October 30, 2018: Unitarian Grannies in Action; Holiday Market fights Aids pandemic (on November 25).

October 30, 2018: Unitarian Grannies in Action;
Holiday Market fights Aids pandemic (on November 25).

By Shari McGuigan.
[Ed: the print version of this article will appear later.]

Colleen Murray, a long-time resident of West Wellington is a mother, a grandmother, and a member of the Unitarian GoGos. The GoGos are part of the One World Grannies, a group which, through their annual GRAND Market, raises funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers’ Campaign.

And why are these grandmothers fundraising? The “Grandmothers to Grandmothers” program has shown itself, over a period of twelve years, to be a unique and effective way of combating the AIDS pandemic in Africa. The program involves grandmothers, originally in Canada, and now also in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.A., raising funds (over $30 million, since 2006!) to help grandmothers in Africa who are supporting grandchildren affected, or orphaned, by AIDS.

This program takes action to strengthen families, and to build confidence, skills and a route to success for grandchildren whose parents can no longer support them. African grandmothers are feeding, housing, and clothing their grandchildren, putting them through school, creating support groups to manage grief, and delivering comfort and hope.

Important progress has been achieved on HIV/AIDS. Globally, new HIV infections among young children were reduced by half between 2010 and 2016. On the other hand, infections among teens between the ages of 15 and 19 are rising. Two-thirds of those newly-infected persons are girls. The Grandmothers to Grandmothers initiative has put in place programs which speak strongly to African teens about how they can prevent infection, or, if necessary, obtain treatment.

Colleen coordinates the GRAND Market’s Children’s Toys and Books section. Gently used treasures are donated by Grannies and their friends. Colleen ensures that donated items are complete and in nearly new condition. Thus, the GRAND Market is able to offer, at remarkably low prices, a wonderful collection of good quality toys, games and books for babies, toddlers and school age children.

The Grannies want everyone to know that their 4th annual GRAND Market, which started in the Churchill Seniors’ Centre and has outgrown its origins, will take place on Sunday November 25 at Lansdowne Park’s Horticulture Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The GRAND Market will feature a wide variety of home-made and holiday items including baking, crafts, and gifts.

Also featured will be many “gently-used” offerings, including excellent-quality women’s clothing and accessories, children’s toys, books, board games, and art, silver, glassware and other treasures. Visitors can enjoy a coffee, treats or lunch at the Sweet and Savoury Café and perhaps chance a visit to Grandmother Moon, our popular Tarot card reader.

For more information contact One World Grannies’ Val Swinton vswinton2@icloud.com or Peggy Edwards wanderingpeggy@me.com .
Photo Caption: Colleen Murray, of Wellington West, coordinates the GRAND Market’s Children’s Toys and Books section. Photo by Bill Van Iterson.

%d bloggers like this: