On November 6th, Whole Foods Market Oakville supported the Stephen Lewis Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign by donating five percent of one day’s sales to its cause. This Community Support Day included proceeds from Whole Foods Market Oakville, Yorkville and Square One stores, seeking to raise awareness and to mobilize support in Canada for Africa’s grandmothers.
With more than 250 grandmother groups across Canada, all a part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, these Oomama and Grandmothers groups support Africa’s unsung heroes – grandmothers raising grandchildren who have lost parents due to the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Whole Foods Market Oakville was delighted, along with members of Oomama Oakville and Bronte Grandmothers, to welcome Mama Darlina Vuyelwa Tyawana to the store and to have the opportunity to speak with her. Mama Darlina is a grandmother and care-giver of six of her grandchildren. She cared for them as their parents struggled with the impact of HIV and Aids in their lives. A prominent local activist, lobbyist and public speaker, Darlina counsels South Africans living with HIV/AIDS and TB, facilitates treatment literacy workshops and motivates youth to educate, mobilize and raise awareness.
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A tribute to Whole Foods Ontario, the community spirit and global intentions of health, sharing, of compassion, and good-will are clear. With the donation of 5% of their sales, the grandmothers in Africa will be able to provide their children with substantial help. In discussions with Mama Darlina she said that, “Money goes father in Africa than it does in Canada”. She was asked where in Canada she likes to shop – other than at Whole Foods Market, of course, and her answer was; “I love to shop at the Dollar Store.” Thinking she would say she was buying toys or gifts, she was quick to add that she “loves the clothes. Clothes at the Dollar Store are of a much higher quality than the ones we can buy in Africa.”
Whole Foods Market Ontario and Oomama and Grandmother groups in Canada are compelled to help African grandmothers. Oomama’s Lorraine Green says that “These women are often elderly and perhaps ill and have none of the supports that we have as grandmothers, living in this wonderful country. 60% of the victims of HIV/AIDS have children who are taken care of by grandmothers. It is not in their culture in Africa to mobilize and change the system, although, this is slowly changing with women like Mama Darlina at the helm advocating for change.”
Eight Grandmothers Groups joined Whole Foods Market Ontario to participate in this Community Day: Oomama Grandmothers, Bronte Grandmothers, Grandmothers Partnering with Africa, It Takes a Grandmother, Old Orchard Blossoms, Toronto Grandmothers Embrace, ToGoGoGrannies and Brooklands for Africa Grannies. Oakville’s Grandmothers were at Whole Foods Market with their GrandOthers – helping to bag groceries, to spread the news about the Stephen Lewis Foundation and to be greeters for shoppers who had come to buy their groceries on Community Support Day at Whole Foods Markets Ontario whose motto is: “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”
For more information about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, visit: www.grandmotherscampaign.org
Whole Foods Market Oakville, located at 301 Cornwall Road in Oakville is both exciting and unique. France Fournier, Marketing and Community Relations for Whole Foods Market Oakville can be reached at 905-849-8400 ext 107
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