Juno, Vivienne and Hanmarie, 2013
The months have flown by this year and we are already in June! Here are a few snippets of what has happened so far in the lives and activities of GAPA:
In January this year, GAPA sadly experienced the loss of our beloved Juno, Programme Coordinator of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Campaign. Not only did GAPA lose a dynamic colleague, but to many, a close friend and confidant. Her journey living with cancer was one that was humbling and sobering. Her life showed us that cancer is not a respecter of persons but that regardless of what life throws at us, we can live life to the full, harnessing the potential we have, rather than merely surviving and waiting out our fate.
However, also in January, GAPA welcomed a new Occupational Therapist on board, Meghan Krenzer. We trust that her joining the team will add a special flavour to the work that GAPA does.
We have enjoyed the continued support of and partnership with African Impact, who have been integral with our Aftercare Programme. In consultation and work with the GAPA Occupational Therapist and grandmothers, African Impact’s interventions have served to be collaborative and developmental in the approach. GAPA started the Each One Teach One program at the beginning of 2014, whereby a space is provided for the international volunteers from African Impact and the GAPA Grandmothers to share activities and learn new ones, therefore gaining an understanding of the hegemonies around play and development present in the different worldviews of both the volunteers and grandmothers. This has been extremely valuable, as the mutual understanding allows the activity programs for the children to be more developmentally specific and allows for a greater care to be given to the children, in understanding the value of play and culture. The Each One Teach One Program, has now begun collaborating with the peer educators (children) within the aftercare, so that they can develop responsibility and skills in leadership, so to promote healthy behavior and well-being for themselves, and their peers.
Watch this space to find out more about this exciting new programme…
The GAPA grannies raising cancer awareness on the side of the road
On 22nd November, GAPA hosted a Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Men’s Health Event. According to the Health Calendar, November is the month of Men’s Health: Prostate and Testicular Cancer Awareness, and as GAPA we also raised our voice to further mobilise the community. The day was well attended and it was a great success – with speakers from CANSA Association, Movember Navigators, local churches, GAPA and a couple of performances by the National Theatre. The aim of the day was to raise awareness among men to take responsibility for their health, receive the necessary screenings and spread the news regarding early detection and prevention. It was a great occasion for the GAPA grandmothers and the men in the community to come together for a common cause and as usual, the GAPA gogos did not disappoint and filled the day with passion, joy and hope. Thank you to ALL who made this day possible!
GAPA grannies ready for the event in their pink PRRR shirts
Candlelight held for cancer victims
The tent was full to the brim with GAPA grandmothers and many men in attendance
The day was marked by unity and openness among the men.
Grannies arriving at the tea
The GAPA grandmothers were treated to a special event in their honour on the International Older Person’s Day, the 1st of October. The mastermind behind this event was Jo Maxwell, a member of the Red Hat Renegades and she orchestrated this event in conjunction with numerous organisations and individuals. The grandmothers felt loved, appreciated and spoiled during this beautiful event. Thank you to all who made this day a reality!
Jo Maxwell welcoming the grannies
The team on their way to USA
Two GAPA grandmothers had the the privilege of going to the United States for two weeks as part of a book launch. They were accompanied by Jo-Anne Smetherham, the author of the book, Eric Miller, the photographer and Yolisa Vivienne Budaza, GAPA’s Executive Director. The trip was valuable and insightful – for all concerned! They returned home again safely, but only after sharing their stories and their life experiences with many groups in the States. They were hosted by American University and Old Dominion University. Thank you to everyone who made this trip a possibility.
The three GAPA members in Washington DC
Happy Birthday Madiba! We were blessed with the presence of a group of employees from Citadel Wealth Management (www.citadel.co.za) who gave their 67 minutes to our grannies and kids on Mandela Day. They spent their time with us planting trees, working in our garden, painting our wall and doing beading with our grannies. They also spoiled our grannies with cake and our kids with packets of sweets&fruit. THANK YOU CITADEL – you added so much to us in such a short time and we are very grateful! May God bless you!
On 26 and 27th June, our aftercare children had a lovely outing to Kirstenbosch thanks to Global Fund for Children! The kids had the opportunity to learn about nature, spend some quality time together and make memories. A group of volunteers from African Impact also joined us – and as always we greatly enjoyed having them with us!
Our GAPA grannies had the privilege of knitting scarves and beanies for the Wonga Winter Warmers Campaign this past month. On Thursday, July 4th, we handed these scarves and beanies over to U-Turn (www.homeless.org.za) where they will be made available to homeless people. Thank you Wonga for including us in this campaign and allowing our grannies to spread the warmth this winter!
The month of May ended off with our customary four day workshop and indaba day. In spite of the bitter cold, grannies attended with smiles and much excitement! As always, the workshop was received with positive attitudes and grannies reported afterwards that they learnt useful information and are hopeful for the future.
Indaba day was spent with Ikamva Labantu – they kindly came to spend time with our GAPA grannies, doing health screenings with them, including blood pressure, height, weight and eye tests. Thank you Ikamva Labantu!
We are looking forward to our June 13th event: ‘From Hopelessness to Hope’! All are welcome to attend!