Granny Bulletin: August 2018

Granny Bulletin: August 2018
Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.
In this Granny Bulletin:
1. SLF Director of Policy, Lee Waldorf, reports back from the International AIDS Conference
2. Coming Soon! August 14th Facebook Live Conversation with Lee Waldorf
3. Thank you for Striding
4. Save the Dates: Fall Grandmothers Gatherings
5. New to a Grandmothers Group or the Grandmothers Campaign? Join our new Member Welcome & Information Calls
6. Fundraising Corner: Updates to the Fundraiser Catalogue
7. We’ve moved!

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

In all the work we do through the Grandmothers Campaign whether it’s your organizing and fundraising creativity and savvy at local levels, or what we do collectively across the Campaign, amplifying the voices of African grandmothers, women leaders and grassroots experts is always central to our work.

In July, at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, those voices, the concerns of grandmothers and youth, in particular and the awe-inspiring work of community-based organizations were critically, the focus of the discussions happening within the international forum.

We’re excited to share with you some insights from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Director of Policy, Lee Waldorf, who attended the conference. Over the coming months, we’ll be sharing more with you about the resilience of African grandmothers as they advocate for their human rights and how youth are emerging as key leaders in their communities and organizations. We’ll also be trying new ways of sharing updates from, and about, our community-based partners, with opportunities to hear directly from these leaders. We’re certain you’ll find these conversations interesting, and look forward to your feedback!

The Grandmothers Campaign Team – Sarah, Megan, Winnie, Elisabeth, Asmita

1. SLF Director of Policy, Lee Waldorf, reports back from the International AIDS Conference
Hi everyone!

I attended the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam in July, and thought you’d appreciate a few highlights from the proceedings.

This global conference happens every two years – the last one was in South Africa, where the SLF held the grandmothers’ gathering, and led the grandmothers’ march to the conference steps! This time we had a small presence (me) and the mission was just to get a sense of what the rest of the world is thinking right now, and to move ahead a few SLF initiatives relating to funding for community-based organizations (CBOs).

The AIDS conference is a forum for researchers, scientists and programmers from all over the world to share their newest findings on how best to tackle the pandemic. I have to admit that most of the scientific presentations went way over my head, but I can let you know what the sociologists and programmers were talking about.

Much more attention was paid to women and youth, compared to previous conferences. This is great, as we all had been demanding more air-time for their issues! People are finally taking the high levels of new HIV infections among young women and teenage girls in sub-Saharan Africa much more seriously, and sharing practical programming insights about how to bring these levels down. Without a doubt, this is the most distressing current trend in the course of the pandemic. LGBTQ issues were also a big focus for discussion, especially because of the criminal laws adopted in recent years that are making life so dangerous and difficult for LGBTQ communities in a number of African countries.

Community-based interventions were the focus of many of the panels and presentations, which was also a refreshing, much needed change from past conferences. There was a lot of evidence tabled about the effectiveness of the approaches our CBO partners use, such as peer support groups, economic empowerment, and awareness raising about gender-based violence. While the grandmothers are still rarely mentioned by name, there were a couple of new studies presented demonstrating the huge benefit that family or “intergenerational” support has for the health and well-being of adolescents and children.

People are starting to wake up to the fact that the funding world has to change how it does business to better support community-based organizations. The Funders Concerned about AIDS (FCAA) launched a report that the SLF has been very closely involved with. It looks at ways in which private philanthropies can change their funding procedures to make money much more easily available to community-based groups. The FCAA is the umbrella group for all the private charities in North America that provide funding for HIV&AIDS work – including the biggies – so the fact that they have come strongly on board in the effort to improve CBO funding is very encouraging indeed.

UNAIDS’ troubles continue, because of its chronic failure to get to grips with its sexual harassment problem. Executive Director Michel Sidibé’s opening remarks at the start of the conference were interrupted by angry protesters. And the Lancet Commission report that was issued at the conference was pretty blunt for such a sober, august publication: “UNAIDS has made an exceptionally important contribution to the AIDS response. But it is now mired in a leadership controversy and an investigation into its workplace culture. On the grounds that no crisis should be wasted, now is a good time to reconsider the purpose of UNAIDS.”

Researchers and CBOs came together for a very interesting discussion about how to improve the evidence for community-based work (with an eye to ultimately increasing their funding). At that meeting I met some Australian academics who are thinking about this challenge in a very similar way to the SLF, and we had a long discussion about the IAF – our impact assessment framework. They’re very interested indeed, and want to work with us to help get the information we’ve been consolidating about the remarkable long term impact of the CBOs’ work out into the world. We’ll have more that we can share with you about this joint venture in the fall.

The Grandmothers Campaign team and I will be holding a Facebook discussion about the AIDS conference later this month. If this note has sparked your interest and you want to hear more, please do join us!

Warmly, Lee
Lee Waldorf, SLF Director of Policy

2. Coming Soon! August 14th Facebook Live Conversation with Lee Waldorf

On Tuesday, August 14th at 2pm EST, Lee Waldorf will share her insights and report back from the International AIDS Conference. We’ll broadcast the conversation live to the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page. Tune in and ask your questions by leaving a comment below the live video. If you’re unable to watch live, you’ll be able to watch the full recording at any time on the Grandmothers Campaign Facebook page.

