Please note change of venue!

It’s that time of year again! We’ve been offered the opportunity to distribute robes at the SAIT Fall Convocation for an honorarium. It’s a very worthwhile event. Last year our Fall honorarium was $721.50.
This year the date is October 30 with one shift of about 5 hours, requiring ten volunteers. There is a break between handing out the robes and collecting them at the end of the event.

This is a great opportunity to both raise funds and to socialize and meet other UJAMAA GRANDMAS.

• Busy times will be near the beginning and end of the shift while robes are being distributed and collected.
• During the 2+ hour ceremonies, volunteers should be able to leave for a coffee or a meal on campus or nearby.
• Expect lots of walking and some light lifting.
• Wear neat casual clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
• Bring reading glasses if you require them as each gown is labelled for a particular graduate.

WHAT: 2019 SAIT Fall Convocation Fundraiser
WHEN: Wednesday, October 30
WHERE: Jubilee Auditorium, 1414 14th Street NW, 2nd floor, near escalators

To volunteer, please register HERE.

Thanks for volunteering. We can’t do it without you.


We rely on word of mouth to advertise the sale, so please print out a few copies of the
posters if you have not picked up any and give them to everyone you
meet!  Get your purse size posters here and full page posters here.


Time to sign up to volunteer during the 2019 BAGS, BABIES & BEYOND extravaganza. We are trying hard to make it easy. Please keep in mind that we will do our best to honour your preferred location but we may have to assign you to another area if needs dictate. We hope you understand.

Below is a description of the various roles.

Cashiers have been prearranged by the Sales Finance Committee.

Customer Assistant:
Volunteers working on the sale floor assist by:
• Helping customers to find specific items
• Modelling items if need be
• Carrying items to the cashiers if the customer is overloaded
• Bagging small items to make it less likely that they will be lost or dropped
• Tidying displays as the sale progresses
• Last shift on Friday will replenish stock at direction of the custodian

Greeter / Receipt Checker:
You will greet arriving customers and hand out shopping bags if they are needed.  As customers leave you will thank them for coming to the sale.  Their receipt should be visible as bags are marked and stapled at the cash table. It is good time to chat about what they liked or did not like about the sale. Invite them to come back next year.

We have hired someone to help us move our props this year.


You will be contacted by October 12 with specifics. Please be patient. We promise to get back to you with details as soon as we can.  If you have questions, direct them to


September was the month I seriously took on my new role with the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign as the Grandmothers Regional Liaison (GRL) for southern Alberta.
I have taken over from Marilyn Simmons who, for more years than she can remember, did a
great job in the role. Many thanks are due her for all the hard work and hours she has dedicated to this. I know that she is missed by the southern Alberta groups with whom she formed strong relationships and also, by the SLF staff. I will be doing my best to fill her big shoes!
Part of the job description is to encourage groups to support each other and help them form
relationships. When I ponder the partnerships that we establish as a group, I usually think first about our sisters in Africa but of course, there are also our fellow Grandmother groups. Most of them in southern Alberta are very much smaller than ours and so, whenever we turn out to support them, they are very grateful and say they benefit from the feeling of being a part of a much larger organisation. Over the past few months, we have had members join with Canmore Mountain Grannies for their annual Walk to Turn the Tide. Also, a Ujamaa group drove to Carstairs for the Mountain View Grannies’ famous Tea in the Garden. In return, we often have other Grandmas come to Calgary to support our sales and activities. In the past, the Medicine Hat Grannies for Africa were grateful to benefit from a vanload of our yarns and fabrics after our own sale to put on a successful sale of their own. All these partnerships have been beneficial for us, for the SLF and ultimately, of course, our African partners. Please do get in touch with me with any ideas you may have to help me to facilitate opportunities to get together and exchange ideas.

A Reminder:
1.Theme Conference Calls for all members and groups are held the 3rd Thursday of each
month. Please contact Call-in #s: 1-888-884-4538, Guest Code: 3443606#
2. New Members Conference Calls are the 3rd Monday of each month. Any members welcome. Please RSVP to: Call-in #s: 1-888-884-4538, Guest code: 3443606#

Many thanks.
Alison Longson


Ujamaa Grandmas are experiencing “new ventures”. No, this is not a travel advertisement!

