Photo by Alexis MacDonald/SLF

Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign updates

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$16.5 million for the Campaign!

Thanks to the hard work and tireless commitment of phenomenal Canadian grandmothers and grandothers, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign has raised a total of $16.5 million to date! This is determination, creativity and momentum at its best, spanning more than six years.

We thank all of the grandmothers groups and their communities for their unyielding support and the hard work they continue to do in solidarity with African grandmothers and the children in their care.

My appreciation for the Canadian grandmothers is a non-stop appreciation. When I visit them I always tell them that in all areas they’ve got hearts of gold. And I take them as gogos, one of us, because they don’t work hard for themselves, they work hard for African grandmothers. You know, I can’t even say how much I love them.”

Mama Darlina Tyawana, Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa

I feel so proud of the Canadian grandmothers. They know us – even all the way from Canada. In 2006, two of our grannies went to the Gathering in Toronto. There they saw the Canadian grandmothers and the Canadian grandmothers saw them. And they never forgot us. They support us – really they are doing great work.”

Christine Auma Achire, Grandmother Community Worker, Reach Out Mbuya, Uganda

Photo by Alexis MacDonald/SLF

Siphiwe Hlope marches in Manzini, Swaziland, as part of the African Grandmothers Gathering in 2010. (Photo by Alexis MacDonald/SLF)

Ask Her: Impact of the Grandmothers Campaign

By Siphiwe Hlope, Executive Director, Swaziland for Positive Living (SWAPOL), Swaziland

The Grandmothers Campaign is an innovative approach that has supported much change. Until recently, Swazi grandmothers were not recognized or supported at the national level. They were not appreciated or helped in their caring work – work that includes taking care of orphans and vulnerable children; taking care of their daughters and sons who are infected with HIV; and taking care of themselves so they are not exposed to HIV. This is a huge burden on the elderly as they age – but grassroots programmes have alleviated much of it.

The changes that need to happen at country level are brought about by the work of grassroots organizations that support grandmothers and ensure that their voices and needs are heard. The financial support of the Canadian grandmothers has been so helpful - you have truly contributed so much to our fight against HIV/AIDS.

I recall the first African Grandmothers Gathering in Swaziland in 2010 – a moment that brought African grandmothers together, and provided a space for the grannies to share ideas, learn from each other and meet with the Canadian grannies. These memories will not fade easily.

Even now we are still seeing a lot of transformation at the national level. Before, we struggled. Now, we are able to send our orphans and grandchildren to school; we are growing vegetables and are able to have not just food but good nutrition on the table; and we have clothes and shelter for our orphans. Today, in Swaziland, we are seeing the benefits of the Canadian grandmothers’ work.

Photo by Tom Thorne

Walkers in a Stride event in Belleville, ON, with Quinte Grandmothers for Africa and Apple Route Grannies. (Photo by Tom Thorne)

Stride to Turn the Tide surpasses $1 million

This past spring grandmothers groups, and the communities that support them, participated in the third annual Stride to Turn the Tide. Created and led by Canadian grandmothers, Stride has now raised over $1 million in just three short years. Over 90 groups from across Canada came together to hold community walks, hikes, parades, picnics and garden tours in an incredible act of collective solidarity with African grandmothers.

Some grandmothers groups chose to involve partners such as local faith groups, AIDS-service organizations, businesses, schools and clubs. Others found it tremendously rewarding to work with neighbouring grandmothers groups, giving recently formed groups the opportunity to join with veteran ones and make new friends. But most importantly, groups reported that Stride is a great opportunity to strengthen their members’ relationships and to spread the word about the Grandmothers Campaign.

Many thanks to the National Walk Committee for helping to make this year’s Stride to Turn the Tide a success.

The committee is delighted to announce new dates for 2013. The main weekend for Stride to Turn the Tide will be June 8–9, 2013. Groups are also welcome to organize their walks on the weekend before or after the main dates.

To learn more, visit the Stride website at

Do you Dare to Dine?

Dare to Dine returns again this year, with all proceeds supporting African grandmothers and the children in their care.

Grandmothers and grandothers have found creative ways to host Dare to Dine events in their communities, whether it’s dinner at home (where guests donate the equivalent cost of a dinner out), potlucks at a community centre, African banquets, or lunches for teachers at a local school. However you decide to Dare to Dine, this is a fun and tasty way to bring Canadian communities together while raising funds to strengthen the work in African communities.

The Grandmothers Campaign team is on hand to answer any questions, help register your dinner and send you materials for your Dare to Dine event – including an information kit, donation envelopes, a CD soundtrack for your dinner, a video to play for your guests, recipes and more. To learn more and get involved, visit

Connect with the Campaign

We’ve launched our new website at The website is full of useful information about the Campaign and how you can get involved. It features an interactive map showing the location of each grandmothers group, a detailed events calendar, the latest news articles and Granny Bulletins, products for sale in support of African grandmothers, and a “members only” section for grandmothers group members.

We also have a new Facebook page! Join our followers and keep up-to-date with the latest news, events, photos and links while connecting with supporters of the Grandmothers Campaign across Canada and beyond. You can find our page at

Get Involved – Join the campaign!

Interested in joining a grandmothers group in your area? Or inviting a few of your friends to start your own group? We are happy to answer your questions, provide materials and ideas to help you get started and, best of all, connect you with the incredible women who make up the Grandmothers Campaign. Visit the Campaign website at to learn more.

Next: In your community >>

Previous: << Feature article: “Ask her”


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