The BIG news and buzz from the Foundation continues to be the hugely successful 15th Anniversary Concert which I hope you got to enjoy. The accolades poured in from across Canada and the world. This from South Africa “It was an outstanding Concert. Hats off to all the organizers!” – Lyn (Springs, Gauteng, South Africa) and this from our Executive Director Meg French “It was a wonderful evening of performances that were powerful, and entertaining. The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is an integral part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and we are privileged to have the support of so many amazing women. What a way to kick off the celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the Grandmothers2Grandmothers Campaign. You will be pleased to know that the concert raised $121,125,00 and is still counting.”

It was sad to hear from Stephen Lewis that his cancer has returned but lovely to see him at the concert. I’m sure we all wish him well and hope he remains as comfortable as possible. This is a very good article about him written by Steve Paiken.

As usual there is an amazing amount of activity emanating from the grandmother’s groups. Please keep checking the website events calendar for ideas and events. There are so many activities you could take part in every week!  Please join the campaign calls whenever you can. It is so nice to meet grandmothers from all over the country and hear some great ideas for fundraising.

Put the third Thursday of the month at 10:30am on your calendar and sign up for the link.


The theme for this year’s National Volunteers Week (April 18th to 24th) was “The Value of One, The Power of Many” which highlights the essence of UJAMAA GRANDMAS (UG) and the Grandmothers2Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF).  Thank you to all our volunteers for the thousands of volunteer hours that you gave over the past year, resulting in the many UG successes we’ve experienced, despite such a difficult year.  The kick-off to the SLF 15th anniversary, “Together in Concert” was so uplifting and raised $125,000, as of mid-April – we received a lovely thank you note.  Again, the collaboration of so many Grandmother’s groups was powerful indeed!

There are several upcoming opportunities and events in this e-News such as participation in “Stride to Turn the Tide”, Demo Day and the May Gathering.

The UG Annual General Meeting will be held by Zoom on Sunday, June 13th at 1:00 pm.  Our revised By-Laws will be presented for approval by the membership.  You will be receiving a separate notification to register.  If you need help to connect with Zoom, please send a request for help to .  We’re here to help.

May you be well, have your vaccines when possible, and appreciate the small joys of each day.

Jan Geggie



Again this year the SLF Stride to Turn the Tide will be Virtual. UJAMAA GRANDMAS will join with other Grandmothers groups across Canada to raise funds for SLF. Walking, biking, swimming, gardening, cooking, housecleaning, etc., activities that can be calculated into steps. Our goal is to stride across an African country. Please consider joining the UJAMAA GRANDMAS team by reaching out to friends & family for sponsorship.

More information coming soon. If you have any questions, please email them to


The following is an item that has been added to 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 Caroline Sanregret to the Members of UJAMAA GRANDMAS. For the full write-up, check your May E-news.


You will be able to join us for one or all of the sessions using the link provided in your May E-news.

  • No other registration is required.
  • The Zoom Demo Room will open at 9:00 AM.
  • Members check your May E-news for Meeting ID and Passcode
  • Come in and get settled before our first session starts at 9:30 AM
  • There will be door prizes for each session.

9:30 – 10:30 AM –  Confessions of an Hex Addict – Janet B – I have a confession to make about my Confessions – I hate Y-seams! After a brief look at English Paper Piecing we will spend the rest of the hour exploring many ways of constructing Hexie and Half-hexie quilts using a variety of settings to avoid those pesky Y-seams. We’ll check out a few speciality rulers and also discuss patterns that use only standard rulers. In addition to the tried and true, some new designs will also be presented fresh from my design wall.







10:30 – 11:00 AM – Break and Join up time

11:00 – 12:00 PM – Tips and Tricks for Knitting the Best Hats and Mittens – Mary Anna Louise K. This Demo Day Workshop will include tips for choosing the best yarn, casting on/off, seaming (and avoiding seaming), what to do about those pesky holes around thumbs or crown of a hat, why gauge matters, blocking methods and benefits, stranded mittens (colorwork) tips.May also include a few pattern recommendations.

12:00 – 12:30 PM – Lunch Break – Chat – Join up time

12:30 – 2:00 PM –  Clothesline Bowls – Carol S. – Come join Carol for an interactive clothesline bowl demo. Carol will be showing you how to make a bowl with just clothesline, thread and your sewing machine. Scraps of fabric can be added for embellishment but are not required. Feel free to purchase your own clothesline and be ready to give it a try during the demo. A variety of both cotton and polyester clothesline can be purchased at Home Depot (Everbilt) or a nice cotton clothesline (Household) is available at Along Came Quilting. Bowls are typically made with 3/16” but the smaller 9/64” worked as well.

