Canadian grandmothers hold flash mobs for HIV-AIDS awareness
Published Thursday, December 1, 2016 9:22PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 1, 2016 9:34PM EST
Hundreds of Canadian grandmothers gathered in malls, grocery stores and on campuses Thursday, to raise awareness on World AIDS Day.
The flash mobs were organized by local chapters of Grandmothers to Grandmothers, groups that raise money to help African grandmothers caring for millions of children orphaned by AIDS.
Joanna White was among the many grey-haired ladies who danced to the Eurythmics’ 1985 song “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” in the student centre at Toronto’s Ryerson University.
White told CTV News Channel that the goal was “to make sure that everybody is aware that it is World AIDS Day because it’s kind of fallen off the map for the general public, especially in this country.”
Although most of the roughly 75,000 Canadians living HIV-AIDS have access to life-saving drugs, it’s not the same in Africa, she said.
In the past decade, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign has raised $25 million in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which works on the ground in Africa.
White said her flash mob went surprisingly well. “We thought students might look up and just think, ‘oh you know, just a bunch of old ladies doing something weird,’” she said. “But they really took notice and gave us a big cheer and a clap at the end.”
Only about half of the 36.7 million people who have HIV-AIDS receive anti-retroviral medication that can save their lives, according to a report from the United Nations.