Rita Taenzer, left, and Lynn Popoff, two members of Grandmothers for Africa, stand in front of the Shatford Centre where the 11:45 a.m. march for International Women’s Day on March 8. This fall, the group is planning three fundraisers to support their work. (Western News file photo)

Grandmas planning three fall fundraisers

Grandmothers for Africa are working to raise money to help African grandmothers

It is going to be a busy fall for the Grandmothers for Africa South Okanagan chapter.

Altogether, they have three fundraising events planned, starting with the Taste of Africa Dinner at the Shatford Art Centre on Oct. 27.

The annual event features African cuisine and culture, and the proceeds benefit the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Africa.

The doors open at 5:30 and dinner will be served at 6:30. The $35 tickets are available at the Shatford or from grandmothers.

One of the speakers at the dinner will be photographer Alexis MacDonald who visited eight African countries with author Joanna Henry to help create /Powered by Love: A Grandmothers’ Movement to End AIDS in Africa./

By the time the AIDS pandemic in Africa had reached its height in the early 2000s, millions of children had been orphaned. In the face of overwhelming loss, the grandmothers of Africa stepped in to hold families and communities together.

MacDonald and Henry photographed and interviewed hundreds of grandmothers who, with the support of grandmothers in Canada and now around the world, are raising their grandchildren and rebuilding their communities.

Working with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Canadian grandmothers have raised more than $25 million to support African grandmothers and the grassroots organizations working on the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic through the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

The second event the grandmothers have planned is a book launch for Powered by Lone on Oct. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Poplar Grover Winery.

Guest speakers again include Alexis MacDonald, the photographer for the book and a Stephen Lewis Foundation staff member, plus two guests from Ethiopia. This event is free and open to the public.

Books will be available for sale at this event courtesy of Coles Books, Cherry Lane Shopping Centre. All royalties from sales of Powered by Love will be directed to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

The third fundraiser falls on Nov. 23 when the Grandmothers for Africa are partnering with the Downtown Penticton Association on Caroling for a Cause.

The plan is to fill the downtown with groups of singers from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The audience will move from choir to choir and purchase buttons to vote for their favourite group before the evening wraps up with all the singers gathering in Nanaimo Square for a final song and tree lighting.

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