Comox Valley Glacier Grannies taking strides to help African grandmothers

Stride to Turn the Tide Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign runs all month

The Comox Valley Glacier Grannies have joined the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Virtual Stride to Turn the Tide, and are virtually “walking across sub-Saharan Africa.” Photo supplied

Submitted by Glacier Grannies

Special to The Record

African grandmothers walk for survival every day – to fetch water, take goods to market, collect medicine and perform other vital daily tasks.

In solidarity with them, the Comox Valley Glacier Grannies have joined the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Virtual Stride to Turn the Tide, and are virtually “walking across sub-Saharan Africa.”

“As we cannot all walk together, we are striding independently each day from June 1 to 30.Glacier Grannies spokesperson Virginia Philipson, in an email to The Record. “We are collecting pledges, with all funds going to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Foundation.

As they walk, or do another activity, they will combine daily totals and record the distance covered on a map of Africa. Theirvirtual route passes through communities where the Foundation’s Grandmothers Campaign partners with a community-led organization.

“As we go, we are tracking our progress on our website,, and learning more about the projects in the neighbourhoods that we visit,” said Philipson. “Please help us exceed our fund raising goal! You can provide financial encouragement for us as we stride, bicycle, paddle, and even garden our way across Africa. For more information about the Stride, to make a pledge, or to join our team, go to our website. You can donate to the Glacier Grannies team, or to a specific member by clicking on their name.”

Check the website or Facebook ( regularly for updates on the team’s progress, and information about the community-based organizations that they pass on their walk, each of which is locally developed, organized and run.

Masks also available

The Comox Valley Glacier Grannies also have a limited supply of colourful, hand-made masks, available for a suggested donation of $10. Masks can be obtained by accessing the ‘Contact Us’ prompt on the Glacier Grannies website. Money raised from the sale of masks will also benefit the community-based organizations supported by the Grandmothers Campaign.

The Foundation says that “as COVID-19 spreads across sub-Saharan Africa, the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s community-based partners are best placed to protect and support the most vulnerable populations. People affected by HIV and AIDS are particularly at risk, and must not disproportionately suffer the impacts of COVID- 19.”

To learn more, visit


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