News Articles

Here is a selection of news articles about the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

To browse older articles, click on a month from the list on the right.

Click here to browse selected speeches by Stephen Lewis.

Stephen Lewis Foundation partners with TD Bank and Aeroplan in celebration of Pride

TD Bank generously donates Aeroplan miles to three charitable organizations during Pride Toronto

June 19, 2015

The Stephen Lewis Foundation,

The Stephen Lewis Foundation was honoured to be selected as one of three charities to partner with Aeroplan Beyond Miles and TD Bank in celebration of Pride Toronto
Together with Egale Canada Human Rights Trust and Rainbow Railroad, the Stephen Lewis Foundation will receive one Aeroplan mile for every $1 dollar spent on a TD Aeroplan Credit Card in Toronto during Pride Week (June 19 – June 28, 2014). This generous support is a great boon to our work supporting grassroots organizations turning the tide of HIV & AIDS in Africa. 
Click here to read more about this partnership. 

'Ask Her' gives African women platform to share world views

Theo Sowa speaks with Canada AM about the Ask Her Talks

May 27, 2015

Canada AM , CTV News

When the latest ebola crisis hit West Africa, women were the first responders. They've been at the centre of the HIV&AIDS crisis, and on the frontlines helping victims of violence and sexual assault. And yet, when governments and NGOs look for solutions, their voices are rarely heard. Theo Sowa has made it her life's mission to change that. She's a women's rights activist and CEO of the African Women's Development Fund. She's also one of five remarkable women taking part in the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Ask Her Talks... 

Ask Her Talks giving African women a voice

A series of speeches at McGill University Monday night on the roles African women play in the face of crisis on their continent offered first-hand perspectives from people who are making change despite facing violence, illness and the tragedies that accompany both on a daily basis.

May 25, 2015

Staff, Montreal Gazette

The series, called the Ask Her Talks, was presented by the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which works with groups who treat people with HIV/AIDS in Africa. The theme of the series is to highlight the insights and opinions of women who are on the front lines dealing with problems like AIDS, the recent Ebola epidemic and the devastating impact of violence in countries like Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Despite being the front-liners who consistently help the victims of disease, sexual assault, domestic violence and children being recruited into wars, women’s voices are little heard when governments or many aid organizations seek solutions. The foundation’s series, which will continue in other Canadian cities, seeks to change that.
Theo Sowa, chief executive officer of the African Women’s Development Fund based in Ghana, was the last of five women to speak Monday night and said important decisions on Africa’s problems “are being made based on false impressions” and that the “current narratives” portray African women as helpless victims.
"African women are not victims. African women can look after their own children," she said, adding that the first people to respond to the Ebola epidemic were women in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea who operated with very little funds.
When aid organizations finally eventually came to realize this, Sowa said, funds from foreign aid organizations have since been directed elsewhere.
"Women everywhere are so often expected to provide unpaid services," Sowa said while singling out the Carnegie Foundation in the U.S. for its decision to go in a different direction by donating money directly to community groups in the parts of Africa that were affected by the outbreak of Ebola. She said that decision worked because instead of the donation being charity, it helped those communities pull together while facing a crisis.
The Ask Her Talks series is sponsored by the CIBC and will continue in Toronto, at the University of Toronto, on May 27, and Ottawa, at Carleton University, on May 28. The talks are hosted by Jackie Richardson, a Toronto-based jazz, blues and gospel singer.
While introducing the speakers, Richardson asked the people in attendance to not forget that when things get tough, "it’s the women who step up."
"Let’s remember, for every woman who speaks here tonight there are thousands who are also making the change in Africa," Richardson said.

Ask Her: African women need to be heard to solve social issues

Two of the inaugural Ask Her Talks speakers, Theo Sowa and Netty Musanhu, are interviewed on CBC Radio's The Current

May 25, 2015

The Current, CBC Radio

They are on the front lines of conflict, poverty and disease. And when the world tries to solve problems, they are ignored. We turn to two activist African women, who say it is time politicians started seeking solutions from the women of Africa.

