Dear Family and Friends:
In September, I will once again be participating in the GRANDMOTHERS CYCLE TOUR. I will be joining 25 other women in this three day bicycle ride from Campbell River to Victoria -- a total of 280 kilometers. Our goal is to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundations' Grandmother to Grandmother campaign which supports grandmothers in sub-Sahara Africa who have been left with the daunting task of raising their grandchildren, having lost their own children to HIV/AIDS.
This will be my fourth year participating in this fundraiser. It is sometimes easy for us in the Western World to become complacent about the HIV crisis and to assume that the 'problem' has been 'solved'. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the grandmothers' need for our assistance remains. In 2014, when we were greeted at the legislative grounds, among those to greet us was a delegation of African grandmothers. One of the grandmothers spoke and left us with these haunting words- "DO NOT GET TIRED!" She pleaded with us not to forget them and their struggles.
And so we continue to ride. We cycling grandmothers are fortunate in that we have a choice as to whether or not we will commit our time and energy to this cause. We are the privileged. For the grandmothers in Africa there is no choice. No matter how tired or discouraged they become, they MUST continue... there is no one else to look after their grandchildren.
I have no qualms in supporting the Stephen Lewis Foundation and this campaign. This is a grassroots initiative in which grandmothers are provided with support for their educational, social, nutritional and healthcare needs. Assistance in setting up income-generating businesses is also a vital component of the program.
I ride in the hope that my grandchildren and great grandchildren may some day see a world free of HIV/AIDS. I ride, too, in memory of Joel -- forever in our hearts.
Thank you for your consideration and support.
To make a donation, please click on the 'Donate Now' button above the thermometer. It’s simple, fast and totally secure and will make such a difference to the grandmothers of Africa and the children in their care. Donations of $20 or over will receive a task receipt.