African grandmothers walk for survival every day – to fetch water, take goods to market, collect medicine and perform other vital daily tasks. In solidarity with them, we have joined the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Virtual Stride to Turn the Tide, and are virtually “walking across sub-Saharan Africa.” As we cannot all walk together, we are striding independently each day from June 1 to 30. We are collecting pledges, with all funds going to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Foundation.

As we walk, or do another activity, we are combining our daily totals and recording the distance covered on a map of Africa. Our route passes through communities where the Foundation’s Grandmothers Campaign partners with a community-led organization. As we go, we are tracking our progress on our website, www.glaciergrannies.org., and learning more about the projects in the neighbourhoods that we visit.

Please help us exceed our fund raising goal! You can provide financial encouragement for us as we stride, bicycle, paddle, and even garden our way across Africa. For more information about the Stride, to make a pledge, or to join our team, go to our website. You can donate to the Glacier Grannies team, or to a specific member by clicking on their name.

Check our website or Facebook (www.facebook.com/glaciergrannies) regularly for updates on our progress, and information about the community-based organizations that we pass, each of which is locally developed, organized and run.

We also have a limited supply of colourful, hand-made masks, available for a suggested donation of $10. Please send us a message through the Contact Us link on our website for information on how to choose and purchase your mask. .Money raised from the sale of masks will also benefit the community-based organizations supported by the Grandmothers Campaign.

The Foundation tells us that “as COVID-19 spreads across sub-Saharan Africa, the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s community-based partners are best placed to protect and support the most vulnerable populations. People affected by HIV and AIDS are particularly at risk, and must not disproportionately suffer the impacts of COVID- 19”. To learn more, visit www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/covid-19-appeal.

Virginia Philipson

The Glacier Grannies