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Triple word score!

Who knew playing scrabble could help such nice people? /Image: Alexis McDonald
Who knew playing scrabble could help such nice people? /Image: Alexis McDonald

Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers raises funds for grandmothers in Africa

Article: Destiny Kaus – A&C Writer

I am pretty much addicted to Scrabble. Nothing makes my day more than playing a solid game of Scrabble online with a computer-generated opponent or pulling out the old Scrabble board at home to have some friendly competition with Mom. So, when I heard about Scrabble for Africa, I couldn’t resist investigating. I chatted with Sheila Fahlman, who is the organizer of Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers in Regina and of the upcoming event Scrabble for Africa.

“Our group is a volunteer-run group of some 100 members who come together to organize fundraising events, sell merchandise, and provide education to members and the public about the situation on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa.”

In Africa, HIV and AIDS claims the lives of many parents and leaves vast numbers of orphans to fend for themselves. In countless cases, the strong, courageous grandmothers in Africa open up their hearts and homes to care for their orphaned grandchildren and other children.

“It’s not uncommon for these older women to be raising six, ten, or even eighteen children on their own.”

I can only imagine what it would be like to care for so many kids in such a poverty-stricken country. These grandmothers have some serious heart.

On Oct. 27, Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers in Regina will host Scrabble for Africa to raise money to support these heroic ladies. But, how can playing Scrabble raise funds?

“It’s not uncommon for these older women to be raising six, ten, or even eighteen children on their own.” 

“People register, collect pledges, put together a team if they can, and then come out on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 27, to play a friendly game of Scrabble,” explains Fahlman. “There are prizes for most money raised, for highest team score, and a variety of on-the-spot opportunities. And, of course, there is Granny Baking, a.k.a. refreshments.”

The funds from this event will go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. According to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, funds help support African grandmothers’ immediate needs, such as nutritious food, health care, transportation, home visits, adequate housing and bedding, school fees, uniforms and supplies for orphans, and longer-term needs such as parenting and business skills, micro-credit grants, bereavement counseling, HIV awareness training, counselling and testing, and grandmother support groups.

Sounds to me like a great game can raise a great amount of money!

Fahlman, who has worked for Grandmother 4 Grandmothers for a number of years, explains that “over the past seven years, our Regina organization has raised nearly $400,000.” That is a heck of a lot of money! Grandmothers in Africa are truly in good hands.

At Scrabble for Africa, Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers hopes to raise at least $10, 000. This, too, is an astounding amount of money. But I have no doubt that this group can make it happen. Their selfless, hardworking nature plus the support from the community of Regina will go a long ways in guaranteeing a successful event.

Just like piecing together a word block-by-block on the Scrabble board, Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers pieces together funds event-by-event. I’d give this organization and these grandmothers in Africa a triple word score any day.

About Destiny Kaus

Former carillon production manager/arts editor/arts writer.