To the editor:
As chair of Kelowna Grandmothers for Africa I want to acknowledge the story Kathy Michaels published in the Capital News on December 1, 2016, international AIDS day, and express my sincere gratitude for her work.
I had an opportunity to re-read it today. On December 1, I didn’t have the time to communicate my appreciation to Kathy for the impassioned and informed article she wrote and published about Grandmothers in Africa raising 16 million orphans.
Kelowna and South Okanagan grandmothers were trying to draw attention to their story with our flash mob in Kelowna and Penticton. Kathy’s article greatly magnified any impact we had.
Although the impact of Kathy’s actions were four months ago the significance of the story doesn’t diminish. Two generations have been impacted by the AIDS pandemic and while the overall rate of new infections has dropped worldwide in recent years, World Health Organization statistics show that there are 7,500 new cases of HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa every week and 85 per cent of those are young women 15 to 19 years of age.
My acknowledgment and appreciation to Kathy is late, but not any less sincere and heartfelt.
Our group here in Kelowna has vowed along with 10,000 other campaign members to not rest until our African sisters can rest. So our work to raise awareness and funds in Kelowna goes on and we appreciate the support Kathy Michaels and the Kelowna Capital News has lent to extend the reach of our goal.
We humbly request your continuing support in getting our message out.
Cheryl Fraser, Kelowna
Editors Note: You can read Kathy Michael’s story on our web site at kelownacapnews.com/news/grannies-are-doing-it-for-themselves. For information on Kelowna Grandmothers for Africa contact Cheryl Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org.