Grandmothers provide aid

aiding-grandmothersWORLD AIDS DAY DECEMBER 1st

Oliver Grandmothers for Africa would like, more than anything, to be able to announce that the AIDS pandemic is over. Four years ago optimism was high that AIDS was in retreat and could ultimately be eradicated. Sadly, although the rate of infection did drop for a number of years it has stabilized with about 2 million new cases a year. The death toll has also stabilized at about 1.5 million a year.

Two-thirds of all HIV positive people are in Africa with an even higher proportion of AIDS deaths there. So why? One of the reasons is poverty. Yes, the big pharmaceutical companies have drugs that can make HIV positive status a lifelong issue but not a death sentence. Unfortunately, the drugs are so expensive that most Africans can’t afford them. So they die.

For Oliver Grandmothers for Africa this means continuing to work hard with all the other Grandmother groups to support our African counterparts through the Stephen Lewis Foundation. African grandmothers are the hope of the children. They love them, care for them, find ways to get education for them, encourage the young girls to break the cycle of poverty by staying in school, find daily food and sustain self help associations of people living with HIV and AIDS. They do it often with tears in their eyes but smiles on their faces and a determination almost unknown in this part of the world.

Fall Frenzy, the last local fundraiser here, saw Medici’s packed with people buying some beautiful hand crafted products. Some items disappeared so fast, the Oliver Grandmothers gathered for a sewing session on Nov. 3rd to replenish the supply.

They will be on sale in the lobby of Venables Theatre on December 7th when Medici’s
presents “A Quartette Christmas”. Come and have a look. Make your Christmas gifts support a good cause and if you want to join us, just say the word. Our motto is ‘Do what you can, when you can’ and we try and making the doing fun!

Here is a work party of the Oliver Grandmothers for Africa hard at work creating bowl buddies for future sales to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Grandmothers here are dedicated to support grandmothers in Africa raising children orphaned by AIDS. From left to right:

Eunice Marriott, Ruth McLarty, Helen Foreman, Christina Ruddiman