Canadian Grandmothers to attend historic African gathering on HIV/AIDS

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - The first-ever African Grandmothers' Gathering takes place on Mother's Day weekend in Manzini, Swaziland - and forty-three Canadian grandmothers will be there, representing thousands of women who form the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Since 2006, the campaign has raised more than seven million dollars to support African grandmothers who are parenting their orphaned grandchildren in the most challenging of circumstances.

The Canadian women will join close to 500 African grandmothers from 12 countries for two days of discussion, then rally with some 2,000 participants - including Stephen Lewis - for a solidarity march to draw attention to the transformative role that grandmothers play in the AIDS pandemic.

They will hear first-hand the needs and aspirations of the African grandmothers. Upon their return to Canada, they will take those messages from coast to coast and use them to raise awareness and funds in support of their African peers.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation supports community-level organizations working to turn the tide of AIDS in Africa by providing support to women, orphaned children, grandmothers and people living with HIV and AIDS.

For further information: Media contact: Barbara Strang, (416) 533-9292, ext. 222