They are grateful … grateful for the chance to earn a living, for a chance to send their grandchildren to school, for a chance to work in the new local health clinic and receive education about HIV protection, for support with their orphaned grandchildren, for someone making their lives a little easier. Who are grateful? Hundreds of grandmothers living in Sub-Saharan Africa are grateful for the assistance made possible by the Stephen Lewis Foundation of Canada.
There are some grandmothers in Penticton and area who are grateful too; very grateful to so many businesses and individuals who recently donated to the Burger and Beverage in the Ballroom fundraiser put on by the South Okanagan Grandmothers for Africa. Through this generosity, close to $5,000 has been raised and contributed to the Foundation to help change lives in Africa.
Of particular mention, big thanks to Jo and the catering staff at the Penticton Lakeside, to Allan G at EZ Rock, Mike Roberts at Global Okanagan, The Western and The Herald, Bank of Montreal, Camelia Vokey – B.C. Ambassador candidate (www.bcambassador.com), and to all who attended and were so generous.
The AIDS pandemic has left millions of children orphaned by AIDS. Without hesitation, Africa’s grandmothers have stepped in to care for them.
In fact, in many countries throughout southern Africa, it is estimated that between 40-60 per cent of orphans live in grandmother-headed households.
After burying their own adult children, they take on the responsibility of caring for their grieving grandchildren, often with little to no support.
Yet through all this, African grandmothers have risen to become the centre of survival for their families and communities: they have become activists and advocates pushing for theirs and their grandchildren’s rights and protection.
Support one grandmother, and you are making a difference in the lives of generations.
Thank you Penticton for supporting our efforts to support the Grannies in Africa.
Rita Taenzer and Judy Koe
South Okanagan Grandmothers for Africa