Category Archives: INFORMATION

VIRTUAL STRIDE TO TURN THE TIDE

Stride to Turn the Tide is a fundraising initiative created in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. Annual walks are organized within communities and people of all ages are invited to participate. We walk in solidarity with grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa who walk every day to turn the tide of HIV and AIDS. Continued support for African grandmothers is not only imperative because of the ongoing work in response to the AIDS pandemic, but now also in response to the needs of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, ‘Stride to Turn the Tide’ was again virtual, and it was the second year that UJAMAA GRANDMAS joined the ‘Stride’! We just had to act to offset funds lost when our big fall & spring fundraisers were downsized due to Covid-19. Our virtual ‘Stride’ began on June 1st. UJAMAA GRANDMAS registered a team and individuals set up their own pages to raise funds. The goals were 2,000 kms and $20,000! Everyone involved their friends and family to gather donations. And we called on the membership of UJAMAA GRANDMAS to do what they do best, support our African sisters! Many of you answered our call and we so appreciate it!

This year some of us gathered to walk as a small group, individual participants tracked their steps over a period of time. Using the combined total of kilometers walked by participants & “virtually” walking (or cycle, hike, run, practice yoga, gardening, baking, sewing, handcrafting, golfing, etc). We have had some very busy and active grannies! All activities were converted 1 hour of activity = 5 km

Our grand totals for June 2021 activity were:  3350 kms or 167% of our activity goal and $11,120.00 or 56% of our financial goal. We contacted our members & customers on Facebook & had 225 hits.
The feedback we received from Team members was most valuable. People liked that so many activities were included in the virtual walks. Unfortunately, some people struggled with the Stride website to solicit donations & to find the page online. A suggestion of challenges to recruit more Team members will be further explored next year.

Thank you everyone who participated, donated and organized a successful Virtual Stride for UJAMAA GRANDMAS.

Thank you to our Team members: Annette Koelwyn, Cheryl Mills, Dorothy Loucks, Eve Strain, Jan Geggie, Paul Paetkau, Judy Howe, Mona Jones and Marion Shadlock.

Organizing team:  Sandra Burgess (Lead), Louise Breadner & Lorraine Campbell

CONNECTIONS TEAM – SUMMER WALKS

Our walks continue this summer.
They will take place at 10:00am on Thursdays, with the next one being August 5.

  • We will walk for one to one and a half hours, depending on the walk.
  • We are asking for a donation of a toonie for each walk.
  • Rather than collect this at each walk, we ask that you donate online to Stride to Turn the Tide.

Our walks will align with Alberta Health COVID-19 recommendations.
Alberta is set to enter Stage 3 on July 1st if 70% of Albertans 12+ have received at least one vaccination dose. This means:

  1. All restrictions lifted, including ban on indoor social gatherings.
  2. Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care settings remain.
  3. The general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in limited and specific settings.
  4. More information will be shared prior to the start of Stage 3.

To REGISTER and receive more details, email:  message@ujamaagrandmas.com.

Mark your calendars with the following dates and locations.

Griffith Woods
Griffith Woods is habitat to a wide variety of flora and fauna including orchids, moose, deer, a variety of birds and its unique and sensitive natural spruce and balsam poplar forest. It is designated as a special protection natural environment park. Boardwalks cross the clear wetlands providing you with a great opportunity to see aquatic plants and invertebrates. The white spruce forest offers an ideal place to watch the birds and other wildlife that prefer the coniferous forest. It is one of the best places in the city to see species such as Northern Flickers, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Gray Jays that frequent this habitat. Check out this YouTube video describing Griffith Woods.
WHAT: Walk in Griffith Woods
WHEN: Thursday, August 5, 10:00 AM
MEET: Discovery Ridge Link in the parking lot
TERRAIN: 5 km, paved and gravel paths

Edworthy Park
Bordered by the Bow River and the community of Wildwood, Edworthy Park is a large diverse park and is a great year-round destination. Edworthy Park includes the natural areas of Douglas Fir Trail and Lawrey Gardens. The Bow River Pathway runs parallel to the river, and stays flat and level for a relaxed walk or bike the length of the park. Check out this You Tube describing Edworthy Park.
WHAT: Walk and picnic in Edworthy Park
WHEN: Thursday, August 12, 10:00 AM
MEET: 5050 Spruce Drive SW in the parking lot
TERRAIN: 3-4 km, paved and gravel paths

Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs
Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs is situated within a Birthplace Forest covering several acres of land. Within this area there are over fourteen individual gardens each displaying unique features and all identified with a hand-painted garden sign. These garden areas are all accessible by connecting walking paths of mulch leading throughout the entire area. Along these pathways leading to the various gardens are beautiful flowering shrubs, fruit trees and also a large variety of other featured shrubs and trees. Check here for more info.
WHAT: Walk in the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs
WHEN: Thursday, August 19, 10:00 AM
MEET: 37 Silver Springs Drive NW, meeting location to be advised
TERRAIN: mulch paths

Airdrie Nose Creek Park
Nose Creek Regional Park, Airdrie is a lovey 20 acre park of natural area in the heart of the downtown core. This newly enhanced family oriented park boasts an amphitheatre, concession area and fire pit. The space also offers picnic tables, a covered shelter and nature trails, making it an appealing location for many community events. Nose Creek pond also stocks trout twice over the summer months and offers fishing as an option to spend some family time. Check here for a map of the park.
WHAT: Walk and picnic in Airdrie Nose Creek Park
WHEN: Thursday, August 26, 10:00 AM
MEET: in the far right hand end of the car park
DIRECTIONS: From the QEII Highway (Hwy #2 north) take the first Airdrie exit west to Yankee Valley Blvd. Take the first right north on to Main Street.  Drive about 1 km. The Park is on your left.  Drive in and follow to the far right hand end of the car park.
TERRAIN: about 4 km, flat paved paths

 

AFRICA BOOK CLUB

The Africa Book Club continues its foray into books by Africans and/or about Africa. We just finished Road Trip Rwanda by Will Ferguson and all agreed it was a worthwhile read, well done. Our next book is Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi. It tells the story of two families, starting with two half sisters in Ghana in the 18th century,  and how their lives and those of their descendants were shaped by slavery.

If you are interested in joining us (new members welcome!), please send an email to “message@ujamaagrandmas.com” and we will get back to you.  Leslie Buckle

WHAT: Africa Book Club – “Homegoing”
WHEN: Friday, August 6, 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.
HOW: Zoom for the foreseeable future

 

SPOTLIGHT ON THE BOARD MEMBERS

Following the tradition of the last couple of months, this item has been added to the monthly E-News so that the Members can “meet” and get to know the Board Members. To hopefully put a Face to a Name that you may have seen on emails or committees.

I am happy to introduce Leslie Buckle to the Members of UJAMAA GRANDMAS. For the full write-up, check your August E-news.

BB&B SALE – PRODUCT DROP OFF DAYS

In anticipation of this fall’s BAGS, BABIES & BEYOND SALE (BB&B), the Handcrafts Committee will begin hosting Product Drop Off Days the last Wednesday of the month. Please bring the handcrafted items you would like to donate. All items need a tag so be prepared to fill out tags or take some home with you for the next drop off day.

WHAT: SOUTH Drop Off
WHEN: Wednesday, August 25, 11:00 AM to 12 NOON
WHERE: McDougall United Church, 8516 Athabasca Street SE

WHAT: NORTH Drop Off
WHEN: Wednesday, August 25, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
WHERE: Foothills Lutheran Church, 3104 34 Avenue NW, LOWER PARKING LOT

  • We will be adhering to the AHS and City of Calgary COVID-19 guidelines that are in effect at the time of the drop off.
  • Share your products and ideas on our Ujamaa Makers YYC Facebook Page. Join here.

BB&B SALE – ITEM SUGGESTIONS

Thank you to all of our members who dropped off items for our sale at the June Drop Off event. It was so great to see the variety and quality of the products donated. The strength of our sale is a result of the diversity of articles that our members create.
Please remember our motto – Make what YOU like. Make what you like to make. like what you make.
For members who would like some suggestions about items to make, please see below:

Here is a list of the items that we need for Christmas and Seasonal
Placemats
Gift Bags     
Advent Calendars     
Ornaments     
Runners     
Stockings     
Aprons

If you are making YARN ACCESSORIES, here are some ideas:

  • Mittens – warm (wool, lined, stranded colorwork, tight gauge)
  • Socks – wool or natural fibre
  • Fingerless Mitts – colorwork, patterned/design element sell well. (Simple – tube with hole for thumb do not sell well)
  • Hats – colorwork (example Alaska Hat on Ravelry) fly off the shelf. Hats made with consideration for wind and cold (firm ribbing, cover the ears etc) in the toque category attract more attention. Saltwater Classic newsboy hats sold quickly;  unique clothes, etc (would you wear it?)
  • Longer Scarves and Larger Shawls sell better than short scarves and shawls. Items made with lovely / luxury yarns sell better than items knit with regular yarns. Spring and summer colours don’t sell as well.