3. Thank you for Striding

Earlier this summer (and earlier for virtual walkers!), 25 grandmothers groups across Canada walked together in communities or virtually, counting their steps each day to stride in solidarity with the indomitable grandmothers in Africa.

Together, grandmothers groups and your friends, family and supporters raised over $147,000! That’s a combined total of $2.2 million raised since Stride’s inception in 2010.

4. Save the Dates: Fall Grandmothers Gatherings
Local organizing committees are busy across Canada planning Regional Fall Gatherings. These gatherings are opportunities for members across the Campaign to connect, share, and learn from one another and always results in laughter, lessons learned, and renewed regional energy!

Mark these dates on your calendar if you are a grandmothers group member in the following communities:

September 14-15: BC Interior Gathering in Kamloops
September 29: Northern Alberta Gathering in Edmonton
September 29: Ontario South West Gathering in Ancaster
October 12-13: Atlantic Gathering in Dartmouth
October 20: Manitoba Gathering in Winnipeg

Check out the Regional Gatherings page on the Grandmothers Campaign website for more details.

5. New to a Grandmothers Group or the Grandmothers Campaign? Join our new Member Welcome & Information Calls

Have you recently joined a grandmothers group? Or have you been in the Campaign some time?

It’s often grandchildren, a commitment to human rights, feelings of solidarity and sisterhood, and the draw to try something new that brings interested individuals to the Grandmothers Campaign. Whatever the reason you’ve joined, you’re interested in joining, or are encouraging more friends to join, we can’t wait to connect with you and help support your work!

Starting in September on the third Monday of every month. The Grandmothers Campaign Team here at the Stephen Lewis Foundation will host conference calls to welcome you (or a friend of yours who is curious!) to the Campaign. We’ll speak to a range of topics including, how to join a group and exciting news about the Campaign, and we’ll take questions at the end.

The next (and first!) welcome call will be on Monday, September 17th at 12:30pm EST. If you would like to participate or have any questions, contact us directly at 1-888-203-9990 ext 0 or email

6. Fundraising Corner: Updates to the Grandmothers Campaign Fundraiser Catalogue
Many grandmothers groups have shared and contributed your most inspiring, creative and successful fundraising ideas to the Grandmothers Campaign Fundraising Catalogue. This catalogue was recently updated and is available on the Grandmothers Campaign website in the Members Only section. This resource honours grandmothers groups ingenuity and aims to inspire new ideas. Browse the catalogue to learn all about the Glacier Grannies’ Car Boot Sale (page 27), GrammaLink – Africa’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese Lunch (page 18), the new beeswax wraps that the Dartmouth Grannies make and sell (page 37), and so much more!

If your group would like to contribute, please download and submit this Fundraiser Description Form and email it to your Grandmothers Campaign Officer or contact us at

7. We’ve Moved
The Stephen Lewis Foundation moved offices earlier this summer (same building, new suite). Please update your address books and contacts with our new mailing address.

Suite 100-260 Spadina Ave. Toronto, Ontario M5T 2E4
Phone: 416-533-9292/ 1-888-203-9990
Fax: 416-850-4910

News to Share from Carol Lundine

Many of our original members will remember Graham. When Kathy Grand and I first started the Oceanside group, Graham came several times to help out. He will be missed. We wish him all the very best.
Carol Lundine

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

We have some news to share from the Grandmothers Campaign. Below please see notes from Graham followed by Ilana. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with us.


Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers,

In my twelve years at the Stephen Lewis Foundation, I have started countless Granny Bulletins, letters and emails to you in the same fashion, Dearest Grandmothers and Grandothers. Each time, I hoped that every word I wrote, no matter what the topic, conveyed to you the Foundation’s deepest respect, enthusiasm, gratitude, solidarity, admiration, and commitment to your efforts.

Today, I am writing to you with some personal news. I have made the difficult decision to leave the Foundation. I’m confident it’s the right one, but as you can imagine, far from easy. Happily, it is “only” difficult because of the joys of working to support the brilliant efforts of our partners in Africa; of working in a principled, inclusive, feminist organization alongside exceptional colleagues; and of walking alongside all of you as you show the world that meaningful solidarity with African grandmothers and communities is not only possible, but essential and a matter of global urgency.

I considered composing this note as my Ode to Grandmothers, but I know myself well enough to recognize that my ode could surely turn into a grand opus. If you’ll indulge me then, I’d like to say only a few more words about the Campaign and our shared dedication to African grandmothers, from a personal perspective. I’ll try not to get too maudlin!

Over the years, I have had the great privilege of working directly with many of you – meeting either in person, or over the telephone (thanks to those in Australia and the UK who took calls at every hour of the night!). I’ve traveled to groups in nearly every city, town, and four corners in Canada to meet with you, attend your wildly successful events, and in many cases, accept the offer of a bed and your warm hospitality for a night. Those visits were highlights of my time at the Foundation, and many of my most vivid memories feature coffee and kitchen tables. I hope that through our conversations, you had your most pressing questions answered and felt closer to the Foundation and the work we share.

