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Grandmothers to talk about AIDS crisis

Grandmothers to talk about AIDS crisis

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Gladys Mayaba is one of two South African grandmothers who will talk about caring for grandchildren orphaned by AIDS at a Nov. 9 event in the Arts Centre sponsored by SC Grandmothers and Grand Others. Alexis MacDonald photo

Two grandmothers will be taking part in an extraordinary event on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m., at the Arts Centre in Sechelt.

Nompumelelo Gladys Mayaba and SIseko Mkalipi, two South African grandmothers, will be talking about HIV/AIDS, its impact on their families, and how a crucible of loss and grief became determination and action to support and survive.

By 2009, the number of children in sub-Saharan Africa who had lost one or both parents to AIDS had risen to 12.3 million.  Grandmothers were care-givers as “their” children, the parents, died; they then became sole care-givers of their grandchildren.

The figures can be numbing. Hearing the stories behind the numbers makes meaning of sorrow and re-generation.  That is the opportunity we have on Nov. 9.

Some of the community groups in Africa, working in diverse ways to support the African grandmothers and the AIDS orphaned children in their care, have applied to, and received support from the Stephen Lewis Foundation. And the Nov. 9 event will include presenters from the foundation, including Joanna Henry, who travelled to eight African countries to write the book “Powered by Love”.

Admission is $5.

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