SLF NEWS

Area of Work Overview

You can find here a very clear and useful document from SLF. This gives an update about the impact of COVID-19 on the communities where SLF partners are working. It has key messages, statistics and an overview of the areas of work that community-based organizations are engaged in to provide comprehensive support to communities, families and individuals.

SLF’s Communications to Supporters

I have heard from some Ujamaa members about not appreciating  the increased number of emails and solicitations they have been receiving from the Foundation. When I brought this up with them it turns out that they are well aware of these concerns having heard from groups across the country. Please read the following message from them.

SLF communications and solicitations to our community of supporters have increased because our partners’ needs have increased, and their needs are critical. Our gratitude for the members of the Grandmothers Campaign is immense, and we know how much time is collectively dedicated to organizing events and raising awareness about the SLF in your communities. We are sharing what we hear from our partners with all of our supporters to ensure the broadest support possible for our partners.

We acknowledge that this is a shift from how grandmothers group members have been communicated with in the past, and are happy to adjust communications preferences for any Campaign members who do not wish to receive solicitations, but would like to continue receiving the Granny Bulletin and other SLF e-news. The best way for Campaign members to let us know what they would and wouldn’t like to receive is to send a note to campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org.

Local Group’s News.
Marilyn Simmons and I enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Carstairs Grandmother’s group when we attended their annual Tea In The Garden event. The garden is beautiful as was the tea in fine china and the traditional cream and scones. Served the English way which I appreciated!

Gramma Link Africa in Red Deer is having their fabric sale at Gaetz Memorial United Church
Please let any contacts you have in Red Deer know about this.

WHAT: GRAMMA LINK AFRICA FABRIC SALE
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 24, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday, Sept. 25, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
WHERE: Gaetz Memorial United Church in Red Deer

Anne Taylor (UJAMAA GRANDMAS Education and Awareness committee) has asked that I remind you that the very successful evening we had with author Bianca Marais can still be accessed and if you haven’t already seen it, we both recommend that you do. The link is here.

Farewells

After six years, Sara Dopp, the Senior Manager Grandmothers Campaign, is leaving SLF. Our regional staff liaison Ruth Anne Seburn and the other regional liaisons will continue to cover her work with support from the development team until she is replaced.

Lastly this is time for me to say goodbye. I have resigned as GRL and will be flying to New Zealand on 19th Oct to start a new chapter of life. Judith Howe will be continuing as GRL for South Alberta and would love to have someone else to work with. She started the very successful Medicine Hat Grannies but has recently moved to Calgary and UJAMAA GRANDMAS are lucky to have her as a new member.

Alison

MONTHLY GATHERINGS VIA ZOOM

With such a beautiful summer and Covid restrictions opening up, it was decided at the June 10, 2021 Board Meeting that we would postpone the monthly zoom meetings until September.  Therefore, please mark your calendars for September 15 at 7:30 pm for the next zoom meeting.

Have a great summer and will see you again very soon.

BIANCA MARAIS PRESENTATION

Donations continue to be attributed to our group as more individuals access Bianca’s energizing and informative presentation. So far $1860 has been donated on behalf of UJAMAA GRANDMAS to the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmother’s campaign. We are 75% of the way to meet our goal of $2500.
Bianca’s presentation is available by clicking on the link HERE.

Bianca’s books Hum if You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh can be ordered from Owls Nest Bookstore HERE.

Donations to the Stephen Lewis Foundation can be made HERE.

Please feel free to share this information with family and friends.
Thank you – Education and Awareness Committee

TIPS FOR VIRTUAL MEETINGS

Over the past year, we have been introduced to virtual meetings (often via Zoom) in ways we never imagined possible.  To support our membership in the use of Zoom and other technologies, we have put together a little document to further assist everyone’s success in using the technology. There are tips for both the person new to virtual meetings as well as for those familiar with online meetings who are seeking some additional ideas.

Click here for some tips!

If you have additional tips to share, please let us know at message@ujamaagrandmas.com.

Enjoy!
Judy Hansen, Board Member

THANK YOU

Good morning, everyone,

I just opened and read our monthly March E-news and am sitting here with awe and respect for all the members of UJAMAA GRANDMAS.  Our voice is strong, our resilience in this time of Covid amazing, the necessary inventiveness of changing to make things work now is a reflection of strong, intelligent, caring and creative women.  And, best of all, doing it all together/apart!

Thank you also for the reminders of our mission, goals and values.  All that has happened in this past year reflects on each and every one.

So, thank you all.  It is an honour to be part of UJAMAA GRANDMAS.

