Hello – my husband Paul, who has lived in Kenya, was teaching me a Swahili saying “Kidogo kidogo kidogo inakuwa mengi“ meaning “little, by little, a little becomes a lot”, to help explain why progress in our lives, and globally, can sometimes seem too slow, but then when we look back in time, so much has really been achieved. Ilana Lewis-Landsbury, the Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) sent us all a wonderful, but lengthy, update on happenings with the Grandmothers of Africa and their Community-Based Organizations (Click this link to see Ilana’s Jan 2019 Update).  I encourage you all to make some time, with a cup of coffee or tea, to read her insightful letter.  It’s an all-encompassing overview which we will appreciate, as we are active in so many areas of the Ujamaa Grandmas awareness-raising and fund-rasing efforts, while we’re “doing what we like, and liking what we do” to quote Dawn Bolger, Co-Chair of Handcrafts.

We’ve had our first Fabric and Yarn Committee meeting to prepare for the magnificent sale April 26th and 27th, with set-up on the 24th and 25th.  My Granny instilled in us, that ‘many hands make light work’ – well, we need hundreds of volunteer hours, so watch for the registration to volunteer in a later e-News.  Mona Jones has gathered a well-qualified and well-informed committee to plan for this amazing event.

We had an enlightening and informative presentation at our combined Gathering in January, by Mary Baker, who travelled with the SLF last Spring to Uganda and Tanzania.  Mary is a member of the Kamloops G2G and also contributes with her Bed Without Breakfast hospitality.  She spoke warmly of the many experiences with grandmothers in both countries and their passion at the Ugandan Gathering.  As well, she had many slides and videos to give us insight into what ‘life’ is, in the two countries.

A huge thanks to Yvonne Way, our Publicity Coordinator, who baked many dozens of tasty muffins to go with fruits and cheese, coffee/tea.

Speaking of publicity, I was interviewed by Christopher Jurewicz, a writer for the ‘Calgary Prime Time’ magazine.  He was astounded by all our activities and the revenue-generating events we hold.  What a great SLF awareness opportunity!  Chris wasn’t sure when the article would appear, but he’ll let me know.

Which reminds me of the video of the SLF Flash Mobs held in 30 or so locations across Canada, in November and December, for World AIDS Day December 1st.  The fun everyone had and the message they gave (The Power of Love) was heart-warming!   For all of us Ujamaa Grandmas who love music and raising awareness for SLF ….. LET’S DO IT, next Fall.

Again, my thanks to Board members, Committee Chairs, and all members who make Ujamaa Grandmas the dynamic and productive group that we are.  Congratulations!

Jan Geggie, President