Author Archives: Leigh Aquart

SEW ALONG is on the move

Sew Along, hosted by Elaine, Rose and Dawn, is on the move and will now be held in the classroom at Along Came Quilting, 6432 1A St SW.  Please note this change in venue.  Thank you to Linda at Along Came Quilting for offering us the monthly use of her space.

In June Flat Day was our theme and many crayon rolls and car carriers were produced for the sale.

July is generally too hot to be in the kitchen but sewing works any time. Oven mitts, pot holders and kitchen items will be created at the July 25th Sew Along.

August is when parents and kids are often getting restless and fidgety so Fidget Quilts for grandparents will be our project for the August 22 Sew Along.

Sew Days are a time to produce items for the BB&B while getting to know each other. If you have an idea for a project for a Sew Day please send a note to  and we will get back to you.  We are always looking for project ideas and people willing to share those ideas.

WHAT: SEW ALONG with Elaine, Rose and Dawn
WHEN: July 25 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
WHERE: In the beautiful classroom at Along Came Quilting, 6432 1A St SW. This is right behind the Home Depot on McLeod Trail South at Glenmore Trail.



Calgary Blues Fest 2018 – Volunteers Needed

We’ve been offered the opportunity to set up an information booth at the Calgary International Blues Festival, free of charge. This donation was provided by the producer of the Bluesfest, Cindy McLeod.

We will be given 2 wristbands (non-transferrable) for Thursday & Friday (one shift, two persons per day), and 4 wristbands (non-transferrable) for Saturday & Sunday (two shifts, two persons each shift per day).

This year the dates are August 2 – August 5 with one shift on August 2 and 3, two on August 4 and 5 for a total of six shifts. Two volunteers are required for each of the six shifts.

BONUS!!! Your wristband gives you full access on the day of your shift to the Bluesfest AND the Twilight Series Dance Party across the street at the Kerby Centre later that night. When deciding what shift you want, maybe check which musicians are playing that day before you make your selection.

We will be conducting a small silent auction and instructions will be provided to volunteers at the venue.

The main function of the volunteers will be to promote our silent auction, our Fall sale and give out handouts about Ujamaa Grandmas and our work with the Grannies in Africa. The volunteers will not be responsible for handling our sales and associated money during the festival.

This is a great opportunity to socialize, meet Calgarians and give them an idea of what Ujamaa Grandmas and the Stephen Lewis Foundation are all about.

WHAT: Calgary International Blues Fest 2018
WHEN: August 2, 3, 4, 5
WHERE: Shaw Millennium Park, 1220 9th Avenue SW (10th St. SW C-train station next to this park)

Information Links:
Calgary Blues Fest road map
Calgary Blues Fest Schedule
Calgary Blues Fest – How to get there and Venue Info
Parking for Shaw Millennium Park
Kerby Centre

Thanks for volunteering. It should be fun!

Ujamaa Members, to volunteer, please register HERE



Our Board of Directors extends an invitation to members to attend our Board meetings. We are grateful to the Marda Loop ATB at 2140 34th Avenue SW  for the spacious room which they have provided.  Public parking is free within a block; note the times of parking on the street.  Please let us know if you’d like to attend, through We look forward to hearing from you.

WHAT: Ujamaa Grandmas Board Meeting
Saturday, July 7, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Thursday, September 6, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Thursday, October 4, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Thursday, November 1, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
WHERE: Marda Loop ATB at 2140 34th Avenue SW


VACATION READING – that’s one of my pleasures, while travelling in the car, when waiting at the airport for a flight, during the flight and then when I’m really on vacation! I have just had the pleasure of reading Joanna Henry’s and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis’ Powered by Love (entirely – cover to cover). I had previously read some of the stories of our African sisters, with a heavy heart, hardly imagining their lives after losing so many siblings, children and at times, grandchildren.

This was a more comprehensive read for me, highlighted by the reports of the Toronto Gathering in 2006 and the Toronto Statement; the subsequent evolution of our Canadian Grandmothers to Grandmothers chapters across Canada; and the Swaziland Grandmothers’ Gathering in 2010 with the Manzini Statement proclaiming the African grandmothers’ priorities of action for:
1) preventing violence against grandmothers,
2) meaningful support in the form of pensions and social security for grandmothers, and
3) ensuring the safety and rights of grandmothers and their grandchildren.