Sincerely, Carla Lorfing

FRIENDSHIP CORNER

“You don’t know what someone is going through, be kind ~ always.” That is a sentiment worth remembering on a daily basis. Recognizing that those around us may have limitations because they are dealing with a difficult situation that we cannot identify, yet needs to be honoured, is in keeping with everything UJAMAA GRANDMAS stands for. Being mindful of the fact that others can be fighting a battle that you are completely unaware of is a great strength. Some of our members are struggling with their health, or an injury, or supporting a family member going through treatment for a health crisis. Others are dealing with loss, possibly brought on by the pandemic. And there are those that simply find the restrictions put in place around Covid 19 extremely difficult. The reality is we all have times in our journey that challenge us.

One of the greatest strengths of UJAMAA GRANDMAS is: ‘we do what we can, when we can’. What a welcoming and embracing mantra! That mindset has acted as a form of support to all of us at different times as we have dealt with life’s challenges. May we continue to shed light on each other to ease a burden, may we continue to be patient and understanding with each other when working together, and of course, when we have a choice, and we always have a choice, may we do what we so often do, may we lead with kindness.

FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Celebrating Fifteen Years of the SLF’s Grandmothers Campaign

The Board would like to celebrate this anniversary by producing a virtual exhibition of art, photography, poetry and prose. We will invite submissions that speak to what members’ involvement in UJAMAA GRANDMAS is, and thus what the Grandmothers Campaign, has meant to them.  It could be a poem about meeting one of the African grandmothers; a photograph of a special handcraft sold in one of the sales; a piece of artwork inspired by a story about the work of the SLF in Africa.  We hope the submissions will tell our story in diverse, colourful, entertaining, and meaningful ways.

To put this all together, we need a small organizing committee, and some specialized expertise (such as web design). If you are interested in being part of this initiative in some way, whether on the committee or as a consultant in particular aspects of the project, please respond to message@ujamaagrandmas.com. We are happy to explore with you how you could become involved in a way that suits you and helps us with this project!

Sincerely, Leslie Buckle

EDUCATION & AWARENESS COMMITTEE

 AN INSPIRATIONAL EVENING !

Feedback from viewers of Paying Tribute to the Grannies of Soweto by Bianca Marais:

  • “What an incredibly powerful evening. Bianca is an amazing woman”;
  • “Very professional”
  • “What a great speaker. Now I want to read her books”.
  • “I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Bianca’s talk last night.”

The presentation is so pertinent to the work that we do as UJAMAA GRANDMAS and we highly recommend viewing this impactful recording.

For those of you who were not able to view the presentation on February 24th and for those who would like to share the opportunity with friends and family, the link is HERE.

Thank you to all who attended the presentation Paying Tribute to the Grannies of Soweto by Bianca Marais.  Bianca is an inspiring speaker who shared her story of growing up in apartheid South Africa as a privileged white child nurtured by her African “maid”.  Bianca has spent her life questioning and grappling with conflicting emotions about privilege, growing up as a white girl under the apartheid regime in South Africa, and the oppression towards Black people that she was witness to. Her story is one of an early awakening to systemic abuse and prejudice and challenging it—even when it was unpopular, even when she benefited from it. Bianca shared how she watched the devastation of HIV and AIDS in her country and especially how the black population was impacted. Bianca was a volunteer for ten years with a Stephen Lewis Foundation partner in Cotlands and is an avid supporter of the work of the Foundation.

Thank you to Judy Hanson, Sandra Burgess and Frances Teves who worked with The Education and Awareness Committee to coordinate the many details that went into the organizing of this event. Thank you to Jan Geggie, President of UJAMAA GRANDMAS for her opening and closing remarks. A big thank you to Sarah Layton, Office and Logistics Manager, Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Bianca’s books Hum if You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh can be ordered from Owl’s Nest Bookstore.

Bianca’s presentation is free but donations are encouraged to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation HERE.

Education and Awareness Committee:  Anne Taylor and Susan Plesuk

2021 FABRIC & YARN SALE

The gross income from 2021 Yarn & Fabric Public Market Sale was $17,500. Special thanks to Rachel Bryant, Carol Spring and Frances Teves for the extensive online component this sale required.

  • Expect to see Eventbrite customer registration entry used in future Fabric & Yarn Sales.
  • After two long years the storage homes are empty and I cannot thank everyone enough for your help.
  • Any more donations will be declined until April 1, 2021 when the Province of Alberta COVID-19 vaccination roll out enters its second quarter.
  • Two of the larger storage homes can no longer participate, so if you can offer any amount of area, it would be greatly appreciated.
  • The Magic of Christmas also extends it thanks.
  • UJAMAA GRANDMAS donated enough fabric and notions from the sale to supply its costume department for its Christmas 2021 campaign.

