Dear Friends,

This will be the last website introduction I have had the honour to write for you as your president. It has been a great privilege to serve Ujamaa Grandmas in this way and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped me over these three busy years. I am thinking of all the different board members who have tirelessly worked together, often quietly, behind the scenes but who are so crucial to ensure the smooth running of Ujamaa Grandmas. Also I am thinking of the many members who have given me invaluable advice and encouragement when I have needed it. Ujamaa Grandmas and The Stephen Lewis Foundation are very dear to my heart and I am grateful to have had  this special opportunity to support their life-changing work. I will of course continue to be a proud Ujamaa Grandma and know that there will be many different ways to volunteer for a long time to come.

I hope to see you at the AGM on 11th March where we will be electing new board members and President. It will be good to welcome new directors with fresh ideas and enthusiasm to lead us into the next year. We are pleased to have Michael Embale, the Executive Officer for the African Association of Calgary, and I am keen to hear about his community and their work amongst us. He says he is very interested to meet us too and learn about what we do so am hoping for a great turn out to welcome him.


Join Dawn Bolger and Elaine Peek at the ATB in Westhills for a monthly sew along. Your hosts will provide kits and patterns. You must provide your machine in good working order, neutral thread, normal sewing tools and your talent. And don’t forget your lunch!

We will focus on simple projects that will be sold at the 2018 BB&B. Looking forward to a day of socializing and sewing.

WHAT: SEW ALONG with Dawn and Elaine

WHEN: Fourth Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM – February 28

WHERE: Westhills ATB,  601 Stewart Green Southwest, Calgary. This is right across the parking lot from the Cineplex Theatre.

There is space for 8 so please register HERE so we can plan.  Information about projects will be sent to registrants prior to the date.



Ujamaa Grandmas has had another outstanding year; raising a total gross income of $107,958. This successful achievement can only be attributed to the commitment and contributions of our dedicated members and faithful supporters. The Fabric and Yarn Sale and Bags, Babies and Beyond events continued to be our biggest source of income. Sales from these sources approximated $89,500. The additional income of approximately $18,500 stemmed from events such as The Justice Film Festival Bake Sale, Ten Thousand Villages, SAIT, The Banff Tea Company, Speaker’s Bureau, Workshops and Special Projects.

In recent correspondence with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, it was confirmed that, as of mid-December 2017, Ujamaa Grandmas and their supporters have raised $142,644 for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. The breakdown of this total is as follows:

$78,270: Sales (donations sent directly from the 2017 income mentioned above).
$63,056: Donations, Monthly Giving, Securities, Tributes, etc.
$255: Beds Without Breakfast
$1063: Events

Additionally, the Foundation shared:

“Since inception, the Ujamaa Grandmas have raised a total of $1,190,724.44…….These numbers tell an inspiring story of a collaborative group of women who have dedicated countless hours to a movement of solidarity. Please extend our immense gratitude to all members of the Ujamaa Grandmas”.

It is motivating and rewarding to hear the monitory results of our efforts which in turn contribute to bringing about positive change in the lives of others. In 2018, may we continue to find the time and energy to support this very worthy cause.

Kathleen Patterson, Treasurer


The book launch of The Stephen Lewis Foundation’s POWERED BY LOVE on October 14th went well and was enjoyed by those who attended. Our guests, Joanna Henry, Kenneth Mugayehwenkyi and Ida Nambeya Mukuka – who were part of the panel discussion – informed and inspired everyone.

Shelf Life Books was present and sold 33 books; Ujamaa Grandmas has since then sold 12 books. The book, accompanied by captivating pictures, “tells the compelling story of these indomitable women and a movement that now reaches around the globe”. The book is now available at our Gatherings, from Marilyn Simmons, or from Shelf Life in a couple of weeks. (They are sold out at present.)

A big thank you to everyone who helped make this a successful event!

Here is the link to the Powered by Love Song and Slide Show: