St Mark’s Fair a great success

fair boothOur heartlfelt thanks to all the crafters who made St Marks Fair 2014 such an incredible event! Thanks also to the grandmothers (especially Ann and Pam) and  the grandmother (Dan) who worked hard today to make it the success it was.
We made $1692.75, almost three times what we made last year. Well done!!!
Carol Lundine

April Newsletter from the B.C Islands

The April Newsletter below was sent by Sally Gellard, our Grandmother Regional Liaison, to Diane Quinn of Oceanside Grandmothers, our group liaison. It is full of updates on the Grandmothers Campaign and regional events.

SLF News from the Foundation

21 Million bucks! News has just arrived that we have reached this marker in our fundraising. Congratulations, everyone.

The messaging on the G2G Campaign is now updated to say that we now partner with 300 grassroots organizations that hold 1100 initiative projects. This means that the SLF has stuck with our partners and have increased the capacity of these organizations to expand and deepen their work.

The Tribunal film is “in the works” and should be out before September. It will be well suited for film festivals (with a trailer available soon) as it was not designed to be a “promotional” film for SLF.

The Grandmother Book is still in progress – Joanna is working on 2nd round of interviews. Looking at a launch and tour in time for Christmas 2014 sales.

Stride has a new fundraising page with funny video of SLewis. The insurance policy hasbeen worked out for holding the Stride events from May 16 through June. Check with Sydney at SLF office for more information.

A Speakers Bureau Training Package is also coming – this includes an updated photo gallery to make our presentations easier and will be up-to-date on the actions & direction of the G2G Campaign. The photos and resources are password protected so only available to our members. The SLF office asks that we let them know if we use their photos.

The newest & interesting grandmother group to form is the Globetrotters Grandmothers – a travelling group coordinated by Ellen Monaghan in Calgary, offering travel opportunities for older women. Contact

Aids Free World is the site of information to hear SL speak each week about the state of Africa & human rights. Check out  It is very enlightening & worthwhile.

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Calendar of Grandmother Happenings on BC Islands

April 27 – Glacier Grans in Comox: African Dinner at D’Esterre House: Sold Out

April 27 – Glacier Grans: Union Bay Spring Craft Sale 10 am– 3pm

May 9 –    Merville Grandmothers sponsoring: Presentation by Tina & Paxie. Merville Hall doors open at 7:00 pm. by donation to G2G

May 15  – Oceanside G2G “Both Sides of the Camera” poster below. At the Grand Hotel Ballroom, Nanaimo, tickets $30. 7 – 9 pm

May 24-   Holy Trinity Grans: Regalia Show 2 pm; North Saanich Holy Trinity                                          Church Hall, 2 pm, contact 250 656-0113

June 7 –   NanGos sponsoring African market; St Paul’s Anglican Church 10 am – 4

June 8 –   NanGos – Island Soul Choir; Port Theatre in Nanaimo, 2:30 pm; tickets $22.50, NanGos providing snacks & crafts for sale

June 26 – PAGO African dinner with Paxie Vreede; contact

More info on these future events to follow in next update

Further Notes

 Currently BC Islands consists of 14 GM groups located on the Big Island and 3 Gulf Islands. Our region has lots of potential for building new groups. Paxie and I welcome inquiries from interested “grandmothers” in other communities and we’d happily help them get started. There is also an excellent resource from SLF, “ 10 Tips for Starting a New Group”.  Pass the word. Build the movement.

It is time to recruit a new co- GRL (Grandmother Regional Liason) for our region. This is a 2 year commitment that overlaps with the current GRL, Paxie Vreede. If you or someone in your group is interested, have them contact Sally Gellard and I’ll forward the GRL roles & responsibilities.

“Grandmother Groups remain the heart and soul of the G2G Campaign and the GRLs help keep communications and connections strong and in step with the work of the Foundation and ultimately – the African grandmothers – as the Campaign moves forward”.

We thank you for staying in touch with us.

Sally & Paxie.


newsletter from BC Islands Grandmother Connections

The following newsletter comes from Sally and Paxie, our Grandmother Regional Liaisons (GRL) for the BC Islands.  It is passed on by Diane Quinn, who is the Liaison for our Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers group.  Communication with other groups in our region and the with GRLs flows through her.

program teacm

SLF Programme Team (explanation below)

Greetings from Sally & Paxie, your GRLs  (Grandmother Regional Liaisons). 

