Grandmother’s Necklace Anthology Book Launch

9781554524624-usGrandmothers to Grandmothers’ Anthology launch in Toronto

A member of my Life Writers Ink writing group, Ruth Zaryski Jackson, contributed two poems to an anthology, Grandmothers’ Necklace, compiled by Patricia Anne Elford and published by Epic Press. All profits for the publication go to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign started in Africa and sponsored by the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

I attended the Grandmothers to Grandmothers fundraising concert at the Toronto Bloor Street United Church, April 24, 2011, sponsored by the Togogo Grannies of Bloor Street United, and the Old Orchard Blossoms of St. Timothy’s Anglican Church.

In 2006, Stephen Lewis, Canada’s Special Envoy for HIV/Aids, informed Canadians of the heartbreaking African HIV epidemic that leaves impoverished grandmothers responsible for raising grandchildren after their own children die of AIDS. With little income, these brave women open their hearts and homes to staggering numbers of bewildered orphans, doing their best to offer family life, often with little ability to educate or improve the prospects for children facing a harsh world.

In March 2006, on the eve of International Women’s Day, the foundation launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign to mobilize support from Canadian Grandmothers. At the time, there were six groups of Canadian Grandmothers who had chosen to fundraise and send proceeds to the foundation to help support their peers in Africa. Today, there are over 200 groups and the campaign has raised over $7 million.

Grassroots humanity at its best.

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