Author Archives: Patty Cucman

YARN BOMBING UPDATE

YARN BOMBERS NEED YOUR HELP

Once again, we’re finding new and innovative ways to tell the world about Ujamaa Grandmas and everything that we accomplish! We’ve picked a tree at Knox United Church downtown and we’ll decorate its branches with a beautiful knitted rainbow in early May. Knox is located on the corner of 5th Avenue and 4th Street SW, giving us terrific visibility. Our yarn bombing at Tompkins Park last fall generated great publicity as well as donations of cash and fabric. To join our team, please contact Mary Jo Leslie at message@ujamaagrandmas.com

The yarn bombing is part of Knox United’s 10th anniversary as an affirming congregation so we’ll use the colours of the LGBT flag. Please check your yarn stashes for the colours of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

CAPTURING YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A UJAMAA GRANDMA

Do you have some wonderful tales that you’d like to share about your experiences with UJAMAA GRANDMAS?

As we endeavor to interest people in UJAMAA GRANDMAS and engage them in our efforts, the publicity team would like to gather stories and post them for our membership and others to read. You don’t have to write anything long, just a fun little segment capturing a special moment when you were with other UJAMAA GRANDMAS that gives others a sense of what it’s like to be part of the organization.

You can either write something yourself or have someone from publicity help craft into words a piece about the people you’ve met, the activities you’ve been involved with and the fun you’ve had with the organization.

Please contact message@ujamaagrandmas.com to make a submission or ask to participate in an interview. This will be an ongoing activity but it would be nice to start posting stories soon and start building a collection over the next while.

YOUR NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The following slate of directors was elected at the 2016 AGM on March 12.

President: Alison Longson
Vice President: Ardith Hargrove
Treasurer: Kathleen Patterson
Secretary: Angela Piller
Communications: Claire Scott
Fundraising: Lorraine Campbell
Publicity: Renate Gepraegs
Member-at-Large: Barb Skinner
Member-at-Large: Marilyn Simmons

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

SOUTHERN ALBERTA REGIONAL LIAISONS REPORT

This is a busy time for the grandmothers of Southern Alberta. Our Mountain Grannies in Canmore just held their annual chili supper. The Harambee Grandmothers of Lethbridge are planning their participation in the Annual Stride to Turn the Tide walk. Our Kujali Bibi in Cochrane are planning a tea with a talk about their local history and a Spring Fling with speaker and silent auction by the Mountainview Grannies is another event to look forward to. Fabric sales abound here in Alberta. The Hat Grannies held theirs on March 11th and two more – ours and the Red Deer grandmothers – are in April on the same day! There are many things to look forward to.

All of you have probably read Illana’s letter, giving us a focus for the coming decade. The inspiration of Leah Teklemarian’s talk at the tea provided those links to our African Grandmothers that tell us how important all our efforts are. Sustaining the Grandmothers Campaign will be the central topic of the regional liaison meetings in Toronto at the beginning of April. Marilyn Simmons will attend this year and bring back many ideas for generating new projects and keeping us strong.

Our Alberta provincial gathering will be hosted by GrammaLink-Africa, our grandmothers in Red Deer. So mark your calendars, save the date and plan to attend on September 15 & 16, 2017! We are hoping that people will carpool to the event, consider billeting or rooming together, and have a special time getting to know other grandmothers and more about their groups. We’ll keep you posted as we move forward with plans and hope that our Southern Alberta groups will take on some of the tasks that make each gathering special. If you’d like to be part of that, please contact us at message@ujamaagrandmas.com.

If you are interested in buying a Grandmothers Campaign T-shirt, the deadline for the annual orders is coming up soon. So if you’d like to order one, please contact Linda at message@ujamaagrandmas.com. All the details are on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign website.

All the leads of G to G groups across the country have received a survey from the foundation about their needs, observations and suggestions for sustainability of our Canadian Grandmothers as we move forward into the next decade. If you have any suggestions, questions or ideas, please contact our president, Alison Longson through message@ujamaagrandmas.com.

One of the Campaign’s long-term projects is a book about Canadian Grandmothers. The book is set to launch in the fall so it might even be available for our provincial gathering! As many of you know, we had a professional photographer at the 10th Anniversary Tea capturing some of those special moments to be included in the book!

Happy Spring to all of you. We look forward to each opportunity to work side by side.
Carla Lorfing and Marilyn Simmons