Category Archives: INFORMATION


Grandmothers Campaign Alberta Virtual Regional Gathering 

Saturday, October 24 from 10 AM to 12:00 NOON MTN Time

Join us for the very first Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign Alberta Virtual Regional Gathering on Zoom! Hear from the Stephen Lewis Foundation about how our partners are adapting and supporting their communities through COVID-19, connect with other grandmothers groups in Alberta, share ideas and tips and tricks for fundraising safely, and celebrate the amazing journey of how far the Grandmothers Campaign has come across Alberta!

10:00 -10:25 Group Introductions:
We are asking each group to identify a representative to briefly introduce the group and answer the following questions:

  1. How many active members does your group currently have?
  2. What is an example of an activity or event that you have adapted virtually or socially distanced, or if you haven’t had any events since COVID, what is the next activity you have planned?

10:25 – 10:35 Small breakout rooms to get to know each other

10:35 – 11:00 SLF Presentation and Q+A

11:00 – 11:10 Break

11:10 – 11:30 Small Group breakout discussions around COVID and the 15th year anniversary.

  • How can we mark and celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Grandmothers Campaign?
  • What are your group plans (if any) for the 15th year anniversary?
  • Looking ahead and assuming social distancing will be the norm for the next year, what types of fundraising activities or how can we adapt existing ideas virtually or physically distant?

11:30 – 11:45 Share with the group

11:45 – 11:55 Final conversation or any remaining questions.

11:55 – 12:00 Closing remarks

Email Joyce Madsen at to RSVP.  A Zoom link will be shared closer to the date. Hope you can join us!



Summer Gatherings by Zoom
The monthly Gatherings were held via Zoom during July and August, 2020.  We ran 4 Gatherings with 2 in July and 2 in August (North and South).  The attendance at the Gatherings was small, but very engaged!  We had a good time greeting each other and learning about what is happening in our UJAMAA GRANDMAS world.

The various committees are doing a marvellous job at keeping up the good work and finding very creative solutions to carry on during the current pandemic.  The Gatherings were inspiring.

Upcoming Gatherings in the Fall
At the August Gatherings we observed that all members could join via Zoom regardless of where they lived (North or South), and we also noticed that the Committee Chairs gave similar reports at both Gatherings.  Therefore, we are combining the North and South Gatherings into a joint Gathering while the COVID pandemic continues.

Based on the above, we are proposing to hold the Joint Gathering on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and rotating from Morning / Afternoon / Evening/ in the hopes that more members will be able to participate via Zoom.

Each meeting will have its own Zoom meeting id and password. Gatherings are scheduled monthly on Wednesdays with evening, morning and afternoon schedules. Members check your E-news for the Zoom link, meeting ID and passcode.

We are looking forward to seeing you at a future Gathering!
Janice Lambert and Judy Hansen


Welcome to a new season and many new realities!  UJAMAA GRANDMAS members continue to amaze me with their energy and determination to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) – when it’s very much needed!  In the September SLF Granny Bulletin, we read about the “speed and integrity by Community Based Organizations (CBO) to meet the challenges of COVID-19”.  Due to the donations received for the COVID-19 Campaign, SLF has been able to maintain funding for those 125 CBOs!  Thanks to all of you who donated.  We also received a Special Update on Girl’s Education in a Special Granny Bulletin a week ago.  This gave us insight to the sadder realities, with reports of a greater incidence of gender-based violence and teenage pregnancies, which impacts the possibility of girls completing their education.  If you haven’t done so yet, do make a point of reading these 2 Granny Bulletins online, at If you need ‘new’ inspiration, watch the 5 minute video at

Much ’new’ is happening. The BAGETTES have “rebranded” to UJAMAA BAGETTES with a new logo banner.   We held our first Zoom ‘Coffee and Conversations’ at the beginning of September – it was fun to chat with many members we haven’t seen for some time.  There will also be another, as well as a ‘Connections Team’ get-together, not as an outdoor picnic (very enjoyable), but by Zoom. You may have noticed that UG Gatherings are only being held once monthly via Zoom – we will alternate the Gatherings mornings, afternoons, and evening the third Wednesday each month.  The next Gathering will be at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, October 21.  If you need help with using Zoom, please send a request to  We’d be delighted if more members can join us!

At the UG Board level, much ‘new’ is happening as well.  If you have ANY suggestions as to how we can streamline the monthly E-News, please send your suggestions to by October 8th.  The UG Board has developed COVID-19 Risk Management forms, including the AHS Screening Questionnaire for any UG in-person and on-line events, which will guide our planning and implement our thinking of how we can be a success with all of our UG events.  The Bags, Babies and Beyond Sale is scheduled to be held on Friday, October 16th and Saturday, October 17th, with all protections in place, at the Marda Loop Community Centre.  Please send the 2020 BB&B sale poster to all your family and friends.  Timed (Free) tickets can be ordered through Eventbrite.  Tentatively, a second opportunity to purchase fabrics at the Home Decor Fabric Store may occur in November – watch for announcements!

