We invite you to support the Ujamaa Grandmas and enjoy a beautiful evening of music at the upcoming DeSonus concerts to be held in Airdrie on September 21st and Calgary on 22nd. 

Ujamaa Grandmas was thrilled to be approached by DeSonus and asked if we would like to be a ‘one time only’ recipient of 50% of their yearly fundraising proceeds! We are pleased to be sharing these proceeds with The Calgary Women’s Shelter, resulting in your participation supporting women near and far.

Jeff, the president of DeSonus describes it this way: “DeSonus is a Charity Event started in 2015 that is tackling philanthropy in a different way. Rather than being affiliated with one or two causes over its lifetime, DeSonus is a brand unto itself that takes on two different causes every year, and is dedicated to Humanity. The concerts are second to none with a full spread of professional recording, and semi-professional musicians and vocalists, from all walks of life. Artists will join in a unique group collaboration of great cover songs anywhere from Elvis Presley to Ed Sheeran and many more, all based on each year’s unique theme.”

“Caring for Our Neighbours – We support a cause close to home, because right in our own backyard so much good can still be done.”

“Caring for The World – We support a cause far from home because everyone in our world deserves a chance to live healthy, succeed and pursue a dream.”

There are two ways you can participate:

1) Buy tickets to this fun evening of musical entertainment. The $50 tickets will be discounted 10% for members and our friends, using the code GRANDMAS – AND each ticket sold will also give us $5.00 towards our fund. Order your tickets at 

2) Donate a Silent Auction item for the events. We will receive half of all the monies raised. Along with gift certificates and larger items, a suggestion was made to donate smaller items that could be grouped in baskets, i.e. bottles of wine, fine chocolates, gourmet cheese, etc. You might know of businesses to approach that would donate to our cause. 

We hope to see you at the event; it seems like it is an evening not to be missed! In an effort to make it extra special, the dress code suggested is “Black Tie”, but it is optional, so the choice is yours. The important thing is to join together with friends and come to the concerts(s) to support those grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa that are so dear to our hearts.

Please contact Annette Koelwyn at or Yvonne Way at for more information or collection of your items. Items may also be brought to a North or a South gathering on or before September 9th. 

Thank you!


Thank you! Thank you!

BB&B is fast approaching.  Our members have been handing in fantastic items for the sale.

At this time of year the big question is what do make.  Remember “Make what you like. Like what you make and have fun doing it”.  What sells are bright, modern colours and unique items.

Customers have been asking for project bags, kid’s items like alphabet letters in pouches, travel change pads, socks, warm mittens, decorated hats, jewelry and everything else under the sun. Christmas is always popular.   For home décor sets of items seem to be popular.

If you have an idea for something new that you think would sell; make up to six of the item and put them in the sale.  It might be “the item” of the year and we will make more for next year.

If you need some supplies or have any questions please email and the fabric custodian will check to see if what you need is available.

PLEASE tag items that you hand in for the sale.  Instructions and suggestions are explained more fully on the handcraft page. Every item needs to have a tag and product custodians do not have time to attach hundreds of tags during the pricing meetings.

Final drop off for items for the sale will be the end of September.

Dates and locations will be in the September e news.

Without the support of our makers the sale would not be as successful.  THANK YOU!



“Trust, compassion, collaboration and respect” were the words I noticed on a Neonatal nurse’s hoodie recently.  I recall the same words in an article in the latest issue of Stephen Lewis Foundation’s (SLF) “Grassroots” on Home Based Care organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.  Grandmothers are reported to have “increased resilience, psychosocial well-being, family solidarity, community engagement, and human rights” due to the trust and hoped developed with these agencies, and the compassion that is shown.  Then I thought of each of these attributes which are so evident in many of our members – I continue to be so grateful for the trust, compassion and respect of Ujamaa Grandmas amongst members.  We in turn have enabled the SLF to invest over $100 million to support 325 grassroots organizations in 15 countries.

This is the second year we’ve collaborated with the Calgary International Blues Festival which is happening this week.  This is a unique exposure to a different demographic of Calgarians.  Last year several new members joined after visiting our tent and learning the ‘why, how and when’ of UGs – they were amazed at all that we do!

I hope you’ve gathered a group of friends to attend the DeSonus (means ‘beautiful music’) Charity Concerts on September 21st in Airdrie or on the 22nd in Calgary, and have ordered your tickets at  This is another marvellous collaborative event whereby UGs will receive half of the funds raised on this weekend.  Our Education and Awareness team will have our UG display and hand-outs there, so more people will learn about us.  The sales of the Silent Auction items are a ‘bonus’ of the event – they will increase the funds we’ll receive.  Do you have an exciting item or service you can contribute?  Annette Koelwyn and Yvonne Way are coordinating items for the Silent Auction (see the e-Blast sent on July 22nd);  there’s a template to help you contact others for a Silent Auction item . And check out the DeSonus’ website (above) to learn more about this organization from Jeff Bell, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of developing UGs involvement.  I’ll see you at both concerts.