Please send us news of your upcoming events specifically dates, place and with short description. We’ll send a list out to all 14 groups in our region with the next update.  This is a great way to find out what’s going on, spread good ideas, and perhaps meet the other SLF grandmothers in our region by supporting each others’ events. We probably have friends and family members in other communities who we can encourage to attend a Grandmother event.

March 2014 Grandmother Delegation to SLF Projects

You’ll probably have noticed in Feb 2014 SLF Bulletin that our BC Islands Region is well represented on the upcoming SLF delegation trip going to Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa.

It is countdown time for our 3 representatives, Joan, Paxie and Tina, and we send them off this Friday with our love & blessings, awaiting their return on March 18th. They will surely have amazing tales to tell and experiences of the SLF Projects to share with us upon their return in mid-March.

Presentations and speaking engagements around our region are something each of the travellers is wanting to do. We’ll leave it up to you, your Grandmother Group, to contact Joan (VG4A) Paxie (NanGos) and Tina (MGMs) to arrange a post-trip visit to your group and/or to your community.

March 1 – Drumming Evening in Victoria at UVIC 

This is a participatory workshop sponsored by VG4A (Victoria Grans for Africa) There are still a few tickets left – contact Renee  asap.

GRL Meeting Feb 2014

Paxie and I attended the GRL meeting in Toronto Feb 8-10 with the other 14 GR Liaisons from across Canada. It was a very productive, informative meeting where we got a deeper understanding of the challenges and realities of the G2G Campaign from the inspiring staffers of the SLF.

Since its inception in 2006, the G2G Campaign has raised $19.5 million, averaging around $2.5 million per year. We heard that assessing, monitoring and evaluating the needs of the existing projects  in sub-Saharan Africa is the job of the Programme Team (photo above) working closely with the 6 Field Reps based in home countries. They also receive approximately 100 new proposals per month, a daunting job.

During the meeting, we shared fund-raising, organizing and strategy ideas from Grandmother Groups in all Regions as well as how to use social media to get the word out. At last count, there are 243 GGroups, approx. 6500 of us across Canada. If you and your group would like to hear more about this meeting, please contact Sally, or Paxie when she returns.

New GRL Needed for BC Islands

Our Region has 2 co-Liaisons, with overlapping 2 year terms. We ask you, with your group’s encouragement, to consider taking on this role. No special expertise is needed, just a strong interest in the G2G Campaign and willingness to share the excitement. Sally’s term finishes this March, and the incoming GRL will go until March 2016. Paxie’s term continues till 2015.

Put your name forward or nominate a member of your group, by sending an email to Sally and/or Paxie accompanied by a letter of support from your GGroup  (which can come later). It is a good idea to pass this role around the Region, thus increasing our  involvement and connection.

Film: Sweet Dreams

At our local Film Festival last month, we screened a tremendous film about a women’s drumming troupe in Rwanda. Check out “Sweet Dreams” made in 2012.

Sally   250 337-8328

African Grandmothers’ Stories: why we take action in Oceanside

By supporting the grandmothers you are supporting the orphans who are living with us. As a grandmother, I will make sure that before I sleep, everyone has eaten, and everyone has actually been taken care of. All of them.

The declaration above from Thulisile Dladla, Swaziland, was only a part of her report on what life is like for the grandmothers of subSaharan Africa who are given support by the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  The Tribunal in Vancouver in September gave a forum for six grandmothers to tell their stories.  Their stories, along with the resolutions toward action of the panel of judges, have just been circulated in a special Fall 2013 edition of the Grassroots newsletter, available online.  (Click here.) The newsletter makes fascinating and moving reading, and it reminds us of why our fundraising in Oceanside, far removed from the lives of the African grandmothers, is truly worthwhile.


From the summary of the Tribunal

Friends, Judges, and Grandmothers: We have heard your voices and I know all of us feel the searing sting of injustice, the agony of loss, and the profound determination, strength and love that you have brought to meet the ravages of AIDS in your families and communities. The tenacity and intelligence of your responses to the scourge of AIDS are breathtaking, and we could not be prouder in this moment to stand here with you as witnesses and passionate allies in the struggle.