Slaight Family Foundation announces $7M in donations to seven Canadian NGOs

Donations will advance Canadian humanitarian efforts globally over the next four years

February 19, 2015

Media Profile, Canada NewsWire

The Slaight Family Foundation today announced that it will donate $7 million to support seven Canadian non-governmental organizations. The donation will be split equally among all seven groups, which include Stephen Lewis Foundation, War Child, Free The Children, Right To Play, Human Rights Watch, Partners In Health Canada, and World Vision.
The donations aim to support Canada's efforts in global humanitarianism. The work of these NGOs will be supported over the next four years as they aim to create change in seven unique ways across the globe.
"The work these seven NGOs are doing is critically important. When we were selecting different organizations to partner with, it really came down to the versatility of these projects and the need for change in these regions," said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Family Foundation. "We hope these gifts will benefit many people for years to come, and that we inspire others to support humanitarianism efforts on a global scale."
The gifts were announced today at an event hosted by the Slaight Family Foundation. Leaders in Canadian humanitarianism and business leaders were also present.  Chief executive officers from all seven NGOs spoke about the importance of these gifts and the projects they will support.
"The work that we do as humanitarians is only made possible by the generosity of others. The generosity we've seen from the Slaight Family Foundation is an inspiring example of those who want to make a difference in the world," said Dave Toycen, President and CEO of World Vision. "At the end of the day, our dream is to change the lives of women, men and children around the world, and these donations help make that dream a reality."
The donations announced today will fund seven special projects in different regions throughout the globe. Each project will touch a different group of equally important recipients, including women and children in Thailand, grandmothers and orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, and victims of war and human rights violations in Cambodia and beyond.
The Slaight Family Foundation Gifts, in detail:
Stephen Lewis Foundation
Support to grandmothers raising children orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa
The Stephen Lewis Foundation will continue to work with grassroots organizations to improve the livelihood and security of grandmothers raising children orphaned by AIDS. Support will be provided through food security, income-generation opportunities, and housing for grandmothers and orphans in their care, as well as national convenings of grandmother groups in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.
War Child
Justice support to abused mothers and children in war torn countries
Support for mothers and children that have experienced abandonment and violence inflicted by war is critical. War Child aims to expand current justice programs to additional war torn countries where the need it evident. These programs rebuild legal structures, provide access to free legal counsel and ensure authorities understand the meaning of rights.
Free The Children
Agriculture and food security in Kenya
This project focuses on community based support for 2,000 farmers in 20 Kenyan communities through training and resource availability. Agricultural education will be offered through school based support, which will focus on training and support work on farms, agricultural clubs, and construction of school based green houses for school and home consumption.
Right To Play
Child centered learning in Thailand
To help with the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of children in Thailand, Right To Play will focus on improving life skills through sport and play based learning activities. The donation will improve access to teachers and volunteers and increase the capacity to incorporate play into school activities.
Human Rights Watch
Access to clean water and sanitation in Thailand
Developing expertise on rights to clean water and sanitation is the focus of this project. Increasing women's rights and developing sophisticated methodologies for documenting economic, social and culture rights will assist in gaining access to clean water and sanitation.
Partners In Health Canada
First residencies in emergency medicine in Haiti
Over the next five years, Partners In Health will train 18 residents in emergency medical care to help assist with trauma, triage and disaster relief in Haiti. Processes will also be set up to ensure a transfer of skills to other medical professionals in the area.
World Vision
Protecting human rights in Cambodia
World Vision will work to prevent human rights violations in Cambodia through education and assistance. Work will focus on advocating new policy initiatives to government, raising the profile of human rights issues within Cambodia, and helping victims of human rights injustice transition back into the community.
SOURCE Slaight Family Foundation
 For further information: For more information or to coordinate an interview, please contact: Jeri Brown / Sarah Pattillo, Media Profile, /, 416-520-9381 / 647-468-4911


Stephen Lewis Foundation partners with TD Bank and Aeroplan in celebration of Pride June 19, 2015

The Stephen Lewis Foundation,

'Ask Her' gives African women platform to share world views May 27, 2015

Canada AM , CTV News

Upcoming Events

Grassroot Grannies Ride to Turn the Tide September 9, 2015

Ottawa area, Ontario

Victoria Grandmothers for Africa Cycle Tour 2015 September 11, 2015

Campbell River to Victoria, British Columbia