Fabric & Yarn Sale Volunteer Registration Open April 1

It is that time of the year. The sale is organized and plans are falling in place.
The area leads have been working hard to be prepared.
Now we need enough volunteers to be able to do the set up and then run the sale. We work hard but we also socialize and have fun working together and meeting more people. We are working to support the Grandmothers in Africa through The Stephen Lewis Foundation and many local charities here in Calgary.

This year we are using Sign Up Genius for volunteers to register.
Use the links below for either Pre-Sale or Sale (or both!) to register for the shift and the area that you would prefer to work in. We might need to move volunteers around to be sure to get everything done. There is one section for Extra Volunteers who will get placed where the need is greatest.
All volunteers will be required to sign a waiver for safety reasons.
An information email will be sent out mid-April to all registered volunteers.
Thank you for volunteering!

Volunteer for SET UP – Saturday April 27 and Monday, April 29 to Thursday May 2 
Saturday, April 27 from 1:00 – 4:00
Monday, April 29 to Thursday, May 2 from 10:00 – 5:00

Volunteer for the SALE DAYS and CLEAN UP DAY
Sale – Friday May 3 – Sunday May 5
Clean Up – Monday, May 6 from 10:00 to 1:00

Questions regarding volunteering for the fabric sale? Email fabricsale@ujamaagrandmas.com

Thanks everyone.
Dawn Bolger, F&Y Sale Coordinator

 This Child Will Be Great

BOOK CLUB April  2024 Selection

This month our  book is This Child Will Be Great, a memoir by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Sirleaf shares the story of her rise to power, including her early childhood; her experiences with abuse, imprisonment, and exile; and her fight for democracy and social justice. She reveals her determination to succeed in multiple worlds, from her studies in the United States to her work as an international bank executive, to campaigning in some of Liberia’s most desperate and war-torn villages and neighborhoods. It is the tale of an outspoken political and social reformer who fought the oppression of dictators and championed change. By telling her story, Sirleaf encourages women everywhere to pursue leadership roles at the highest levels of power, and gives us all hope that we can change the world.

Sirleaf became the first elected head of state of an African country (in this case, Liberia, in 2006) She  won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.

Education and Awareness Committee – April 2024

We want to make sure all UJAMAA GRANDMAS members are aware of the excellent publications that are available on the Stephen Lewis Foundation website stephenlewisfoundation.org .

You can subscribe to receive interesting updates from the Foundation as well as receive the Grassroots publication as well as the Granny Bulletin. The Granny Bulletin highlights the projects that specifically support the grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa and is available on the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign website.

Here is the link to the February Granny Bulletin  https://mailchi.mp/stephenlewisfoundation.org/february2024 .

Submitted by the Education and Awareness Committee 

Fabric & Yarn Sale Drop Off and Shopping

DONATION DROP OFFS AT Garrison Curling Club
Saturday, April 27 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Tuesday, April 30 from 11:00  am to 4:00 pm
Wednesday, May 1 from 11:00 am to  4:00 pm

Friday May 3
Tickets are required for entry on Friday, May 3 ONLY. Tickets have a TIMED ENTRY to avoid overcrowding.  If space is available, walk-ins will be accepted after 3:00 pm.
There is a $2.00 online charge for Eventbrite Tickets for Friday Shopping.
Tickets go on sale at 8:00 am on Tuesday April 2.
To purchase tickets for Friday Shopping go to:

Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 6
You do not need to pre-purchase a ticket tp shop n these days.
There is a $2 charge at the door for entry.

Questions regarding  the fabric sale? Email fabricsale@ujamaagrandmas.com

Be sure to share the poster with all your BFF – Best Fabric Friends. Fabric and Yarn 2024

Thanks everyone.
Dawn Bolger, F&Y Sale Coordinator

S.AB Liaison to Stephen Lewis Foundation – April 2024 Report

This month the GRLs got a financial update from the SLF. I have a power point from the SLF. If anyone would like it, I can forward it to you. I will give you some key points here.