You told me so many stories and I took each as a life lesson: your connection to African grandmothers because you just could not imagine looking after your own beloved grandchildren, full-time and with few resources. Your commitment to feminism, your communities, your churches and mosques and synagogues, and a host of other shared and unique passions. Your, often unexpected, new friendships and caring for one another, sometimes in your hardest moments. And of course, your joy at disrupting stereotypes about older women!

For every event, every husband or partner who “volunteered” to move boxes and tables, every cook and crafter and speaker, every flash mob, Stride and Ride, and every role you played in your group or region, THANK YOU. Thank you for the calls and emails and meaningful conversations, and the incredible example you set. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your movement.

Sometimes, in speaking at your events (with a little hesitation at sounding inauthentic – but not enough to stop me!), I have suggested that the Grandmothers Campaign has some kind of magic in it. I think now that the magic I always referred to is more easily explained than I thought. And it can be captured by one of the original inspirations for the Campaign, although I have changed one word:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed WOMEN can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

I will always support and champion your efforts. This movement, your movement, is strong and dynamic. And it is not so small anymore.

Warmest as always,

Dear Grandmothers,

I am writing today, because I wanted to send something out with Graham’s announcement, that shared what I am sure are your best best best wishes, and deep appreciation for all that Graham has contributed to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, and to the SLF as a whole, over many dedicated, loving, expansive and meaningful years of work with us. It is always hard when someone so deeply tied to our community and to the cause moves on… but it is also a moment to celebrate the outstanding contribution Graham has made over 12 years… 12 years!! – to honour his devotion to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, to each and every group, to the growth of the Campaign and to the African grandmothers themselves.

I know you will all join me in giving Graham much love and well wishes to warm and support him as he moves on to the next chapter of his professional life. I know that Graham and I both feel reassured by the fact that the team is being led by Sarah Dopp, who is just stupendous, and sustained by the whole excellent team…. Megan and Asmita, Elizabeth working on Stride and Lara, and soon we will have another Grandmothers Campaign liaison to join the team in support of your critical and ongoing endeavours!

We are all united by the importance of this work, and I know Graham will continue to find ways to stand with all of us in solidarity, because as Graham has always said, this social justice struggle is not something that one leaves behind. I very much look forward to what comes next for Graham and his beautiful family!

Ilana Landsberg-Lewis

An Afternoon of Wit and Wisdom with Jack Knox

Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers are pleased to host Jack Knox “award losing” columnist with the Victoria Times Colonist. Once nominated for the prestigious Stephen Leacock Award for humour, Jack’s perspective of human behaviour and daily dilemmas leaves audiences both laughing and moved. He is the author of several popular books including; Hard Knox, Opportunity Knox, On The Rocks, and Islanders I Will Never Forget.

Please click on  the following Press Release  link for more information.

Jack Knox Press Release

Update from Last Tuesday’s Meeting

Many thanks to everyone who attended Tuesday’s meeting. There was great enthusiasm for all of our upcoming projects and events.

We have all the volunteers we need for St Mark’s Fair and the Wellness Fair. Also, we have a good group of people to represent Oceanside Grandmothers in the July 1 parade. There is room for many more. Please know that you do not have to walk the entire parade route. You can start with us at 10AM on Shelly Rd (be there by 9:45) or you could jump in along the parade route wherever you like. We would love to see a large number of members. It’s all about awareness raising. For more information regarding the parade, contact Ann Tardiff, 250-248-1210.

Tickets are available for our next presenter in our speakers series. Jack Knox, a Steven Leacock nominee for humor will be at the Civic Centre in Qualicum, September 12 at 1:00PM. Tickets are $15. Please contact Carol at 250-927-6154. Coffee and goodies will be served.

Meeting Agenda, Tuesday, June 19, 2018

9:30-10:00AM: Social Time

Welcome and New Members: Carolyn Dodd/Judi Sherin

Financial: Ruth Epp

Upcoming events:

July 1 Parade: Ann Tardiff

St Mark’s Fair: July 28th Ann

Projects: Totes and bowls, Pam Vest

Health and Wellness Fair Civic Centre QB: July 28th, Carol Lundine

Speakers Series: Jack Knox, Civic Centre QB, September 12th Ann/Carol

Knitting/Publicity: Colleen Lucas


Note: There will be sign up sheets available for all events at the June 19th meeting. If you cannot make the meeting but would like to volunteer for an event please contact the coordinator listed on this agenda.

If you would like a copy of the agenda, please print one. Thank you!

Call for Agenda Items

Hi Everyone:

If you have an agenda item for the June 19th meeting, could you please send it to me as soon as possible?  I will be away part of next week and would like to have the agenda posted before I go.

Many thanks

Carol Lundine

send agenda items to:



Workshop Invitation

Hi everyone,

If you are interested in learning how to make these beautiful pieces, please let me know and I will organize a workshop. My sister in law will be the instructor. They would make a wonderful addition to our inventory for the Extravaganza. Dates tentatively are set for June 4 or 6 th in the afternoon so if you could let me know what day works best for you.
Carol Lundine