GrammaLink-Africa gears up for fundraiser

GrammaLink-Africa is gearing up for the third annual fundraising Scrabble Event Oct. 1 at the Golden Circle. Games get underway at 1:30 p.m.

Funds raised go to support grandmothers in Africa who are struggling to raise youngsters, often orphaned because of AIDS stricken parents, said Faye Hughes, committee member. It’s all part of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, spearheaded by the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Last year, nearly $7,000 was raised for the cause, she said. “It’s steadily grown every year.”

Folks can register for the non-competitive event by contacting Merla at or by calling 403-342-5670. Participants are asked to bring along their pledge sheets and money collected to game day.

All pledges or donations of $20 or more will be issued a tax receipt. Complimentary coffee and cookies will be served, and there will be a silent auction as well.

Organizers say the funds raised go a long way to making a difference in the lives of grandmothers struggling to raise youngsters in a land often wracked with poverty.

GrammaLink — Africa was launched locally a few years back with Shirley Challoner and Dorothy Hryniuk essentially leading the humanitarian charge.

According to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, since the first AIDS diagnosis more than 25 million people have died, leaving millions of children in their wake – as many as 13 million children have been orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

As governments struggle to cope with the impact of the pandemic, it is grandmothers who are shouldering the burden of caring for the next generation; they are burying their adult children and immediately stepping in to raise the orphaned children. It is estimated that 70 to 80% of all those who are ill and dying of AIDS are cared for by older parents or relatives.

“Because of the poverty and the economic situation in Africa, very few people save for old age; the only thing you are saving for old age is your children, so that when you’re old and you don’t have money they will look after you,” says Winstone Zulu, a Zambian AIDS activist.

“Now with AIDS, that has changed because you have the children that have reached 30 (or) 33 years of age, then they die and they leave the children. So you lose your investment, which is your children, who are supposed to look after you afterwards but also they leave you with a burden – their children. So, it’s a double tragedy in many ways.”

Since the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in 2006, it has become a national movement of more than 5,000 grandmothers.

To date, $3 million has been raised and sent to Africa through the Foundation and some 200 grandmother groups have formed across Canada.

Funds are used to provide for grandmothers’ immediate needs – food, transportation, medical care, adequate housing and more – as well as the needs of the orphans in their care.

For more information about GrammaLink – Africa and the scrabble event, call Merla Gibson at 403-342-5670 or email her at, or call Faye Hughes at 403-343-1881 or email her at

Check out

Just Posted

City art gallery to close after 20 years in the business

Lacombe mainstay set to close at the end of April

Central Alberta dancers ‘shimmy’ for a great cause

Shimmy Mob will take place in more than 169 locations all over the world

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

UPDATED: 9 killed, 16 injured after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Toronto police say nine people have died and 16 are injured

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

Localized flooding in Red Deer County

The rapidly melting snow is causing overland flooding in some areas

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

Saskatchewan introduces law to allow control of oil, gas exports

The Prairie province has already said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline

Fake bottom in container nets cocaine, meth: RCMP

Maskwacis RCMP traffic stop leads to trafficking charges

Kinder Morgan bungled pipeline public relations: poll

The survey suggests 58 per cent of Canadians believe the company is to blame for poor perceptions

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Most Read