This year, we will once more miss the in-person greetings, hugs, and camaraderie. Due to the continuation of the pandemic, once more we are scheduling our AGM via Zoom with an opportunity to connect and chat included in our agenda.
How does it work?
Zoom allows a maximum of 100 participants – so, we ask our Members to pre-register. Each pre-registered Ujamaa Member will receive an email on Saturday, May 28, 2022 with detailed instructions of how to join the meeting via video conference. It’s first come, first served so register now. If you have to pass, please let us know so we can open up for other members to sign in.
WHAT: UJAMAA GRANDMAS 2022 AGM
WHEN: Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 1:30 PM (Mountain Time)
HOW: Register HERE
If you have to cancel go back to the form – HERE – to let us know.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
In the last enews the history of the Stephen Lewis Foundation was covered from 2003-2006. Grassroots community groups from the most affected HIV / AIDS countries in Africa asked for assistance and were hard at work.
Many Canadians, especially women, had heard Stephen Lewis speak about the work of the Foundation and started to raise funds to help (including in Calgary).
Ilana Landsberg Lewis and her father hatched an ambitious plan to bring 100 of the African grandmothers from 11 of the project countries to Toronto to coincide with the 16th annual International AIDS conference. This was an audacious project; involving enormous logistical problems getting visas, passports and making travel arrangements for 100 women from 11 African countries; many living far from an airport.
But it happened – and lives and communities changed.
Also invited were 200 interested older women from across Canada; many were grandmothers; but certainly not all. This was the launch of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers SLF campaign. Over 3 days participants met in small groups and workshops; all designed, selected and run by and for African grandmothers. Topics ranged from grief and depression management to orphan care and fundraising. The goal was to hammer out models of program support and fundraising.
African grandmothers discovered there were many more women in their same situation than any of them could have imagined. They also were surprised and moved by the support of the Canadian grandmothers. The Canadian women began to realize they could never again see their African counterparts as victims or people to be pitied – they were anxious – but courageous and very determined.
Ideas and lessons were forged at the workshops and a new development model was forged. As the Canadians heard in depth the stories and challenges of the Africans, they were determined afresh to help – but how best to do it?
Usual western fundraising methods such as group twinning, pen palling, sponsorship or adoption were felt by the African delegates to be ineffective and inefficient. One of the important decisions to come from the sessions was that funds would be raised for general grandmother programming; not earmarked for specific groups or organizations. The goal was to be grandmother needs before donor needs or interests while still retaining accountability to the donors.
Thus the African delegates as well as the Canadians present listened, connected and planned. A new movement was formed and grew from there.
Next month: the Toronto statement – “We do not need a great deal but we do need enough”.