Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign

Helen Pedneault  

August 23, Victoria, BC (ISN) – African grandmothers will join with Vancouver Island grandmothers to share their respective bicycling experiences on September 8 when the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa cycle tour completes its three-day fundraising ride from Campbell River to Victoria.

The event will be held from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. on the lawn of the B.C. Legislature and includes Gettin’ Higher Choir and Wontanara Drum and Dance.

African Grandmothers (800x563)
Photo by Alexis MacDonald

“This is such a special year because we will meet representatives of the African grandmothers we raise money for,” said Christine Scott an organizer of the annual ride. “I know that I will be inspired by the African grandmothers who rely on bikes for such different reasons than we do. I certainly hope that Victorians of all walks of life will join us for this emotional celebration.”

In addition to the arriving cyclists a contingent of up-island grandmother groups, who contribute to the cycle tour by preparing meals and refreshments for the riders at each stop along the three-day route, will be recognized and celebrated.

“The Island grannies are such a vital part of what we do. I’m so glad these wonderful grannies who nurture, cheer and warmly encourage us along the way will be honoured in Victoria,” said cyclist Marshia Roberge. “It is wonderful that everyone who contributes to the ride will have the chance to meet the African grandmothers.”

Thirty grandmothers, who come from Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Lower Mainland, will cover the 275-kilometre distance in three days of hard cycling. They put themselves through this arduous challenge in order to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation to forward to AIDS-affected African grandmothers. In the six previous annual rides, the cyclists have raised almost $300,000; this year they are hoping to bring the seven-year total to over $350,000.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation currently provides funding for over 300 community organizations in 15 Sub-Saharan African countries. There is truly a groundswell of Canadian grandmother power across this country for the African grandmothers who are holding together whole communities and demonstrating courage and energy in extreme conditions. There are nearly 15 million children orphaned by AIDS in Africa and in some African countries, half of the many millions of orphans live in grandmother-headed households. Canadian grandmothers coast to coast have contributed more than $16,500,000 to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign in only six years.

To learn more about the cycling fundraiser, the welcome home event or to donate to the cyclists please visit Contact Christine Scott or Helen Pedneault for further details on the event.

Stephebn Lewis Foundation