ALISON LONGSON APRIL REPORT

What a wonderful celebration we had on 12th March! It was great to see so many of you there and I’m sorry is you were unable to make it. Many thanks to the hard working 10th Anniversary Committee for organising this joyful occasion for us. The business side of things with the AGM went smoothly and swiftly so we were able to get on with the party. The delicious tea was catered by the Culinary Arts Program at Central Memorial High School who were equal or even better that any professional caterers I have experienced. I would definitely recommend that you consider using them. They not only produced the fresh healthy goodies but served us and cleared up with good humour, efficiency and friendliness.

We were pleased to have Leah Teklemariam, Director of Programmes for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, as our special guest. A wonderful moment was the unfurling of the giant million dollar cheque to present to Leah, this being a vivid visual representation of the amount we have raised for SLF over our ten-year history. (See photo.) Leah was full of admiration and praise for all that Ujamaa Grandmas has achieved and in her talk to us, she was able to give us some tangible ideas of how the Foundation puts their funds to use. She highlighted specific ways in which the SLF works with our partners in Africa, pointing out that, “Funding is not just about balance sheets but also about how we empower the women who are shaping and rebuilding their worlds. Global humanitarian organisations often don’t recognise the shared humanity and care for their partners that is so precious to the way SLF works. SLF isn’t just interested on ticking the administrative boxes but it looks to fostering a deep engagement with their projects which leads to emotional support, hope and self-esteem which is all-important”.

If there is one thing I heard throughout the afternoon, it was that we all agree wholeheartedly that we should now embark on the journey towards our second million. I look forward to being with you all for the ride as we take on this next challenge.

Alison Longson