The Glacier Grannies hosted nine Grandmothers’ groups, in Courtenay on Saturday at the Filberg Centre.
These Grandmother groups find many creative ways to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation to support African grandmothers. Two representatives of the Stephen Lewis Foundation came from Toronto and brought news of the Foundation’s work in 15 sub-Saharan African countries.
Alexis MacDonald, director of external relations and Zahra Mohamed, Grandmothers to Grandmothers’ campaign co-ordinator, both brought uplifting stories from the grassroots projects the SLF supports.
While these projects are making a very positive difference, the worldwide financial crisis is creating havoc for the general funding of public health aid in Africa.
Because First World countries are not keeping promised commitments to support the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, access to life-saving treatment is declining. The famine in the Horn of Africa is also threatening the health of millions of Africans.
The financial crisis and the famine are putting more demands on the Foundation, which is reluctant to drop any community project it has supported in the past. The Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Grandmothers’ Groups in Canada are working even harder to raise money and awareness of this situation.
Since 2006, 241 grandmother groups have formed across Canada and have raised $12 million for the Foundation.
Grandmother groups attended this regional gathering from Campbell River, Merville, Powell River, Qualicum-Parksville, Nanaimo, Victoria and Denman and Salt Spring islands.
Grandmothers took part in three afternoon workshops: Maintaining the Momentum, Making and Marketing Our Products and Planning and Promoting our Events.
For more information about the Stephen Lewis Foundation go to www.stephenlewisfoundation.org and for more information about the Glacier Grannies, go to www.glaciergrannies.org.
— Glacier Grannies