SSwaziland - SWOPOL

SSiphiwe Hlope at Solidarity March

Photo by: Liz Marshall

SW Ontario Group Updates

Regional Zoom Meeting, March 15, 1:00


11 groups participated on the call

Thanks to Sya VanGeest for hosting, and Ruth-Anne Seburn for attending on behalf of the SLF

Updates from our groups:

Guelph Gogo Grandmothers – in January, the group had a brainstorming session for new fundraising ideas. The ideas were narrowed down by individual members to 5 top choices.

  • Come spring, the bubble wands initiative will begin once again.

  • One member has been very successful generating funds by fixing up bicycles and selling them on her front lawn

  • Will be partnering once again with a Chocolate store, with online sales for Easter

The Grandees of Chatham-Kent – members are not interested in using zoom. Individuals in the group have been very active volunteering locally, as a way to thank the community for its support in the past, and as a way to raise the group’s profile in the community.

Oomama of Oakville – is a very busy group. Their Virtual Stride, ‘Halton Team’ has already begun, in partnership with The Bronte Grans. The online market is doing well, thanks to several members who are sewers.

*The Stride scarves from several years ago are being made into Stride masks, (3 layers). has a link to their marketplace. Oomama has also been doing zoom power-point presentations to local organizations – UWC, CARP

Blooms for Africa of Hamilton – a large number of the group’s members are active on zoom. Recently the group broke up into sub-groups to discuss fundraising ideas:

  • Scavenger Hunt, where other groups would be invited to participate

  • Marketplace

  • Book swap

Blooms will again hold a Virtual Stride in the month of May

The Bronte Grans of Oakville – are members of the Stride ‘Halton Team’. Several members of the group have health conditions, so they sponsor other members if they can’t participate.

Nyanyas of Niagara – only the Steering committee has met, but keeps in contact with their large list of group members with phone calls. They may participate in Stride this year as a virtual fundraiser. What the group is looking into is a fundraiser connected to Together in Concert. The idea would be to partner with a local café to provide African desserts for take-out. The desserts could be combined with interesting facts about the country of origin, as an educational tool.

Omas Siskona of Kitchener-Waterloo – Omas Siskona agreed to host the 2020 S & W ON Region Gathering. This had to be cancelled, and will have to be cancelled for 2021 as well, but since the group has already done much of the planning, it is willing to host a Gathering once it is possible to do so.

The group has had to cancel the Off the Wall Art Sale and the Trunk Sale. The Chocolate, Chat and Change fundraiser was done differently, with donations sent in. The group has been using this time to raise awareness about the SLF, using activities that highlight the countries the SLF works in, and the projects the SLF partners with.

Burlington Ubuntu Grandwomen – started zoom in the fall. The group is focusing on Together in Concert. Their website has been updated, with links to the SLF and the concert.

Come June, they are looking towards having an outside meeting with food delivered. They may also have some sort of get-together to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the campaign.

*members who had been very active in the group now feel that they are not contributing, and they should leave. Knowing how members are reacting to changes during the pandemic is an important consideration for all groups.

From the SLF:

Fall Regional Virtual Gathering

  • If your group has suggestions for topics for a fall virtual gathering, please forward them to Theresa

  • If your group would like to be involved in the planning of a fall virtual meeting, please contact Theresa

  • The SLF will be happy to work with grandmothers to put on a Virtual Fall Gathering

March Campaign Call

  • March 18, 12:30

  • Contact Ruth-Anne Seburn to register for the call

The Aero-plan Miles Campaign was very successful

Report on Together in Concert

This concert has the potential to be a major fundraiser

Go to the website,

  • register

  • encourage members of your group to register, (you can easily register for others)

  • forward the information to all contacts

  • check out the ‘Performing Artists’

  • check out ‘PR Tools’ for ways to spread the word

  • in ‘What’s New’, you’ll find information about painting give-aways!

Helping Each Other

At last month’s group zoom meeting, the Guelph Gogo Grandmothers invited 3 area groups to join in. Invite other groups for presentations, or to discuss ways to collaborate.

To engage members in the virtual Stride, Blooms for Africa organizers send out an initial motivating message. Each week, members send in what they’ve done, the results are tabulated and reports are sent out tracking the accomplishments of the group on their journey.

A conversion chart is a great way for members to find their own way to participate in STRIDE. This chart is attached.

Check out online:

Send in submissions to The Circle. Ideas can inspire others. Details about events, things that worked well and difficulties that were overcome are useful resources for other groups. Send in information about upcoming events. Send in poems, good books, quotes that may be of interest to others.

The next issue will be out in May. Submissions to, by April 30.

Be well, and be safe