: Grandmothers on the Move! New Episodes and New Information

The Grandmothers on the Move podcast was launched on May 6thand there are now two episodes available online. Grandmothers on the Move is the podcast that kicks old stereotypes to the curb, and introduces creative, activist, irreverent and powerful grandmothers making vital contributions to their families and communities around the world!

Episode 1: There Is Optimism In Survival –  Ilana’s interview with her indomitable mother, Michele Landsberg! 
Episode 2: Turning Pain into Power-for-Change One Chessboard at a Time – Ilana interviews Raydell Lacey (Ms Ray), grandmother and great-grandmother from Chicago, founder of the remarkable initiatives, Not Before my Parents and Chess Moves against Violence. 
It’s easy to listen! Just go to:
New Episodes Every Sunday – Stay tuned to this weekly podcast! Ilana will be introducing her audience to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in the 4th episode!  
The podcast can be shared on social media from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page.  You can always go to the Grandmothers on the Move Facebook page for up-to-date information. And if you like the podcast, and listen to it on iTunes, leave a review – it helps to spread the word (and check out Paola’s beautiful review on the Grandmothers on the Move Facebook page)! 
If any of you would like to be interviewed or know of someone you really think should be interviewed – from the Campaign or anywhere in the world – send a message to Ilana through the Grandmothers on the Move website.

4. Watch for the SLF’s New Spotlight on Grassroots Newsletter

This Spotlight on Grassroots is a special one – it outlines how we work, why we do what we do, what defines our approach, and what is emerging with such success as a result! It’s SLF 101 for anyone you talk to, and great to share for discussion with new members! Spotlight on Grassroots will be available online soon. Download it from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s website



5. Hear about the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering

As many groups start to look ahead to Fall gatherings, we thought we’d remind you of the 11 grandmothers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, who represented the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign at the Tanzania Grandmothers Gathering in Arusha in February. As delegates, they attended workshops and celebrations and spent time learning about the challenges and achievements of Tanzanian grandmothers and the dedicated community-based organizations that support them. Prior to the Gathering, they visited two of the SLF’s partner organizations in Uganda.

These grandmothers have returned home and have been reflecting and preparing presentations to share the insights they gained. Each delegate has committed to one year of presentations, including sharing stories, photos and amplifying the voices of the African grandmothers. We’re happy to connect you or your group to the delegates! Just email us at
Here is a list of the delegates:

  • Elizabeth Sebesta, Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, Victoria, BC
  • Mary Baker, CanGo Grannies, Kamloops, BC
  • Thelma Hanson, Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB
  • Pat McKee, Oomama, Oakville, ON
  • Gail Rappolt, Blooms for Africa, Hamilton, ON
  • Anne Alper, Capital Grannies, Ottawa, ON
  • Eke Van der Zee, G-Moms of Port Perry, Port Perry, ON
  • Linda Price, Cordia Grandmothers, Traverse City, MI, USA
  • Hilary Stephenson, Guildford & Godalming Grandmothers’ Group (4G’s), Guildford, United Kingdom
  • Marilynn Freitag, Gogo Mamas Perth, Perth, WA, Australia
  • Marg Collett, Grand-AIDS, Barrington, NSW, Australia

6. African Food for Thought and Your Book Club

African Food for ThoughtA Tribute to Grandmothers is a beautiful book of photos, African proverbs, stories and recipes that will also honour the amazing grandmothers of sub-Saharan Africa who are raising their HIV&AIDS- orphaned grandchildren. Why not choose African Food for Thought to feed the members of your Book Club? Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. To learn more about the book or to find out where to purchase, visit:



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