WHAT: Virtual Demo Day (Facilitators: Janet Barker, Cheryl Mills, Glenda Sweetland)
WHEN: Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
HOW: Zoom (Members check your May E-news for Meeting ID and Passcode)



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


A tisket, A tasket, Let’s Buy a Basket!

A member of UJAMAA GRANDMAS, Yvonne Way, is selling baskets made in Rwanda with ALL profits going to UJAMAA GRANDMAS!!!  These beautiful baskets are woven by a weavers cooperative in Gashora, Rwanda.  The weavers are fairly paid, with their profits going to support a small NGO, Journey House Actions Rwanda (JHAR), which provides educational and nutritional programs in Gashora.

UJAMAA GRANDMAS has a connection with a group in Victoria B.C. that is closely connected to JHAR.  A founding member visits Rwanda yearly and brings baskets back to Canada to sell.

The sales here have been swift, these are the remaining baskets.  Yvonne will pursue buying another batch for future sales – it will be announced in the E-News when it happens.  All of the baskets still available are $37.50 each.  Please contact Yvonne at with your basket of choice (look closely for the item number) and to arrange payment and delivery.

Thank you!

Items #26, #5 and #28

Items #3, #20, #11, #8


Thank you to all the hand crafters who picked up yarn and returned finished products for the BAGS BABIES & BEYOND Event on Yarn Distribution Day. 

  • Special thanks to Janice McDonald, Teresa Mills and Carol Spring for coordinating the event.
  • The next opportunity to pick up and/or drop off items will be posted in the June E-News.
  • If you need anything before then please send your requests to
  • The more specific you can be about what you are looking for, the more efficient the process.


New Members welcome!

The book to be discussed is titled Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin. This book is a quick read, with a loveable main character, while addressing serious themes.

Contact message@ujamaagrandmas if you’d like to join us and we’ll send the link a couple of days before.

WHAT: Africa Book Club – “Baking Cakes In Kigali”
WHEN: Friday, May 7 at 1:30 PM.
HOW: Zoom for the foreseeable future



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

Judy Hansen, Board Member


Come explore Calgary on foot! Discover amazing hikes close to home. On our city walks we will wander through Calgary’s parks, natural environments, and historical neighbourhoods. We may view an archaeological site, an “erratic”, or a Downy Woodpecker. Calgary has a host of interesting places and things to see but there’s nothing like a walk with friends.

  • Walks will take place at 10:00 AM on Thursdays, beginning April 22, 2021. We will walk for one to one and a half hours, depending on the walk.
  • A suggested donation for each walk is a toonie which is donated to SLF and credited to our Ujamaa Grandmas group.
  • Our walks will align with Alberta Health COVID-19 recommendations: Maximum of 10 Participants including the leader.  Pre-registration is required.  Masks should be worn. Maintain social physical distancing.

Mark your calendars with the following dates and locations.

To REGISTER and receive more details, email:

Bowness and Baker Parks
Since the early 1900’s Bowness Park is one of Calgary’s most popular parks for family and friends to picnic, skate, walk, play and have fun. Baker Park includes riparian native plants, shrubs and trees, a wildflower garden, and sun bowl in the middle of the park. It is a popular place for disc-golf and wedding photos.
WHAT: Walk in Bowness and Baker Parks
WHEN: Thursday, April 22, 10:00 AM
MEET: 8900 48 Ave. NW in front of Seasons of Bowness Park restaurant
DIRECTIONS: Take the Trans Canada (16th Ave. NW). Turn right onto Bowfort Road and follow the road down the hill (it becomes 83 St. NW). Turn left at the 4 way stop onto Bowness Rd. NW. Turn left at the first set of lights onto 48 Ave NW. Follow the road to the park.
TERRAIN: 5 km, paved and gravel paths

West Nose Creek Park (Confluence Park)
West Nose Creek Park, also known as Confluence Park, lies along both banks of West Nose Creek near its confluence with Nose Creek in Calgary’s northeast. The creek meanders through multiple curves in the valley bottom. The slow and steady movement of the water produces a rich riparian zone. This park also has a considerable amount of native grassland and shrubs and a historic stone quarry. Further, the park contains “Split Rock”, one of the best known glacial erratics in the city.
WHAT: Walk in West Nose Creek Park (Confluence Park)
WHEN: Thursday, April 29, 10:00 AM
MEET: 300 Beddington Blvd. NE in the parking lot
DIRECTIONS: Corner of Beddington Trail and Beddington Blvd. NE. From northbound Deerfoot Trail, turn left on exit 265 for Beddington Trail NE. Take first right at Beddington Blvd. NE. intersection (first set of lights). Parking lot is on the right. You can see the park and dog park
almost as soon as you turn off Deerfoot Trail.
TERRAIN: 5 km, paved and gravel paths

