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What attracted you to KGC and how long have you been a member?


I first learned about the formation of the Grandmother Groups when I went to listen to Stephen Lewis when he was in Kingston some 10 years ago promoting the idea of a Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign that he and his daughter Ilana Landsberg-Lewis had come up with.  Grandmothers in Canada supporting Grandmothers in Africa.  If Grandmothers would form groups all across Canada we could have a powerful way of raising money and making aware of HIV/Aids, related diseases, hunger, and grief problems and how it was affecting all these African grandmothers and their orphaned grandchildren.  The Kingston Grandmother Connection was formed to include the SL Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign and Help Lesotho as a result of Stephen Lewis’ visit.


What are the various ways you have been and continue to be involved in our organization?


I started with going to the meetings and listening to the founding members of KGC start planning the group and ways to fundraise.  I volunteered to help out; later I became more involved and was on committees to hold events like our choir events and eventually our Market for Africa event in November.  I also was in charge of the Membership and looked after our emails and notices going out to our members and answering questions and concerns.


What are your reasons for continuing to support KGC as an active member?


KGC is such a dynamic group of women and it never ceases to amaze me how much it has accomplished re our two charities both in fundraising and knowledge.  I am very much a believer in how much can be done in a group setting and I thrilled to be a part of it.  We do have a lot of fun as well.  I know the grandmothers and children in Africa have benefited by our Grandmother group and the others across Canada; we have given them the tools and resources to help themselves.  It is so rewarding to hear how they so appreciate the help they have received and the hope they now have.  However, there is so much more to be done.


Share with us something about your other interests and experience - maybe something about being a grandmother yourself.


I love to walk in the woods and spend time at a lake or beach.  Especially I like to swim.  I belong to a book club and love to read for pleasure; also like to putter around in my garden.  I do have grandchildren and great grandchildren all close by and I am so fortunate to see them grow and spend time with them at home, outside playing or watching their sports activities.  It is such a contrast to see how children in Canada have such opportunities in school and organizations, to have medical care and for most children not to worry about food.

Carolyn Chapman

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