Winnipeg Free Press, July 7 2018, by Donna Minkus.
Acts of solidarity bind people for a common purpose. When the common purpose is to support children orphaned by AIDS in Africa, the solidarity of African and Canadian grandmothers has gone a long way. Thelma Hanson, keynote speaker at the recent South Winnipeg Seniors Resource Council annual meeting at the Riverview Community Centre, explained how Canadian grandmothers are helping grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa through an organization called Grands ‘n’ More. Grands ‘n’ More grew out of an initiative of the Stephen Lewis Foundation — an organization that works with African community-based groups to fund projects which provide care and support to women, orphaned children, grandmothers and people living with HIV and AIDS. The Lewis Foundation held its first Grandmothers Gathering in 2006, on the eve of an international AIDS conference in Toronto. The foundation launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in response to the emerging crisis faced by African grandmothers who struggle to care for generations of children orphaned by AIDS. What began with only a few groups of Canadian grandmothers has evolved into 240 groups working to support African grandmothers who care for orphaned children. From the outset, the Stephen Lewis Foundation has believed that the solution can be found at the grassroots level, Hanson said. In addition to teaching about HIV prevention and treatment, grandmothers in Africa work on income-generating projects such as selling produce from gardens, making and selling jewelry and raising animals, to name a few. Canadian grandmothers generate funds through a range of projects which raise awareness and millions of dollars for grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa. One of the many fund raising efforts Grand ‘n’ More Winnipeg organizes is an annual art event called Art from the Attic. This year’s art sale will be held on Sept. 30 at Norwood Community Club. Anyone who wants to donate art can call 204-599-8787 and a driver will pick up the donated pieces. If you would like to make a donation to this worthy cause, there are several options. You can donate directly to Grands ‘n’ More. For more information, visit www.grandsnmore.com Donna Minkus is a community correspondent for Charleswood.
Acts of solidarity bind people for a common purpose. When the common purpose is to support children orphaned by AIDS in Africa, the solidarity of African and Canadian grandmothers has gone a long way.