Jan Geggie


The Connections Team has planned to kick off our Fall season with a Tour of Reader Rock Garden followed by lunch afterwards. This lovely garden and cafe are nestled in the heart of the city near the Stampede Grounds.

The Friends of Reader Rock Garden will conduct a tour. The terrain is hilly and on a stone path so there will be two levels of tours available with an option for those who might find the pathway challenging. Please wear sturdy walking shoes.

Advance registration is required so we can inform the tour guides how many to expect.

Some things to consider for the Ujamaa Grandmas for the Reader Rock Garden tour:

  1. There are two parking lots at the base of the hill and Erlton Stampede C-Train station is directly across from the Garden.
  2. If there are folks that need Handicap Parking, there are 2 spots available with Permits, behind the Café (accessible via Spiller Road thru Union Cemetery). Additional Handicap Parking is at the lower parking lots.
  3. We will meet your group at the base parking lot, commencing tours promptly at 10:30 AM.
  4. Reader’s Garden Café website 
  5. All tours are weather-dependent.

WHAT: Reader Rock Garden Tour and Lunch
WHEN: Wednesday, September 4 at 10:30 AM
WHERE: Reader Rock Garden, 325 25 Avenue SE, Calgary

Registration must be completed by August 15.








The Connections Team has been busy dreaming up some ideas for our members to come together, relax, have fun and get to know each other better. We thought getting together for lunch after the South Gatherings and before the North Gatherings might be a chance to do just that. Below is information about where we plan to get together. Please join us!

WHAT: South Lunch
WHEN: Monday, August 12, 11:30 AM, after South Gathering.
WHERE: Cravings, 7207 Fairmount Dr. SE.  If you would like more information, here is the website

WHAT: North Lunch
WHEN: Thursday, August 22, 11:30 AM, before North Gathering.
WHERE: Nick’s Steak House and Pizza, 2430 Crowchild Trail NW


August and September Sew Days will be an opportunity to finish up projects and to create new items for the October BB&B Sale.

We will continue work on the Activity Mats to finish them.  There will be “TRAVEL CHANGE PADS” kits to sew for the sale.  Some participants will be bringing and finishing earlier Sew Day projects and we will have kits for making other items for BB&B.

Come along and join in for a day of sewing, socializing and creating for the BB&B sale.

If you have any questions, please email

WHAT: SEW ALONG with Elaine, Rose and Dawn
WHEN: Wednesday, August 28 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
WHERE: Along Came Quilting, 6432 1A St SW. (right behind the Home Depot on McLeod Trail South at Glenmore Trail)




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)


It is Southern Alberta’s turn to host the Fall Regional Gathering if we want one this year. Some groups thought every other year would be adequate.

We have sent the request for hosts out to all Southern Alberta Groups, suggesting they may want to join forces with another group or groups to do this.

We need to make this decision soon.

The Aeroplan Mile matching week in February raised 2.1 million miles. Congratulations! Of course, you can donate miles at any time.

The GRL annual meeting was in Toronto in February and we are including a few items you should be aware of:

  1. A reminder that there are Conference Calls for new members or anyone who is interested or has questions on the 3rd Monday of the month at 10:30 a.m. MT. (Unless that Monday is a statutory holiday). These are information-sharing sessions to give new members an opportunity to speak directly with SLF Grandmothers Campaign staff. Those wishing to participate should RSVP to: and they will be provided with the conference call phone number and dial-in details. Calls generally last about 1 hr.
  2. Also, it is now possible to have Regional Conference Calls using the SLF Conference Call Line so keep this in mind if you ever what to plan events with other groups.
  3. The Grandmothers Campaign Team is proposing to start hosting Thematic Campaign-wide Conference Calls on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 10:30 AM starting in April. These calls will be open to all members and groups as a way to share ideas, best practices, tips and tricks that groups are using successfully. The first two sessions proposed are April 18 which would address “Recruiting and Retaining” and May 16th: “Rejuvenating Members: The Fun, Social and Educational Components of Groups and the Relationships Created Within Groups”.

Do you think these would be helpful to you? The staff would welcome your ideas and thoughts.

Additional themes could include but are not limited to:

  • Recruiting and engaging younger women to join group.
  • Building community partnerships
  • Sponsorship and Grants Start
  • Leadership structures within groups
  • Using technology: websites, FB and online resources that groups use

Of course, attracting new and younger members and retaining present members is a universal issue which was a big topic at the Toronto Gathering. There will be a compilation of suggestions and ideas related to this topic available on the SLF Campaign website at some point. There will also be an additional Conference Call toward the end of May for treasurers and group chairs framed as a “Treasurers Corner and Financial FAQ”.

Added to the SLF Fundraising page, there is a special section with fundraising suggestions for the “small but mighty” groups which could also be used by larger groups. On our Facebook page please tag your posts with @SLFGrandmothers for wider distribution and please “Like” another groups’ posts if you see that is also helpful to the Campaign.

Alison and Marilyn


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