Gogo groups are growing in Surrey

Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign is getting popular in the Surrey area.

Who said the senior years are a time to slow down and not get involved?

In Surrey/White Rock, the grannies are just getting started.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign is a growing movement of grandmothers and grand-others across Canada whose mission is to raise funds to support grandmothers and children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

These African grannies are raising their grandchildren because they have buried their own children who have died from HIV/AIDS as well as other curable diseases due to lack of affordable medicines.

For more information, go to stephenlewisfoundation.org and grandmotherscampaign.org/advocacy.html.

In 2008, Mary Harris called a meeting with a small group of grandmothers interested in helping their African counterparts.

This original group became known as the Oneness Gogos. “Oneness” to remind us we are all one and “Gogo” is the Swahili name for grandmother.

Since 2008, the Oneness Gogos have raised over $82,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation through crafts, fundraisers and personal donations.

These funds support grassroot projects run by grandmothers, or Gogos, in sub-Saharan Africa such as communal gardens, jewelry making, etc. that enable them to provide for their grandchildren and to send them to school.

Canadian grandmothers are making a real difference in their efforts to turn the tide on AIDS in Africa and the spirit is contagious.

Recently, two other Gogo groups have formed in the Surrey/South Surrey area. The Ubuntu Ogogo are in the Fleetwood/North Surrey area with coordinator Barbara Warren and the newest group is the South Surrey Soul Sisters, with coordinator Clare Martin.

Pledging to support each other’s efforts at fundraising, raising awareness and advocacy initiatives within our respected and in some cases overlapping communities, these  Greater Surrey Gogo groups would like to let you know of upcoming events being held in the area that will be looking for your


May 6 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Oneness and Ubuntu Ogogo groups are at the Surrey teachers’ conference at the SFU campus and at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School.

On May 14, the Oneness group hosts an all day Plant Sale Plus at 13565 Woodcrest Drive, Surrey. The South Surrey Soul Sisters host a barn and garage sale May 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2652 164 Street, Surrey.

If you are interested in joining a Gogo Group in your area, or to offer support of any kind, please contact Oneness coordinator Donna McBride at dmaemcbride@shaw.ca or call 604-536-9510; Ubuntu Ogogo coordinator Barbara Warren at bwarren567@shaw.ca, or call 778-565-3555; and South Surrey Soul Sisters coordinator Clare Martin at claremar@shaw.ca or call 604-538-5147.