Kingston Grandmother Connection’s Mini Spring Market will support African grandmothers

The Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign began in 2006 to address the the generation of sub-Saharan African parents wiped out by AIDS and support the older generation — often grandmothers — left to care for the orphaned children. As of 2019, over 25,000 children and youths in affect areas had received psychological support, and more than $40 million has gone towards supporting those organization on the ground providing life-sustaining services in areas of most need, according to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Photo via Kingston Grandmother Connection.

The Kingston Grandmother Connection is holding a Spring Mini Market this year. A wide variety of items will be available for sale, with all proceeds going to the Stephen Lewis Foundation and Help Lesotho – two organizations which support African grandmothers and their families.

“At this market you will find the things you love — African baskets and crafts, pre-loved ladies clothing and jewellery, plants, eco products, nature photo cards, sewing and baking!” said Barb Thompson, a volunteer with the Kingston Grandmother Connection (KGC).

This is the second Spring Mini Market the Kingston Grandmother Connection (KGC) has held in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign and Help Lesotho. Both of these highly-regarded Canadian charities support programs in 15 African countries that provide services, education, skill building and home improvement to grandmothers raising their grandchildren orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.

Submitted image.

“Last year’s mini market was successful, not only in raising funds for Stephen Lewis Foundation and Help Lesotho, but also in keeping awareness of the Kingston Grandmother Connection in the public eye,” Thompson shared with Kingstonist.

“We raised slightly over $5,000 at last year’s market. While the spring market is much smaller than our big fall market, we get a great turnout of loyal and new customers. This year we have added a bake table — always sells out — and there will be a good variety of indoor and outdoor plants, in addition to all the regular booths.”

The market will take place at St. John’s Church, located at 41 Church Street in Portsmouth Village on Saturday, May 25, 2024. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. everyone is welcome to stop by and support the important work these local grandmothers are doing to support African grandmothers.

The Kingston Grandmother Connection began in 2006 in response to a plea from Stephen Lewis rallying grandmothers across the country. Over the years, the group has grown and has organized a wide array of fundraising events.

“When the AIDS epidemic swept through many African countries, it left orphaned children. It was their grannies who took these children into their homes and have raised them and continue to do this,” Thomson shared. “The Stephen Lewis Foundation and Help Lesotho strive to help grandmothers and their families and those living in poverty to build resilience through skill building, health care, parenting assistance and practical projects that ease the burden of their day-to-day lives.”

The Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Countless African grandmothers, their families, and the communities they live in have been strengthened by the work of both the Stephen Lewis Foundation and Help Lesotho. 

Learn more about the Kingston Grandmother Connection on their website, and follow their Facebook page for news and updates.

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