“We recently participated as volunteers and delegates in one of the most inspiring experiences of our lives, The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Gathering sponsored by the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The goal was to help Canadian women understand the terrible toll of HIV/AIDS, what it means to bury your own children and then, in your sixties and seventies, raise children’s children with virtually no support. We listened. We learned. We began to understand. We hugged. We wept. And yet it was not a sad time. Incredibly these amazing African grandmothers always had something positive to say. They always found a smile after their stories, after their tears. At a moment’s notice they would break into song and dance with true joy, hope and faith. With extraordinary humility, back breaking work, courage, love, faith, and absolute determination, they are keeping the future generation of their countries alive and literally marching to far corners of the world to conquer this HIV/AIDS monster.”
– Sue Griggs & Linda Mitz Sadiq, From an August 2006 letter to friends.
And so the dream of creating something more than just a cookbook as a tribute to grandmothers was born.
AFRICAN FOOD FOR THOUGHT relates an usual tale of two continents. Across the African continent, the struggle for survival has become a struggle of survivors. Amazingly through this torment, African grandmothers are the unlikely heroes, providing food and care for their extended families, holding in their loving hands the hope and future of the continent.
Canadian grandmothers, like their African counterparts, are proving that they have enormous capacity for caring and are resourceful and powerful for for change. The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign was launched by the Stephen Lewis Foundation on March 7, 2006, on the eve of International Women’s Day. Since then, more than 240 grandmother groups have formed across the country, taking up the call to action and raising more than $25 million. These funds are directed to community-level partners in Sub-Saharan African countries that provide grandmothers with much needed support, such as food, housing grants, school fees for their grandchildren, and grief counselling.
AFRICAN FOOD FOR THOUGHT is our tribute to Grandmothers – to their courage, resilience, determination, and big, big hearts. We hope you thoroughly enjoy each and every page.