Canadian MPs Present Petition on Behalf of Grandmothers Campaign
Canadian members of Parliament on Friday presented a petition in the House of Commons on behalf of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, the Calgary Herald reports. The petition includes more than 31,000 signatures from across Canada and calls on the government to fulfill foreign aid commitments; allocate an adequate amount of funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria efforts; and change laws to allow Canadian pharmaceutical companies to export generic versions of drugs to treat the three diseases.
The Stephen Lewis Foundation launched the grandmothers campaign 2006, and it now includes more than 220 grandmother groups in Canada. The groups collectively have raised about four million Canadian dollars, or about U.S. $3 million, to provide food, health care and school fees to grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa who are caring for AIDS orphans. "I would like for all those orphaned grandchildren of grandmothers in Africa to have what my granddaughter has: a good place to live, health resources, unlimited freedom to play, appropriate clothing and the ability ... to access free, universal primary education," Dariel Batemen, who is involved in the campaign, said. She added, "These options aren't open to those kids. And they need to become healthy because sub-Saharan Africa needs their leadership as adults" (Berenyi, Calgary Herald, 3/6).