Special to the Chronicle
Now is the time to gather your friends, have some fun while doing some good and head to Medici’s for Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa 4th annual Spring Bling on Friday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You will find tables laden with fair trade jewellery, bling of every description, accessories, wine gift and carry bags, bowl buddies, lots of handicrafts made locally and also made by self help groups in Africa, and home and garden items. Spring is in the air!
Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa are really fired up this year after hearing from a Kamloops Grannie just recently returned from Uganda and Tanzania. Mary Baker saw first hand the work we support through the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Grandmothers carrying the full weight of the HIV/AIDS pandemic feel truly support in solidarity and shared purpose with the Grandmother to Grandmother movement pioneered by the foundation.
Unlike many other charitable organizations where money is dished out to ‘those poor people,’ the Grandmothers to Grandmothers model is much different. African Grandmothers have a strong say in what is needed in their home communities and they plan together how to reach their goals. They feel equal and able whether it is in developing small loan groups, food security plans, or approaching their own governments to lobby for much needed health care services.
These women know how difficult it is for young girls to stay in school and not be married off in their early teens. They know what is needed to make a difference and the Stephen Lewis Foundation not only provides organizational expertise, it listens and invests resources directly at a grass roots level.
It sounds simple enough but it makes all the difference to African Grandmothers and they are very quick to voice appreciation. Increasingly we see them moving into leadership positions and hammering out an agenda for positive change.
Mary showed pictures when 200 Tanzanian grandmothers, plus grandmothers like herself from Canada, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.A. paraded and danced through the streets at Arusha to make history. They called on the international community to support them in advancing their cause. They called on their own government to protect them, listen to them, give them opportunities. They are demanding a seat at the table where decisions and policies are made that affect them and the multitude of children in their care.
Come to Medici’s on Friday, April 27, and be part of the solution. We need each other.