Proposed 2022 Annual Fabric & Yarn Sale at The Magic of Christmas Apr. 19, 20, 21 (setup days), 22, 23, 24 (sale days), 25 (clean up)

Easter Sunday is Apr. 17, 2022.
Please direct any questions to fabricsale@ujamaagrandmas.com

Great Job!
Mona Jones

MONTHLY JOINT GATHERINGS VIA ZOOM

 

  • Members could do a Show & Tell at the Monthly Zoom Meetings of what they are making. It would be fun for everyone to see what is going on and might inspire others.
  • Looking for a Member who might like to provide a ‘Facebook Tutorial’ for members who could use a little guidance in that area. If anyone would be willing to do that, please contact message@ujamaagrandmas.com
  • We are looking for people interested in being on the Nominating Committee to find Members to serve as Board Members next year.  Yvonne Way and Louise Breadner are currently on this committee. If interested, please contact message@ujamaagrandmas.com and your email will be forwarded to them.

Check the E-News each month for the Zoom link. 

Wednesdays/Date Time Main Facilitator C0-Facilitator
January 20, 2021 7:30 PM Annette Koelwyn Yvonne Way
February 17, 2021 10:00 AM Leslie Buckle Judy Hansen
March 17, 2021 1:00 PM Yvonne Way Annette Koelwyn
April 21, 2021 7:30 PM Judy Hansen Jan Geggie
May 19, 2021 10:00 AM Liz Forseth Janice Lambert
June 16, 2021 1:00 PM Leslie Buckle Liz Forseth
July 21, 2021 7:30 PM

BAGETTES UPDATE

Thanks to Zoom, BAGETTES met twice a month during 2020.  We encouraged one another with show and tell, tips and tricks, pattern testing and challenges. We also shared via our Facebook group.  In the summer, we were able to meet safely outside twice to share supplies and see things in the flesh. This ability to work together and connect on a regular basis made a significant impact on our emotional well-being during a difficult year.  We plan to carry on and we are currently working on two new patterns for 2021 release. We have begun a series of bags recognizing our grandmothers. There are two so far; a French grand-mère, RYLEY and an Icelandic grandmother, AMMA. It seems we are diverse and there is more to come.
 
FUNDRAISING
An ART TOTE challenge using our wine tote pattern resulted in the completion of 10 unique, art-inspired, wine totes. These totes were featured in an online auction in July and resulted in proceeds of $1167.70.  We felt that the items that went to BB&B were our best yet and despite the difficult times, many bags and pouches were sold. 
 
ONLINE PATTERN SALES
With so many bag makers at home, 2020 was a great year for the BAGETTES’ pattern store on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/UJAMAABAGETTES
A few milestones were met and passed that allowed us to raise a cheer.
  • Four new patterns were released in 2020 and reception to those patterns was very exciting thanks to some help from our strongest supporter, Emmaline Bags of Spruce Grove, Alberta. When Janelle puts BAGETTES in her newsletter that goes to 25,000 bag makers, visits to our shop and sales sky rocket.
  • As of this writing, 1350 copies of our patterns were sold in 2020 – 53% of those sales were from our new patterns.
  • Revenue for 2020 passed the $10,000 mark in early December and continues to climb. This revenue is gross – does not take into account cost of supplies, fees, or taxes.
  • The first Etsy sale was on December 31, 2019. Since then, more than 1620 patterns have sold in the shop. This includes 42 copies of Backpack Bundle which is 3 patterns but is counted as one sale in the count. 
  • More than 400 shoppers have favourited our shop.  This affects the search dynamics sending more shoppers to our store. 
  • Ratings of our patterns remain five-star with almost 70 reviews.
  • We rebranded with a new banner and logo thanks to the support of Vancouver Island artist Anvil Island Design. In January we plan to do a formal launch of this new brand with a virtual party – aka sale.
If you have UJAMAA friends who share a common handmade endeavour, we strongly encourage you to try this form of meeting and sharing. Your group need not be formal. No one needs to be in charge other than to schedule and book the zoom nor does there need to be any high degree of organizing. Just get together virtually to work on your chosen interest, share ideas and patterns, chat, connect. You might be surprised at what may happen.

TORONTO GRANDMOTHERS FUNDRAISER

As mentioned in the December E-News, one of our members advised us of the Toronto Grandmothers Partnering with Africa fundraiser. They have a selection of beautiful Scarves and Pashminas for sale on their website. Each item sells for $20 plus shipping costs. Check them out HERE.