The Trekkers

Ammas for GrammasAylmer GogosGorgeous Grannies and FriendsGrammas to Ambuyas Grands and FriendsOne World GranniesPetawawa and Area GranniesUnitarian GoGos

Ammas for Grammas

The Ammas for Grammas group was started in 2010 by the late Peggy Cumming who, having taught in Africa was very aware of the needs of our African grandmothers and who shared this strong commitment with a group of women – friends and colleagues who came together to form this grandmother group. Over the years, the Ammas have participated in a variety of fundraising events, dinners and sales.

A smaller group now, the Ammas have recently been primarily focused on two annual in-person sales events – the Great Glebe Garage Sale and the GRAND Market but are currently supportive of various regional grandmother fundraising initiatives.

Ammas for Grammas at Great Glebe Garage Sale

Ammas for Grammas at the GRAND Market

Aylmer Gogos

The Aylmer Gogos have been part of the Grandmothers Campaign since 2007.  While we are a small group, we have loads of pizazz!  We love having fun while organizing whatever needs doing to raise awareness and funds for African grandmothers who continue to inspire us with their unwavering care for the orphans in their charge affected by HIV and AIDS.  We have raised approx. $43,000 by hosting tea benefits, dinners, garage, plant, and craft sales and have joined regional fundraisers and Stride to Turn the Tide.  While organizing our events, learning and living in solidarity with our African and Canadian peers, we always make sure to have a good time together! 

Aylmer Gogos at the GRAND Market

Gorgeous Grannies and Friends

The Gorgeous Grannies & Friends draw their membership from the southern villages of the City of Ottawa and the Kemptville area. The group was developed in 2010 by a group of neighbours who organized themselves to sell Kazuri jewellery and host dinners to raise funds for the SLF. Since 2012 the main fundraiser has been the Spring Plant Sale which has included an extensive Bake Sale in recent years. We are always grateful to members of the community who so willingly help with this sale.

Since 2015, the amazing crafting skills of our present membership have resulted in an annual Fall craft sale, most recently piggybacking on a local church Bazaar. Participation in the Grandmarket and marketing help from a local Osgoode charity shop, Country Creations, have proved to be very successful. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group has transferred its skills to online plant and craft sales for its main sources of income. I am so proud to be a member of this group of vibrant, talented and enthusiastic women, raising funds to support Grandmothers and communities in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Gorgeous Grannies plant sale

Gorgeous Grannies at the GRAND Market

Grammas to Ambuyas

 Grammas to Ambuyas is celebrating 14 years with the Grandmothers Campaign. Many of our roughly 20 members live in the Glebe. Most have joined because of our inclusive, can-do spirit. Our Zambian member, Madryn Zulu, helped us find our unique name which means we are connecting “Grammas to Grammas.” We like working with other groups and we rarely meet a fundraising idea we don’t want to explore.

Fundraising has covered a lot of territory! We have sold hand-crafted items, Zambian honey, soaps, cookbooks, face shields and, most recently a massive amount of cheese from the Abbey at St. Benoit du Lac. Probably the most ambitious sale was the production of Dancing Kites, a CD featuring music for children by Canadian artists. Over the years the group has hosted or participated in an equally varied number of events: cocktail parties at Stoneface Dollies; African lunches; dinners at the Green Door Restaurant; an African fashion show; Big Soul Project concerts; an afternoon of gardening with Ed Lawrence; Ten Thousand Village shopping nights; the Great Glebe Garage Sale; Grannyfest marketplaces and, of course, the Grand Market.

As part of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, Grammas to Ambuyas members have long appreciated the solidarity with our African, as well as Canadian, sisters. The bonus has been the bonds of friendship with each other which continue to flourish.

Grands and Friends

Grands and Friends was started by Patti Koeslag in 2006 following her attendance at the grandmothers gathering in Toronto. Over the years the initial small group of women grew to about 30 but with the ebb and flow of other commitments, our present group numbers 16. For several years some of our members were active in the youth outreach area doing many  schools presentations. Our fundraisers have included Scrabble tournaments, concerts, craft fair lunch cafés, Kazuri jewellery sales, participation in the Grand Market, an author event and a dessert party. We also joined the Stride to Turn the Tide on Parliament Hill and hosted the GranAfrican Caravan in 2017.

One World Grannies

In 2006, two of our members participated in the Toronto Gathering where the Stephen Lewis Foundation introduced 100 Canadian grandmothers to 200 African grandmothers. After learning of the grief and responsibilities the African grandmothers were facing, they knew that doing nothing was not an option and quickly founded One World Grannies. Since then, we have grown to 42 members who fundraise, take part in advocacy activities for African grandmothers through the Grandmothers Advocacy Network, and collaborate with other grandmother groups in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Our signature fundraisers have been the annual fall GRAND Market held at Lansdowne Park and summer Stories in the Garden. This year, the One World Challenge is a replacement for our lost fundraisers and those of other gran groups in our region.

Petawawa and area Grannies

The Petawawa and area Grannies were founded in 2008 by Jean Ostrom after hearing a speaker in Deep River.

Our group has evolved over the years. We are an assortment of women from Pembroke, Petawawa and the surrounding area, of various ages and backgrounds, some grandparents, grand others, who manage to cajole our spouses to help on days of the events.

Our early fundraisers selling were baked goods, handmade cards, glass birds, and organizing golf tournaments and scrabble tournaments. For several years we sold Pashminas. Our most successful single fundraiser is the book Grandmother’s Necklace which was envisioned, edited and published by Patricia Elford. It raised over $19,000.

We are known throughout Renfrew county for our African dinners and GranAfrican apple themed teas. Last year we managed to make some money by selling pre ordered apple pies.

Several members of our group have been active in attending activities in the Ottawa region and we also attended the GranAfrican event in Toronto.

We are joining the One World Grannies fundraiser as we enjoyed being part of the Stride walk last year to support African grandmothers.

Petawawa Grannies first African dinner, 2013

Unitarian GoGos

Unitarian GoGos began soon after the International AIDS conference in Toronto when the SLF brought 100 African and 200 Canadian women together.  In January 2007, we began having monthly daytime meetings at First Unitarian Congregation in West Ottawa.  Everyone was welcome.  Our membership has been between about 15 and 30 women with support from many other people, especially for our fundraising events, which include an annual spring Plant Sale, bake sales, participating in The Grand Market, and for many years a Dinner for Africa with live music.  We continue to meet monthly via Zoom and to welcome new members. We have a Garden Plant Sale planned for May 2021 and a number of our members are participating in the One World Challenge.

Total distance: 10, 174 km

Trekked: 10,187 km

Funds raised: $52,361

Countries visited:

Ethiopia
Kenya
Uganda
Rwanda

Congo
Tanzania
Malawi
Zambia
Namibia
Botswana
Zimbabwe
Mozambique
Eswatini
Lesotho
South Africa