Sammara Wallace (l) meeting her African grandmother counterparts in Swaziland in 2010. Photo by Ricki Horowitz/SLF

Two Hamilton area grandmothers who have participated in a unique African Aids project will be welcomed at the Ancaster Horticultural Society meeting two special Tuesday May 15th, at the Ancaster Old Town Hall on Wilson St., Gail Rappolt and Sammara Wallace will share their experiences gained while in Africa and describe how they provide hope and support to African grandmothers in “Blooms for Africa – Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign”. The Blooms for Africa – Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign was launched on March 7, 2006. The first international Grandmothers’ Gathering took place in August of that year when, with the support of Aeroplan, the Stephen Lewis Foundation brought 100 grandmothers from sub-Saharan Africa to meet with 200 Canadian grandmothers on the eve of the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto. Today the Campaign boasts hundreds of groups across the country and more than $13.5 million raised.

 

Both women have been members of Blooms for Africa, one of 4 Greater Hamilton Area Grandmothers to Grandmothers groups, since its inception in 2006 and they have continued their work educating the public as speakers raising awareness of the plight of African Grandmothers.

 

A refreshment social begins at 7:30 pm followed by the meeting at 8:00pm.

 

The Blooms for Africa – Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign was launched on March 7, 2006. The first international Grandmothers’ Gathering took place in August of that year when, with the support of Aeroplan, the Stephen Lewis Foundation brought 100 grandmothers from sub-Saharan Africa to meet with 200 Canadian grandmothers on the eve of the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto. Today the Campaign boasts hundreds of groups across the country and more than $13.5 million raised.

 

Both women have been members of Blooms for Africa, one of 4 Greater Hamilton Area Grandmothers to Grandmothers groups, since its inception in 2006 and they have continued their work educating the public as speakers raising awareness of the plight of African Grandmothers.

 

Sammara Wallace was selected to join a delegation of more than 40 Canadian grandmothers heading to Swaziland in May of 2010. She attended the first international African grandmothers’ gathering on African soil in order to help tackle the great challenges of raising grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. On May 8, she joined in a march of solidarity that attracted thousands of African Grandmothers and their families. Sammara has a long history of working as an advocate for women’s issues locally through her career as a nurse and an educator.

 

Gail Rappolt is a retired educator who is currently involved in a number of volunteer activities in the Hamilton area, is active in Culture of Peace Hamilton, the United Nations Association in Canada Hamilton Branch and acts as volunteer coordinator for the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton. Gail agreed to include her garden on the first Hamilton Blooms for Africa Garden Tour, a fundraiser for the Foundation.

 

A refreshment social begins at 7:30 pm followed by the meeting at 8:00pm.

 

For more information contact Christine DeMarco at 905-648-5134.

 

The Grandmothers are  getting support from across the Bay Area.A  Waterdown High School class will host a community Gross National Happiness BarBeque in partnership with grandmothers of steel and the Toronto-Dominion Bank WEDNESDAY, MAY 30th. The event starts at 4:00pm (in conjunction with a rugby match played by the WDHS Boys’ Rugby Club) May 30th. A $15 ticket ($50 for a family of 4) includes all local foods: quartered chicken, side salads, corn bread, pies, apple cider, other beverages). Foods are being prepared and provided by a variety of local businesses and service groups who will have display tables at the event. For more information www.tidridge.com

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