Greater Trail grandmothers raising funds for African kids

Neighborhood Grans to Grans is raising money for African children who lost their parents from HIV/AIDS.

Neighborhood Grans to Grans is small organization with a big heart.

The Greater Trail-chapter works with other grass roots communities in the region and the Stephen Lewis Foundation to raise money for African communities, its goal is to raise money for children who lost their parents from HIV/AIDS.

Neighborhood Grans to Grans is hosting a Strawberry Tea fundraiser on June 23 between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. in the Rossland Seniors’ Hall admission is $3. Ninety per cent of the financial contributions earned will go to directly to people throughout Africa who need it most.

“I have done volunteer work in a primary health care situation in Ghana in 1988-89,” said Joan McKenzie. “It definitely influenced me to get involved with this (because) the AIDS epidemic there was still in its infancy and we certainly had people dying of AIDS and at that time, it was not an internationally recognized disease. The problem has been growing ever since.”

McKenzie worked in Northern Ghana and witnessed a community filled with vulnerable people and returning to life in Canada was a huge adjustment.

“We have so much and we have no concept of the people there who have so little,” said McKenzie.

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“And yet, they can be so happy. They can sing, they can dance and be tremendously hospitable and share what they have with their neighbors and with visitors.”

According to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, 15 million children have been orphaned by AIDS.

The Neighborhood Grans to Grans aspires to help the whole community understand what the situation is like in Sub-Saharan Africa and how we can help. The Stephen Lewis Foundation launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign in 2006 and it evolved into a group of more than 5,000 women.

The organization has funded more than 300 projects in 15 countries and expects to continue working hard.

For more information about the campaign, visit www.stephenlewisfoundation.ca or stephenlewisfoundation.org/get-involved/grandmothers-campaign.

To contact local volunteers, call McKenzie at 250-368-9509.