On September 7th, UG Board members, Committee Chairs and Coordinators met to continue developing a Strategic Plan for our organization for the next 5 years with the goals of Nurturing our members, enhancing Awareness of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Ujamaa Grandmas, and Fundraising.  There were very animated discussions over how we are going to do this and now, with Action Plans in place, we will work at proceeding with “the next steps”.  This process was led by an expert facilitator, Shari Hanson, Community Development Officer with Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Another new venture was Ujamaa Grandmas being asked to be one of the recipients of the two DeSonus Charity Concerts held on September 21st and 22nd.  What an energetic and well-organized event this was!  Thank you to everyone who attended to support us, and to those of you who donated such varied and wonderful silent auction items.  We were asked to provide approximately $3,000 value of items – and we definitely outdid ourselves with a total value of $4,814!!!  Special thanks to Yvonne Way and Annette Koelwyn for coordinating this venture, to Anne Taylor and Susan Plesuk for increasing awareness with the UG display, and to all the volunteers who assisted on both evenings.  We all had fun and are now waiting to hear the amount of funds UG will be receiving.

Also, on September 21st, Ellen Monaghan and her team of crafters were asked to participate in two MakeFashion shows at the Beakerhead Gala at Prince’s Island featuring the “Firestorm” jacket which is part of the Climate Change Jacket Project.  Congratulations, Ellen and team!

Bags, Babies and Beyond is our next major fundraiser on October 18th and 19th.  The calibre of items brought to our gatherings is outstanding!  In order that the cashiers have sufficient time to be trained and settled into their roles, it has been decided that there will be no purchases by volunteers before the sale begins. We hope you understand.  Another new venture but one that we believe will lessen the busyness at the beginning of each day of the sale.

We have so much to celebrate!  Instead of the regular North Gathering on Thursday, October 24th, ALL members are invited to the board-hosted CELEBRATION and APPRECIATION afternoon. To celebrate and recognize all our amazing volunteers is in keeping with our Strategic Plan which was strongly identified at our workshop.  See details in the Gatherings Reminders.  Everyone is welcome!


Reminder: Members from Education and Awareness are available for presentations to other groups you are involved with. Email

This month Education and Awareness highlights books about Africa and the challenges for African children impacted by HIV/AIDs. The four books listed below are all available at the Calgary Public Library.

A. One Hen: How one small loan made a big difference – Katie Smith Milway
This is the story of Kojo, a boy from Ghana who turns a small loan into a thriving farm and a livelihood for many. After his father died, Kojo had to quit school to help his mother collect firewood to sell at the market. When his mother receives a loan from some village families, she gives a little money to her son. With this tiny loan, Kojo buys a hen. A year later, Kojo has built up a flock of 25 hens. With his earnings Kojo is able to return to school. Soon Kojo’s farm grows to become the largest in the region. (Elementary school aged children)

B. The Heaven Shop – Deborah Ellis
The Heaven Shop is a novel that puts a very real face on the African AIDS pandemic, which has orphaned more than 11 million African children. Inspired by a young radio performer the author met during her research visit to Malawi, Binti Phiri is a compelling character that readers will never forget. (Ages 7-9)

C. Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk about AIDs- Deborah Ellis
This is a collection of children’s stories dealing with poverty, loss as well as their new lives and hopes for the future. In the summer of 2003, Deborah Ellis traveled to Malawi and Zambia and met with children and teens whose lives have been touched by AIDS. In short, autobiographical vignettes, the young people, many of whom are orphans or living on the street, discuss their families, their favorite pastimes, their fears, and their dreams. (Grade 6 and up)

D. We are all the Same: The story of a boy’s courage and a mother’s love – James Wooten
This is the story of a courageous South African boy’s fettle with AIDs but also focuses on the failure of South African leaders to confront the AIDs epidemic in their country. ABC senior news correspondent Wooten tells the story of the bond between Nkosi and his birth mother, Daphne, who gave him up for the sake of his health and who subsequently succumbed to AIDS, and his white adoptive mother, Gail, who made his illness her number one priority. (16 and older)


Our Board of Directors extends an invitation to members to attend our Board meetings. We are grateful to the Marda Loop ATB at 2140 34th Avenue SW  for the spacious room which they have provided.  Public parking is free within a block; note the times of parking on the street.  Please let us know if you’d like to attend, through We look forward to hearing from you.

WHAT: Ujamaa Grandmas Board Meeting
Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday, March 23, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Thursday, July 11, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Thursday, August 8, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Saturday, September 7, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Thursday, October 31, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Saturday, November 30, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
WHERE: Marda Loop ATB at 2140 34th Avenue SW