Building a “bridge” to fight AIDS



On Wednesday, February 18, the Oliver Grandmothers for Africa group is sponsoring a Bridge Tournament at Fairview Mountain Golf Club from 10 am – 2:30 pm.   A light lunch (sandwiches/dessert/tea/coffee) is included in the $15 registration fee.   You and your partner can register online at bridgesocialnews @  or by calling Leslie at 250 498 2282.    Prizes will be awarded and some African merchandise will be on sale.  All proceeds from this event go to the Steven Lewis Foundation to support ongoing projects in Africa providing services for AIDS orphans and the grandmothers who care for them.

Sadly, the international community is losing interest in the AIDS pandemic as if it is over.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Last year alone there were 2 ½ million new HIV infections.  In 2015 there will still be 35 million people living with the virus in Africa.  Children, orphaned as a result of parents dying of AIDS, have fallen off the map of international concern.  There are 17 million of them.  They need care. The Oliver Grandmothers are proud to play their small part in that care.  Teamed with 240 other Grandmothers groups across Canada it is possible to make a real difference.  The Grandmothers Campaign is a movement that has never been seen before…and it’s not over yet!

Grassroots groups in Africa work with tenacity, insight and tenderness to resurrect the lives of orphaned children and to ensure that they grow with a sense of belonging, opportunity and loving support.  They speak to the child’s life as a whole by providing long term counselling that reflects the changing needs as children grow from toddlers to teens:  getting them into and keeping them in school, addressing the increased vulnerabilities faced by girls, and providing continuous education and support for prevention and management of HIV infection.

Underlying all their work is the understanding that with the loss of so many family members, any remaining family structures must be protected so siblings can stay together and family homes remain intact.  Grandmothers are often at the center of all these community-based interventions.  They know that grandmothers here and around the world are organizing to stand with them in solidarity and support as they raise a whole generation of children prepared for the future and its challenges.

If you want to help, come and have some fun at the Bridge Tournament fund raiser.   If you want to join the local group contact Susanne James, President, at 250 498 4838.