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Granny Bulletin: August 2020

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. Grandmothers’ leadership and resilience takes an international stage
  2. Campaign Connections: August Campaign Call

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Wherever this Granny Bulletin finds you, we hope that you’re safe and well. While restrictions on gathering and COVID-19 case counts continue to vary from community to community, you are making the best decisions for your grandmothers group based on members’ comfort levels and public health guidance.

Whether that means adapting fundraising events to be virtual or outdoors, selling items through curbside pick-up, focusing on staying connected through email and virtual meetings, keeping yourself and your family members healthy and strong, or sharing Grandmothers Campaign posts on social media to raise awareness – each and every action strengthens the grandmothers community, and we are grateful to have you in this movement.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation’s community-based partners are continuing to share updates on how their communities are affected by lockdowns and policies related to COVID-19. They’re reporting food insecurity, increased gender-based violence, and disruptions to health services, including psychosocial supports, and HIV prevention, medicine, and care.

Community-based and grassroots organizations are used to operating in difficult situations, and are best placed to respond to the intersecting pandemics of COVID-19, and HIV and AIDS. SLF partners have the established networks of care and trust needed to reach vulnerable community members. With limited resources, they’re pivoting, innovating, and adapting to respond to new challenges and to keep their communities safe. The SLF is particularly well placed to support grassroots responses, with current relationships with over 125 community-based partners, and mechanisms in place to get funds directly to them, quickly and reliably.

Your ongoing support and solidarity through the Grandmothers Campaign supports the work of our partners, and raises awareness about the important impact of community-based organizations.

With love and gratitude,
Winnie, Megan, Ruth-Anne and Sarah


1. Grandmothers’ leadership and resilience takes an international stage

It was 14 years ago this month when 300 African and Canadian grandmothers came together at the Toronto Grandmothers Gathering. This first gathering provided a platform for grandmothers’ voices to be heard internationally and launched a solidarity movement that became the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. Since then, grandmothers have gained momentum in rebuilding resilience and hope in their communities across sub-Saharan Africa, which have been deeply impacted by HIV and AIDS. They have now organized into local and national networks to advocate for older persons’ rights, and policies that will provide grandmothers with the resources they need to continue raising the future generations of their countries. Click here to read more about grandmothers’ leadership and the programs that support grandmothers and their families.

Last month, the Stephen Lewis Foundation and leaders from our community-based partners participated in the virtual 23rd International AIDS Conference. We hosted a panel discussion called, “Grandmothers’ Human Rights in the Response to HIV: An international feminist movement led by African grandmothers.” The conversation brought together five grandmothers from Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Canada to discuss the impact of HIV and AIDS on grandmothers and communities in sub-Saharan Africa. They reflected on their early days of supporting grandmothers, and their vision for the future, focusing on how grandmothers are leading movements to claim their human rights, and the international solidarity movement that amplifies grandmothers’ voices and raises funds to support grandmothers and their community-based organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.

We’ll be sharing more insights from this conversation and panel discussion in the coming weeks.


2. Campaign Connections: August Campaign Call

Our monthly Campaign calls are always full of energy, ideas and laughter as we navigate Zoom together. Last month’s call was a summer social and idea-share, where groups checked in with one another and gave updates about what they’ve been doing, and what they’re thinking about for the fall. You can click here to read summary notes from that conversation.

The next Campaign Zoom call will be held on Thursday, August 20th at 12:30 PM Eastern time and we’ll talk through ideas and logistics related to online sales. RSVP for the conversation on the Grandmothers Campaign website, or by emailing campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

We’re continuing to share grandmothers groups’ activities on our Facebook page, as well as updates from the SLF’s partner organizations. On top of that, we’re always thinking about ways to bring members of the Campaign together virtually, and look forward to sharing more opportunities in the coming months. In the meantime, if there’s something we can be doing to support your group or region, please don’t hesitate to share your ideas with us!

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