Grandmothers for Grandmothers plan Valentine’s Tea

Jodi Schellenberg
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They are celebrating the true meaning of Valentine’s Day -- universal love.

The Prince Albert chapter of Grandmothers for Grandmothers, who recently put on an event in the fall selling AIDS angels, will be holding a Heart to Heart ta at the Mann Art Gallery on Feb. 15 to continue raised money for those in need in Africa.

The Prince Albert chapter of Grandmothers for Grandmothers is hosting a Heart to Heart Tea on Feb. 15 at the Mann Art Gallery at 1:30 p.m.

“We are going to have a tea and then we will have the sale of the Kazuri Jewelry, which is hand-made unique jewelry brought in from Kenya in Africa,” grandmother Monica Bayda said. “This is made from earth and clay. It is molded into beaded and fired. It kind of looks like ceramic. They are very pretty and unique pieces.”

The name Kazuri is Swahili for small and beautiful, Bayda said. A lady who saw a desperate need for employment for single women with families in Africa started the company.

“She got the idea that she would encourage the women to work making jewelry and they would be treated fairly and get fair wages for their work and they are producing beautiful pieces,” Bayda said. “The proceeds of the sale will go to aid the women in Africa who otherwise would otherwise have difficulty finding employment and feeding their children.”

Grandmother for Grandmothers is part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Bayda explained, created to help grandmothers in Africa who are raising their grandchildren due to mothers dying from HIV and AIDS.

“Many grandmothers are raising anywhere from six to 15 children,” Bayda said. “The foundation was formed 10 years ago and he promised the grandmothers in Africa he would do what he could to help them.”

About eight years ago when Lewis was doing a presentation in Saskatoon, a group of grandmothers at the event decided to help, fundraising for those in Africa.

Selling the jewelry helps connect their event to the people in Africa, Bayda said.

“We are all the time looking for ideas and getting the message out to get people to help others less fortunate than us,” Bayda said. “The jewelry we chose because it is made in Africa and because it gives employment to women who otherwise would have none.

“It ties it together and a big percentage of the money goes to the women in Africa to pay their wages and a small percentage goes to the Stephen Lewis Foundation,” Bayda said. “It is helping the foundation and it is also helping directly the women in Nairobi, Kenya.”

The tea is called Heart to Heart because of their concern for the grandmothers in Africa and the day after Valentine’s Day seemed the perfect time to put on the event.

“It is a time for giving and showing love, so it is a good time to tie it all together,” Bayda said. “We see them as our sisters we will never meet in our lifetime but we do extend a hand of friendship across the ocean to them … It is going back to what Valentine’s is all about.”

In addition, there will be entertainment provided by The Menfolk, a local Prince Albert group and a video presentation.

“The theme is going to be One Woman this year,” Bayda said. “It is showing the power a woman can (have) … We are old grannies but we are modern in our thinking.”

The venue is also ideal since there are many local artists’ work on display, Bayda mentioned.

The event is open to all age groups, not just grandmothers.

“Last year we had lots of young people so this year we’d like to have lots of young people come as well,” Bayda said.

Tickets cost $10 are available at Beth’s Yarn Shop on Central Avenue (306-764-6910) or by calling Bayda at 306-764-4828.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Mann Art Gallery, Stephen Lewis Foundation Yarn Shop

Geographic location: Africa, Kenya, Saskatoon Nairobi Central Avenue

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