The art exhibition is in its penultimate venue at Gibsons. To date it has been shown in 12 centres in BC and Alberta raising funds and awareness for African grandmothers. In each venue, the grandmothers groups hosting the show have invited their communities and created special events. Funds raised in the events surrounding the show have now reached +$30,000 and approximately 10,000 viewers have seen this moving exhibition.
The show will be in Gibsons for the month of February at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery and then it comes back to Vancouver. The Vancouver and Richmond grandmothers groups will host it at the Unitarian Church at 49th and Oak St. With an opening reception, craft sale and chocolate tasting, their events should draw a crowd.
Meanwhile committees of Royal City Gogos are hard at work planning the reception, the mechanics of the auction, and the publicity campaign. It's exciting but daunting. We want to maintain the high standard we have set for events, make sure our guests have FUN and make tons of money for African grandmothers. Tickets will go fast! It's a good thing we have online bidding. I've chosen 2-3 pieces I would love to have in my home. I HOPE the bidding doesn't go beyond my budget. Watch this space.
With the birth of a healthy grand daughter I reflect on the differences in the care provided to mother and child. In Canada, the health of the mother and child is monitored from the moment of conception and on through the first year. In Africa, this is not so. 50% of children born HIV positive will die before they are two years old. In countries where an HIV positive mother receives anti-retroviral drugs to prevent vertical transmission, babies may be born healthy but without continued medications for the mother, she will die leaving an orphan child behind. I believe every child deserves the best opportunities in life and this inequity breaks my heart and motivates me in our work to make a difference.
We give pennies away without much thought - take a penny, leave a penny on counters everywhere. What's it worth? Not much -- but when one penny gets together with another and another, great things can be accomplished. With just 4400 pennies a child can attend school for a year in Zambia. A million pennies can set up a maize-grinding mill that will support 20 grandmothers and their families AND pay the annual operating costs for an ambulance.
If you have pennies to donate, we'll come and get them. If you'd like to collect pennies for us, we'll give you a jar!
So it is with our work. One woman can't do much but if two join and another and another, we can change the world.
"It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say WE
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more."
Excerpt from The Low Road by Marge Piercy copyright 2006 Middlemarsh, Inc.
It's exciting to open firstname.lastname@example.org each day and read about artists who are entering work and groups who want to host Celebrating African Grandmothers. Everyone has fond memories of the stunning work, the response of the community and the awareness raised by Turning the Tide. "Can we have the show in September? " " Is the show available for February?" "I am going to do a soft sculpture." "I'm making a clay sculpture of the side view of a woman's head." "I'm painting." Artists and grandmother groups are getting on board from the BC Islands to the Prairies.
Canadian Quilter has asked for an article. Pacific Spirit Quilters want to know more! Sheryl Mackay from CBC's North by Northwest will emcee the gala auction. It's all coming together! Have you started your piece yet?
Royal City Gogos will be selling this gorgeous Kazuri jewelry at our Artisan Crafts for Africa on Saturday Nov. 3, 326 Twelfth Street, New Westminster from 10 am - 4 pm.
Kazuri offers hope and opportunity for Kenyan women who create ceramic beads in a Fair Trade workshop that was once a part of Karen von Blixen's coffee plantation. Kazuri means "small and beautiful." Its smooth finish and high gloss make it a pleasure to wear.
Selling Kazuri is a win/win for Royal City Gogos. Most of the money raised supports 350 Kenyans in the workshop affording them a fair wage and safe working conditions. The balance of the funds goes to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation which works with community based organizations in sub Saharan Africa.
Now, will I buy the red this year or the bronze -- maybe the black and white?