Inspirational grandmother visits library

Grandmother power is alive in New Westminster.

The Royal City Gogos are part of the worldwide phenomenon through their fundraising to help African grandmothers raising their grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. It was these African grandmothers who inspired Paola Gianturco. After meeting some of the grandmothers, she was convinced that Africa is glued together by grandmothers who adopt their grandchildren despite their overwhelming hardships.

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This inspiration led to an amazing new book called Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon. In it, she documents how, throughout the world, grandmothers are actively fighting for a better future for their grandchildren.

Grandmother Power profiles activist grandmothers in 15 countries on five continents who tell their compelling stories in their own words. In addition to the Canadian grandmothers, you can hear about grandmothers in Senegal who convince communities to abandon female gen-ital mutilation, grandmothers in India who become solar engineers and bring light to their villages, Argentine grandmothers who continue their 40-year search for grandchildren who were kidnapped during the military dictatorship, and Irish grandmothers who teach children to sow seeds and cook with fresh, local ingredients.

Gianturco begins a North American tour with stops in the Lower Mainland. She will be at the New Westminster Public Library to talk about the movement and her new book on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 2: 30 p.m. As space is limited, pre-register at 604-527-4667.

Gianturco has written a number of books, all documenting women's lives in 55 countries through photos and text. She has also exhibited at UNESCO in Paris and United Nations in New York.

The program is sponsored by the Royal City Gogos. (Gogo means grandmother in Zulu.) All author royalties will be donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, which provides grants to African grandmothers who are raising AIDS orphans.

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