MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JAN GEGGIE

Have you ever asked yourselves, in the aftermath of those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions, “Are we (Ujamaa Grandmas) doing enough?” The numerous successes over the past year tell me “YES”. We continue to make a difference in our organization, our community, and for the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) and hence our African grandmother sisters.

In 2019 alone, Ujamaa Grandmas donated $104,500 to the SLF!!! These were funds raised through many events and donations. Looking back in my 2019 calendar, Ujamaa Grandmas were very busy in so many ways. I hope that most of you were able to participate in and/or support what we do, in one way or another. 2020 is exceptionally promising with (once again) many creative ideas that are coming to fruition. At the South and North Gatherings in January, we’ve ‘oohed and aahed’ over the stunning Climate Change Project garments modelled. Mark your calendars and ‘Save the Date’ of Saturday afternoon, April 4th to attend the Fashion Show. Invite your family and friends, who will be equally impressed, and will hopefully want to purchase a garment or two.

At the first Fabric and Yarn Sale (April 22nd to 26th) meeting this past week, a great deal of planning occurred, as this is a huge (but satisfying in terms of funds raised) undertaking. We need hundreds of volunteers to make this event the success it always is. We are waiting to hear if we will be invited to assist at the SAIT Spring Convocation – again, a wonderful and fun way to raise funds. My heart always expands with pride for students who have worked so hard to graduate.  And who knows what other creative ways we will raise funds in the coming year? The energy and dedication of our members are heartwarming!

There are openings for positions on committees and on the Board for 2020-2021. See the e-blast sent out last month.

In the SLF 2018 Year in Review “Powered by Leadership”, there are many heartwarming reports of what our African grandmother sisters are accomplishing. We have several copies of the report and if you would like to read about the amazing women we support, write message@ujamaagrandmas.com to borrow a copy. I’ll quote from one section of “Women’s Leadership”:

“Recently, 40 Community-based Organizations (supported by the SLF) reported that they work with 50,000 people and their families during home-based care visits. The majority of the visits, as well as the organizations themselves, are run by older women who often volunteer their time while living with HIV in their own families and communities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, they’ve shown breathtaking leadership in ensuring that people living with HIV have access to healthcare, support and information”. 

I believe that Ujamaa Grandmas members have shown “breathtaking leadership” in supporting the SLF. Once again, I thank all of you who continue to make a difference in our organization, our community, and for the SLF African Grandmothers they support.