Lastly, I want to let you know that Brigitte Launhardt, Events Coordinator, has resigned from the UG Board, so she can have more time having fun and being creative.  Thank you Brigitte for your many vibrant years on the UG Board.  Brigitte will continue to be the UG Board’s liaison with the Handcraft Committee, for the interim.  The position as Events Coordinator can be a lot of fun, as ideas for specific occasions or fundraising events can be developed. If any of you might be interested, let us know at – we’d be happy to discuss what’s involved.  Thank you so much Brigitte for all your creative input and involvement on the Board.  We truly appreciate all you’ve done!


COVID has certainly impacted the work of the Education and Awareness Committee. But as with so many other initiatives, we have been brainstorming how we might continue the work of our committee. We are available to meet via Zoom with groups that would like to hear about the work of UJAMAA GRANDMAS and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. If you belong to a church group, quilting group, etc and would like to learn more about the work of UJAMAA GRANDMAS and SLF please email Please contact us if you have other ideas how we might contribute to spreading the word about the excellent work of both our organization and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

This month we would like to highlight the SLF publication – Voices – which shared the following information:

This summer, AIDS 2020, the 23rd International AIDS Conference (July 6–10), shifted to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stephen Lewis Foundation participated with two sessions that brought together African women from across generations, regions and organizations to discuss the impact of youth-led and grandmother-led HIV and AIDS initiatives.

We are including the link to the response of the grandmothers groups and will highlight the youth component next month. Grandmothers’ Human Rights in the Response to HIV, focused on how grandmothers and their communities in sub-Saharan Africa have been impacted by HIV and are leading movements to claim their human rights. The panelists shared a clear message that the international grandmothers’ solidarity movement has a valuable role to play in ending the AIDS pandemic and rebuilding communities.

Link to the film:

BONUS: no need to register or tune in at a specified time to watch this video, just click on the link!

If you are not receiving the Granny Bulletin via email, which would include the Stephen Lewis Foundation publication Voices simply send a note to


Thank you all for your support of our Virtual Stride Activities in June 2020. We were able to raise $20,525.00 to contribute to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The national total raised was $260,000.00, a very impressive amount for the Grandmothers in Africa. Next year we will be participating again.

Click here to view the SLF Stride to Turn the Tide letter.

Look for updates on how to join the team, how to contribute or sponsor participants & our  goals.


Sandra Burgess
Team Lead


What a beautiful time of year fall is! I hope everyone has a chance to get outside and enjoy it. You know what I am going to say next – because winter is right behind it!

In March we were told that Covid would last this long, or longer, but we really couldn’t believe it could we? But here we are, we are still dealing with the restrictions around this pandemic, but we are also still hanging in there by making the best of it. Well done us!

As young people my parents lived through the war in England and Ireland.

Learning of the restrictions and hardships they lived through left an indelible mark on my mind, and in comparison, we are so very fortunate in this part of the world, even in the midst of a pandemic.

As winter approaches and the prospect of spending a lot of time inside, without travel and gatherings to break it up, we will need to dig deep to keep our minds and bodies active. As always it will be our family and friends, and our own creativity that will see us though. When you need a lift, reach out to us, or to a neighbor, and you will find the support and encouragement you need. And don’t forget the value in supporting others through this; it will do as much for you as it does for them!

Now is the time to compile that list of books you’ve always wanted to read, pull out that needlework that you have been too busy to finish, dust off the box of photos in readiness to sort them, enroll in an online exercise, cooking, or history course or get subscribed to Netflix! The nesting instinct isn’t just for women about to give birth; it is also applicable in the time of Covid! As the temperatures drop make your ‘nest’ and get prepared for a productive, comfortable and safe winter. We are here for you, and we will be keeping in touch.


Thank you very much for responding to our plea for knitting yarn. It was greatly appreciated.

There is still a need for more storage space and if you can help in any small way, the committee needs to hear from you at

In an attempt to make better use of the storage space we do have the steering committee plans to hold a small and simple Trunk Sale in the Marda Loop parking lot during the BB&B Sale.

With no certainty of a 2021 Fabric & Yarn Sale, the inventory needs to be reduced and controlled.

  • Fabric, yarn and needle kits will be pre-packaged and/or pre-measured.
  • There will be no rummaging through bins of fabric and yarn looking for treasures.
  • Cash and E-transfer sales only.  No credit card transactions are available.
  • The sale will be weather dependent.
  • COVID-19 guidelines will be enforced.
  • Masks are required, contact tracing personal information will be recorded and social distancing enforced.
  • Updates and times will be posted to the UJAMAA GRANDMAS Facebook page.


Mona Jones



 If you require any help to use Zoom, please email  and someone will help you learn how to use it comfortably.

Saturday, August 8, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Maggie Herr)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Susan Gardner)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Yvonne Way)

Saturday, November 14, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Judy Hansen)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Maggie Herr)

Wednesday, January 6, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Susan Gardner)

Saturday, February 6, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Yvonne Way)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Judy Hansen)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Maggie Herr)

Saturday, May 1, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Susan Gardner)

Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Yvonne Way)



We hope this message finds all of you healthy and contentedly settled in your homes. This is an important announcement to inform you that ALL UJAMAA GRANDMAS (UG) in-person gatherings and events of any kind are cancelled until further notice. This action is being
taken to protect our members and the general public during this COVID-19 pandemic. We know
how much our members love getting together, but as you well know, that simply is not an option at this time.