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is a delight for the nature lover. Keep your eyes peeled for
deer, coyotes, elk, badgers, weasels and maybe, even cougars. Discover the vast scenic grassland of the park, marvel at the spectacular views of the Bow River Valley with the Canadian Rockies on the horizon and discover the park’s history, wildlife, flora and fauna.
WHAT: Walk in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
WHEN: Thursday, May 6, 10:00 AM
MEET: Glenbow Rd. off Highway 1A toward Cochrane in the parking lot
DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 1A (Crowchild Trail) towards Cochrane. Turn left at Glenbow Road and follow the road to Glenbow Ranch. There are signs on Highway 1A for the Ranch. This is about a 35 minute drive from downtown Calgary.
TERRAIN: 5 – 7 km, paved and gravel paths with hills

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Pearce Estates
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Nature Centre have been providing migratory birds with a place to rest their wings since 1929. That’s more than 80 years of conservation! To date, 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals and 347 species of plants have been recorded at the Sanctuary and Nature Centre by members of the public, volunteers and staff. Pearce Estates includes manicured areas, natural environments, a reconstructed wetland that allows you to stand out over the water and the Sam Livingstone Hatchery.
WHAT: Walk in Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Pearce Estates
WHEN: Thursday, May 13, 10:00 AM
MEET: 2425 9 Ave. SE in front of the Nature Centre at the Sanctuary.
DIRECTIONS: From Deerfoot Trail take exit 254 toward Blackfoot Trail South. Merge onto 17 Ave. SE. Turn left at 19 St. SE. Turn left at 9 Ave. SE. The Sanctuary is located at the very end of 9 Ave. S.E.
TERRAIN: 7 km, paved and gravel paths

Dale Hodges Park
Dale Hodges Park, a large natural park, is the site of the former Klippert gravel pit. The City purchased the land to restore the environmental health of the area, and to address the stormwater pipes carrying untreated stormwater into the Bow River.This park showcases conscious sustainable design throughout the park and trails, along with new storm ponds and runoffs laced with prairie grass, landscaped chunks of rocks to guide shrubberies such as California Oatgrass and Junegrass around the floodplain, and beautiful steep slopes of rewilded grasslands. Keep watch for bald eagles, osprey, coyotes, red fox, white-tailed deer, porcupine, and many more.
WHAT: Walk in Dale Hodges Park
WHEN: Thursday, May 20, 10:00 AM
MEET: 2123 52 St. NW in the parking lot
DIRECTIONS: . From the Trans Canada (16 Ave. NW) turn onto Home Road. Turn left at 52 St. NW (a one-way street with a bike path on one side). The parking lot is to the right almost as soon as you turn onto 52 St. NW. It is just north of the Maranatha Christian Reformed Church.
TERRAIN: 5 -7 km, paved and gravel paths with gradual hills

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.
WHAT: Walk in Griffith Woods
WHEN: Thursday, May 27, 10:00 AM
MEET: Discovery Ridge Link in the parking lot
DIRECTIONS: 2.5 km west from Sarcee Trail on Hwy 8 (Glenmore Tr). Take Highway 8 to traffic lights at 69 Street S.W. Turn left and go south on Discovery Ridge Boulevard. Go halfway around traffic circle, down the hill and turn left onto Discovery Ridge Link. (Please note there are no longer any directional signs on the road or at the entrance.)
TERRAIN: 5 km, paved and gravel paths




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


“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.


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 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


2020 FINANCIAL RESULTS – from the Treasurer
UJAMAA GRANDMAS Calgary had a very successful year. I applaud your initiative, creativity and hard work to overcome the Covid-19 restrictions.

Annual Gross Revenue from fundraising activities $50,739 (pre-year end review):

Fabric & Yarn Sale $ 4,518
Handcrafts $25,105
Décor Fabric Sale $ 6,711
Bagettes $10,700
10,000 Villages $ 391
All others $ 150
Donations (all sources) $ 3,164

Annual Gross Expenses  $9,740

Finally, I want to pass on an excerpt from an email I received from SLF:

“For 2020 Ujamaa raised an impressive $79,081.92. This brings the group total to $1,544,840.67. In 2020 we received $35,000 directly from the Ujamaa bank account, so the remainder is funds raised online that were credited to Ujamaa, either through Grandmothers campaign pledge pages or our general website, or cheques received in the mail from donors indicating Ujamaa.”

Congratulations to everyone!



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


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

Great Job!
Mona Jones



  • 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
  • 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 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