From July 2022-2023 the SLF raised 9.3 million.
Individuals gave 36%
Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign 20%
Foundations 19%
Legacy giving 17%
Unions, corporate and community support 7%
Interest 1 %

Programs support by area for work
Grandmothers 36%
Children and young people 30%
Support for People living with HIV 13%
Women’s rights and gender equality 12%
Health and Human Rights of LGBTIQ communities 9%

Active Fundraising G2G groups
2018 – 219
2019 – 215
2020 – 211
2021 – 198
2022 – 197
2023 – 186
2024 – 160

G2G campaign supporters
The retention rate of committed supporters is high 73-65%
New donors have decreased significantly over the years (2018) 2826 (2023) 1497
New donor attrition is high (2019) 76.11% (2023) 84.48%

These figures definitely give us something to think about.

Suko Bhebhe is the new Development Officer for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. She may be reached at sbhebhe@stephenlewisfoundation.org. Megan Karges has transitioned into her new position as Manager Stewardship.

Trip to Africa
Suko is taking over the planning. It will be to Uganda and Tanzania. They are thinking late October early November or spring 2025.
There will be an update in the next Bulletin.
Anyone interested in joining the committee to plan the trip please email Suko at sbhebhe@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

Speakers Bureau
The SLF will take the lead, gather the facts and media material. There will be a FAQ document and a general presentation. There will also be a train-the-trainers manual.

Lots of activity in the groups
Hat Grannies Fabric and more Sale April 13
Mountain Grannies Chilli bowl April 12
Ujamaa Fabric and Yarn sale May 3, 4&5.
Posters to follow.

I hope I remembered everything.
Yours in solidarity,

Education Committee ~ March 2024 Report

Reflections of a new member

A friend, Joyce Goddard, tried for 20 years to convince me to join the Ujamaa Grandmas. I resisted for, I thought, good reasons: I was not a grandma, my sewing skills were not good enough, and I was too busy with active outdoor activities.

Last spring, Joyce asked me to drive her to a meeting.  Of course, I went in with her. Immediately I was impressed by the warm, welcoming atmosphere. Everyone was so glad to see each other and reconnect.

Then we went into the meeting where committee members reported on their groups activities and the need to have help with tasks that did not require lifting a needle. They needed help with collecting, storing, pricing, etc. etc. I could do those things. There was a group raising funds by participating in outdoor activities. The Education and Awareness Committee needed speakers. There were roles for me.

I was impressed by the reminder that the prime reason for all the activities was to raise the funds necessary to support the wonderful work done by the African Grandmothers. I am proud to be a member.

Submitted by Barb Spear 

Burger’s Daughter

BOOK CLUB March  2024 Selection

Burger’s Daughter by Nadine Gordimer (winner  of the Nobel Prize for Literature) was published in 1979. This novel is modelled after real people involved in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

This is the moving story of the unforgettable Rosa Burger, a young woman from South Africa cast in the mold of a revolutionary tradition. Rosa tries to uphold her heritage handed on by martyred parents while still carving out a sense of self. Although it is wholly of today, Burger’s Daughter can be compared to those 19th century Russian classics that make a certain time and place come alive, and yet stand as universal celebrations of the human spirit.

Most of our books to date have been written by contemporary young, black African authors and we thought it would be interesting to go back to this earlier period in history.

AGM – Board Positions Open in May 2024

As mentioned in more details in the January E-News, we have a few Board Members stepping down as their terms are up in 2024.  The board is really just another committee that keeps Ujamaa Grandmas functioning as a non-profit throughout the year. The essential work done by our board members means we maintain our status as a not-for-profit entity in Alberta.  Members usually sign on for two years, but that is flexible.  Board members attend monthly Zoom meetings where information is shared and everyone works together to support each and every endeavor Ujamaa engages in.

Secretary Annette Koelwyn – no shorthand required.

Communications Coordinator Janice Lambert – monitors the email inbox and forwards them to the various committees, assembles their write-ups for the monthly newsletter, coordinates with the webmaster to update the UG website.  General computer skills are needed.
General Directors (1-2 people) – may act as a liaison to other committees or take a turn facilitating a monthly gathering.
You may have the interest and skills that would be a huge benefit to the workings of Ujamaa.  You may know someone – a family member, friends, or fellow member who could fill one of these roles.
If you are curious, interested or have any questions, I encourage you to start a conversation.  Please contact me through message@ujamaagrandmas.com ATTN Carla.
And a sincere thank you to all of you for all you do.
For the Board of Directors Nominating Committee
Carla Lorfing, Vice-Chair

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

BOOK CLUB January  2024 Selection

 What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi is a collection of short stories and is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret—Oyeyemi’s keys not only unlock elements of her characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side.
Oyeyemi’s tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation?