The UG board will continue to meet regularly via video conferencing to deal with UG business.

If you are an introvert, I am sure you are quite happy to be directed to stay at home! We
encourage everyone to reach out to others who may need your support – safely of course, by
phone or electronically. For anyone who may feel isolated, we are all here to support you. If ANYONE needs a little chat, please reach out to us via Or if
you know of someone who could use a little ‘pick me up’ call, please do not hesitate to let us know through

Remember to be gentle with yourselves as we settle into these unusual circumstances.

Take a moment each day to think of all the things you have to be grateful for, even amidst these unsettling times. Get outside, even if it is just standing on your front step for a breath of fresh air. Get your circulation going with some light exercise. Capitalize on this opportunity to ‘create’ or ‘catch up’ by completing a project. Whether it is a crocheted dishcloth or cleaning a drawer, you will benefit from that sense of accomplishment. Look after yourselves, and above all, remember you are not alone, you are surrounded by strong intelligent women, and this too shall pass.


Looking for something to share with young children in response to the Covid19 crisis?
The digital book, “A Teeny Tiny Virus”, was created by Jamileh Salek, an Iranian-Canadian visual artist and illustrator. The digital book is intended to help families and young children deal with the COVID 19 crisis. The book teaches children and families how they can remain positive, creative and helpful, and it reminds them of the value and beauty of their lives. It is meant for children 3 and older and for early readers. The book sells for $8.99, but Jamileh has generously offered to donate 80% of sales revenues to the SLF Grandmothers Campaign.

View the trailer for Julieta’s story and sample illustrations right here.

Purchase a copy of the digital book here.


The Board would like to send a heartfelt “Thank you” to all the hard-working ladies on the Bagettes committee. To those of you creating and vetting patterns, sewing the bags, or contributing in any way, our warmest congratulations and appreciation. Even in this difficult environment, you have persevered and found ways to keep creating, and in so doing, you’ve generated over $2200 in sales. Congratulations and thank-you!


  • Do you belong to a group that occasionally has a speaker and perhaps you have to organize that detail?
  • Do you sometimes want some help explaining the work of SLF and UJAMAA GRANDMAS to your book club, sorority, alumni, seniors or church group, quilting circle, etc.?

Then keep in mind that UJAMAA GRANDMAS has an Education Committee of two which will happily come to your home, church, club, wherever and do a short AV presentation and talk.

Just send an inquiry to We look forward to hearing from you.

Anne Taylor and Susan Plesuk


We would like to give a ‘shout out’ to all of you that are putting your talents to good use creating masks, gowns, garment bags and more for a wide variety of local charity groups, frontline workers, and healthcare workers. We know that from the onset of the pandemic, many of you have been hard at work with your sewing machines humming! We thank you for your positive contributions in these uncertain times. 

Well done, everyone! 

The UJAMAA GRANDMAS board would like to announce that they have adjusted their view on making masks as in accordance with the Alberta Health Services guidelines. The UG board fully supports changes announced by AHS. UJAMAA GRANDMAS has donated fabric to many of the groups that are supporting the making of masks and other items and we will continue to do whatever we can to support local groups, as well as the Stephen Lewis Foundation, in this time of need. 

Stay safe, everyone. 


UJAMAA GRANDMAS Calgary had another very successful year, thanks to the hard work put in by our members, volunteers, committees and the Board! We’ll get to how successful in a bit, but first let’s talk about some improvements we’ve made to finance-related items.

  1. The Annual budget was completed prior to the end of 2019, despite a tight timeline for our committees. Kudos to them for fitting this into their schedules; we now have a solid place to start in reviewing our operational expenses.
  2. The Sales Finance Committee was re-structured and welcomed new members. They accomplished their mandate by improving controls around payment collection at our major sales, working with the other committees to ensure no loss of funds this year!
  3. A robust review of our insurance coverage was completed. That review identified a need tO increase coverage to match our annual revenue, and also confirmed that we continue to carry liability insurance that covers all of us (members, volunteers and the general public) at all of our events and gatherings.
  4. We have streamlined the expense reimbursement process through e-Transfer payments, making it more efficient while still ensuring UG funds are safe. Approximately 95% of expense payments are now via e-Transfer.

Annual Gross Revenue from fundraising activities $116,820:

    1. Fabric & Yarn Sale……….$48,870
    2. Handcrafts………………….$46,880
    3. DeSonus……………………….$5,700
    4. SAIT Convocations…………$3,665
    5. Bagettes………………………..$3,230
    6. Bake Sale………………………$1,680
    7. BluesFest…………………………$490
    8. Ten Thousand Villages…….$415
    9. All others…………………………$870
    10. Donations (all sources)….$5,020

Annual Gross Expenses………………..$15,330
2019 Donations to SLF………………….105,000