There was the memorable (for many of our members) Vancouver African Grandmothers’ Tribunal held in Fall of 2013. The four women judges’ decisions/recommendations confirmed the African grandmothers’ hopes and expectations for:
1) income security,
2) recognition of their human rights for housing, land and property,
3) legal rights for grandmothers’ health care and
4) solutions for violence against women/grandmothers and their grandchildren.
The Ugandan Grandmothers’ Gathering (2015) Statement reiterated much of the latter. They acknowledged the support of community-based organizations (which we support through the Stephen Lewis Foundation) that have enabled them to reach their vision for a greater future, however, they stated that without greater support from their government, UN agencies and the international community that this would likely not be possible. At the Durban, South African Gathering in 2016, the Statement urged that although many ‘protections for grandmothers’ had been put in place, they continued to struggle and suffer as they, in fact, did not have protection for their human rights. We’ll be hearing more about the Tanzanian Gathering held in February of this year from the 11 G2G representatives who attended.

There remains SO much more to be done. I’m sure that those of you who have read or browsed through Powered by Love will agree. Ujamaa Grandmas has been one of the prime supporters of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and our African sister grandmothers. We’re busy doing just that – this month’s e-News is full of what we’ve been doing and what we will be doing during the next few months. I do hope that you’ll enjoy being involved in the myriad of activities of the UGs.



Did you know that our group has a small but mighty group of volunteers who go out to make presentations on request about our local group, our impressive fundraising and the reasons we do it all?  Our talks include stories of what is going on with grandmothers in Africa, the friendships we’ve made in Ujamaa, the fun (and hard work) and the impressive group of like-minded women with whom we work.  These past months, we’ve met with a sorority, an oil wives group, a seniors community club and a seniors lodge.  We speak with all ages, school children and up, with the purpose of spreading awareness of the work and needs in Africa, the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s unique approach to those needs plus, of course, fundraising and our sales.

If you have a group you think would like one of our talks and slide shows, let us know by contacting

Now a second highlight while on this education bandwagon. Having done talks for our group for 8 years and feeling I knew whereof I spoke, I was overwhelmed by reading Powered by Love, the book published by the Foundation staff last year. As a member of this group, I would so highly recommend reading it. It is available online, in book stores and there are 2 copies in the library.

If you would like to meet with some of us to discuss the book, please contact Ujamaa Grandmas at


Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Google and scroll down to the Beds WithOut Breakfast program.

This note is written to encourage hosting or supporting the program when making travel plans for a weekend away or a longer cross-Canada tour.

How does it work?

Information is on the Grandmother to Grandmother website.
Link with Events at the top of the home page. Scroll down to Beds WithOut Breakfast.
There is a complete list and description of hosts on the website. Look at the variety of sites!

This program is about Grandmothers across the country opening their homes to fellow Grandmothers, volunteers, their families and travel companions for 1-3-day overnight stays. Advance planning helps. The host will discuss arrangements about arrival and departure usually leaving guests to make their own daytime plans.

Interested hosts contact for details on getting registered.
Would-be guests may contact Linda or the hosts directly as specified on the list.
Linda Taberner of G Force has coordinated the program and outlines key details on the website.

The host suggests the fee. Guests make their payment directly to their host. The host then submits the donation along with a donor form to the SLF in their own name to receive a tax receipt. The host gets a tax receipt as a benefit for hosting.

A tribute option:

I like to click on the large red DONATE button on the website after the guest leaves.
I make a One-time donation and send a Tribute – In – Honour card to the guest.
The Foundation sends an e-card or printed card and I get to thank the guest for making the donation on my behalf.

What are your stories? Let’s expand the dialogue!

For the last few years, there has been an annual summary for the Ujamaa Grandmas E-News about the program. Do you have a story to share? Where have you stayed with BWOB? Be in touch.

There is currently a list of 5 Calgary host homes on the website along with homes in Didsbury, Holden and Lacombe. Are you ready to host as well?

Personally, I have been thinking of a road trip from Calgary to Winnipeg. Much of the delight in planning may be to see who is hosting along the way and then try to arrange the trip accordingly.

Susan Podlog for Ujamaa Grandmas