The Wetaskiwin group Grands 4 Africa is one of 240 grandmother groups across Canada helping African grandmothers raise their orphaned grandchildren, through the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in 2006.
The AIDS pandemic has left many African grandmothers as the sole support for their grandchildren. Putting these children through school and helping them cope with the loss of their parents, while they themselves are working through their own grief is overwhelming.
With few resources, these grandmothers are advocates for their families and communities. Facing discrimination based on sex, age and HIV status, they are pressing for their human rights and a better future.
The grandmother groups in Canada share three goals; raising funds, raising awareness and building solidarity to help African grandmothers.
The funds raised through the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign go to African grassroots organizations for grandmothers and grandchildren in partnership with the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
The Foundation collaborates with groups who help with immediate needs such as bereavement counseling, food, health care, transportation, home visits, housing and bedding, school fees, uniforms and supplies, and long term needs like parenting, business skills workshops, microcredit grants, HIV awareness training, counseling and testing, grandmother’s support groups and advocacy groups for property rights, access to health care, pensions and financial support for orphans.
The next fundraiser being held by Grands 4 Africa is ‘Stride to Turn the Tide’, June 7th, at By the Lake Park in Wetaskiwin. If you would like more information about this event contact Merlyn Rix at 780-352-1674 or log into slf.akaraisin.com/Stride 2014.
For more information about Grands 4 Africa and how to support or join them call Marilyn McMillan 780-352-9530 or Judy Ward 780-352-5068.