Grandmothers building “bridges”

Oliver Grandmothers for Africa, Marion Boyd and Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen, do some serious counting at the windup of a hugely successful fund raising Bridge Tournament on February 21st for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  The event drew a good crowd to Fairview Golf Club for bridge and lunch.  Fairview staff, Jesse and Yvonne proved their friendly organizational skills and were much appreciated especially by Grannies’ convenor, Leslie Marriott.  Some $1400 was raised for the ongoing work in Africa where grandmothers here generate funds for grass roots programs to support and assist African grandmothers.  Those tireless women are nurturing a new generation of kids often orphaned and certainly impacted by the AIDS pandemic.

In Canada the work of Grandmothers for Africa has expanded to include a valuable advocacy role.  Few people here, for example, are aware that a majority of primary schools, even government sponsored ones in many parts of Africa, require school fees which exclude little children from poor families from basic education.  Canadian Grandmothers across this country have taken the initiative to see this changes.   Their sustained efforts and political will is making a difference.   Recently Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada will double its pledge to the Global Partnership for Education to $180 million over 3 years.  This result, at a time of international budget restraint, is heartening.

Canada also led the way at the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Conference in Senegal early in February.  Goals were achieved and the biggest source of education financing came from developing countries themselves stepping up to the plate.  Together we can make a difference.

If you want to join us, the local Grandmothers group meets the first Thursday of every month at 1 pm at the Oliver United Church.   Come and be welcomed.  We have fun, create new friendships and do some good in the world.   Our motto:  “Do what you can, when you can.”

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