Things Fall Apart

BOOK CLUB September 2023 Selection

Things Fall Apart by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, was written in 1958 and is considered a classic in African literature and has inspired many African authors of today.
THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria.
The first  storiy traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.
The second story is as modern as the first is ancient, and elevates the book to a tragic plane,
 These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.

Toufah: The Woman who Inspired an African #MeToo Movement

BOOK CLUB July 2023 Selection
An incandescent and inspiring memoir from a courageous young woman who, after she was forced to flee to Canada from her home in The Gambia, became the first woman to publicly call the country’s dictator to account for sexual assault—launching an unprecedented protest movement in West Africa.
Join us to share this powerful story. Toufah: The Woman who Inspired an African #MeToo Movement by Toufah Jallow with Kim Pittaway.

I Am a Girl From Africa

BOOK CLUB June 2023 Selection

Eizabeth Nyamayaro is from Zimbabwe. At the age of 8, she nearly died of starvation during a famine. Her rescue by a United Nations aid worker inspired her with a dream to work for the UN. This memoir recounts her early life in a small village and her career working for a variety of causes at the UN, including HIV/AIDS, child marriage, domestic violence, and women’t rights. It is an inspirational read.


BOOK CLUB May 2023 Selection

Glory is a new book from NoViolet Bulawayo, the award-winning author of the Booker-prize finalist We Need New Names.
NoViolet Bulawayo’s bold new novel follows the fall of the Old Horse, the long-serving leader of a fictional country, and the drama that follows for a rumbustious nation of animals on the path to true liberation.

Powered By Love

BOOK CLUB April 2023 Selection

Powered by Love is  the book written for the Stephen Lewis Foundation by Joanna Henry and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis. Many of us have this book but we thought it would be interesting to read it from cover to cover (instead of using it as a reference) and talk about it together.

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

BOOK CLUB February 2023 Selection

On February 24, we will be discussing the novel “How Beautiful We Were” by Cameroonian-American author Imbolo Mbue.

This book is about a fictional African village that is suffering from pollution and environmental degradation caused by an American oil company, and how they decided to fight back. We have also read Mbue’s previous novel, Behold the Dreamers, and loved it.

Unbowed by Wangari Maathai

BOOK CLUB January 2023 Selection

This month we will be  discussing Unbowed,  a memoir by Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her environmental and social justice work.

We are looking forward to what promises to be an inspirational life story.

This is a remarkable memoir of courage, faith, and the power of persistence; about one woman’s extraodinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. “[Maathai’s] story provides uplifting proof of the power of perseverance–and of the power of principled, passionate people to change their countries and inspire the world.”

Behold the Dreamers 

BOOK CLUB November 2022 Selection

 Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue tells the  tale of a young couple from Cameroon who come to the US in search of a better life.Their precarious legal status makes their lives very difficult. Interestingly, the author portrays the struggles of their wealthy employer at the time of the 2008 stock market crash as well, and  in an empathetic manner. It’s a novel that’s hard to put down, so you would still have time to read it by November 11 if you’d like to join us! New members are always welcome. Just write to message@ujamaagrandmas.doc and we’ll send you the Zoom link.

Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey

BOOK CLUB September 2022 Selection

Kwei Quartey is a Ghanaian author of detective fiction who has written a couple of series featuring two different detectives. We thought this might be a nice change from the ‘heavier’ books we have been reading, good and important as they are.










The first book will likely be a quick read and so we will also read Alexandra Fuller’s “Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness”, a beautifully written memoir by a white author who grew up in Africa.

New members are always welcome. If you are interested, write to message@ujamaagrandmas.com – attention Book Club

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo of Zimbabwe

BOOK CLUB July 2022 Selection

The main character of the novel is Darling, a 10-year old girl who at the beginning of the story hangs around with her gang of friends in a shanty town called Paradise. Later she goes to live with an aunt in Detroit, Michigan, and comes face to face with the reality of America, about which she had only dreamed. In a review from NPR in 2013, Ellah Allfrey writes, “In Bulawayo’s steady hands, what could be a tale of woe becomes a story of resilience.” We look forward to reading this novel and continuing our journey towards better understanding African people, their challenges and their strengths.