It has been amazing to see various Grandmothers to Grandmothers groups popping up all over Canada and reaching out to their sisters in Africa. I am touched by their willingness to show solidarity, show care, and find creative ways to raise money and awareness for the grannies of Africa. Read below for an encouraging update.
Grandmothers Embrace unites with other chapters
April 03, 2009 18:04 Article originally from the Alliston Herald.
Lying on the floor in a small circle may at first seem like an odd way to start a meeting, but for Grandmothers Embrace, the local chapter of Grandmothers to Grandmothers, it was a symbolic gesture of solidarity shared with other groups from across Canada and nations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Grandmother to Grandmothers raises funds and offers support for grandmothers in Africa who are raising children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic which has swept the continent.
The funds go toward the Stephen Lewis Foundation which is leading the way in turning the tide against AIDS in some of the hardest hit areas.
The solidarity action took place last week in eight Canadian cities and ten African countries.
At the beginning of the Grandmothers Embrace meeting at St. John's United church in Alliston on Wed., March 25 several participants laid down on the tile floor to represent the suffering and loss that has occurred in Africa.
Several other members then took their hands and raised them from the floor to symbolize lifting them from their individual suffering and offering them strength. They then danced as a group in an action that was inspired by a group of Ugandan grandmothers who use song and dance to overcome their grief.
"We are now changing the goal from easing the pain to turning the tide," said event participant Mary Abernathy. " There are now over 200 groups of grandmothers across Canada. Three years ago there were only four. Our group has been responsible for raising $30,000 by having other local groups participating."
The money is used for grass roots projects in Africa to provide food, health care, education, counseling and other essential support for communities in strife.
"If the money continues to arrive in Africa it can make a difference," Abernathy said. "Through solidarity we can help each other."