Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Donations as Gifts

Looking for a thoughtful gift this holiday season? You can acknowledge your friends or co-workers - and help others at the same time - by making a donation to African AIDS Angels.

Like many charities we are experiencing a decrease in funds raised this year. As much as we in Canada have been affected by economic conditions, people in southern Africa have been affected even more. We wish to sustain the support for our four projects in these difficult times and you can help us.

Please consider making a donation this month by cheque, or on our website by credit card.

Individual contributions of $15 and up are eligible for a Gift of Hope card in the name of a friend or relative. African AIDS Angels will send the card to you for forwarding, or directly to a name and address you provide. An image of the card is on our website.

Contact for more information.

Cheques made out to African AIDS Angels should be mailed
c/o 1855 Neil St.
Victoria BC V8R 3C6.
Thank you.

New Web Address

We have a new web address at

The appearance is a little different but the site has the same content as before.

The old address will still work for the time being.

We will be revising some printed materials to show the new address including name tags and rack cards, but angel-makers can use up the stock you have now. For out-of-town people, we will let you know when the new files are ready.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Where to Find Angels & Where to Donate Jewellery

Here are some opportunities to find angels in Victoria in the next few weeks:

  • Curves Oak Bay and Curves View Royal will be selling angels for the Christmas Season.
  • Shops carrying a small supply of angels all year are listed on our website.

If you have any extra costume jewellery or fancy buttons that you would like to donate, we can put them to good use as Angel decorations.
Drop them off at
James Bay Community Project
547 Michigan Ave, Victoria
or email us for other drop-off locations.


Here is a rare opportunity. We don't usually ask for fabric but now we are in need.

We have had a busy season and our supplies of suitable patterned fabrics is running low. If you think you have something suitable please go through the check list below.

It is really helpful if you assist in sorting the material before we get it. Remember, our volunteers will be handling these materials in their own homes and space is limited.

Fabric Check List for Angels
  • brightly coloured
  • patterned
  • ethnic look preferred
  • real African fabric always needed
  • many quilting fabrics are excellent, batik look, Bali patterns
  • non-fraying (cut an edge and try to fray it)
  • maximum amount: 1 yard of each piece
Please: no clothing, no lace

If you have something suitable or have friends who would be interested in donating, contact for delivery directions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Notes from Pender Island

We have lost the queen-pin of our angel-making for the time being. Rosemary is recovering in hospital from a sudden illness. The dedicated group of angel-makers has risen to this reality and is helping to carry Rosemary's current ideas to fruition. You may have noticed the beautiful display in the Driftwood Centre window in November, carried out mostly by Barb Chester and Janice Erno. Thanks to everyone for carrying the torch!
On December 5th these women and others will be selling the angels at the Christmas Sale at the Anglican Hall from 10am to 3pm. And the angels will be at the usual outlets, Talisman and Sladen's. We also have gift cards, if you would like to make a larger donation in someone's name, as a gift. Call Mary at 6431, if you are interested in this. These little angels make a lovely gift at Christmas time.
Mary R.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Seeds for Malawi - November

Latest newlsetter of Saltspring Island's Seeds for Malawi.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Zambia Annual Report

We have received the overall 2008 Annual Report from the programs we support in Zambia at the Makeni Ecumenical Centre.

The St. Nicholas Orphanage is part of a larger operation with many facets. We also support the Resettlement Program. To see the full 20-page report, click here.

You may read a 2.5 page extract below about the Orphanage. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Angel Open House

Once again, the Angel Open House has proved to be a very successful event.

Thanks to everyone who contributed in all the many ways, big and small.

This one day has raised enough to impact over 30 persons for one year in the form of hospice support, Aids counselling, seeds and fertilizer, school fees, and orphanage care.

It is a wonderful way to start off the season of Angel events. Check the calendar for the events of the next few weeks.

Donating Jewellery

If you have any extra costume jewellery or fancy buttons that you would like to donate, we can put them to good use as Angel decorations.

Drop them off at
James Bay Community Project
547 Michigan Ave, Victoria

or email us for other drop-off locations.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Parksville-Qualicum Kairos Group

Congratulations to the dedicated angel-makers of the
Parksville-Qualicum Kairos group
for a highly successful bazaar on October 31.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seeds for Malawi - October

Please read the informative October newsletter from our partner group Seeds for Malawi, a project of the Saltspring Garden Club.

Click on the newsletter to enlarge it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hair-raising Problems

One of our very active angel-making groups has reported that hair has been coming off the heads of angels. This is happening both with hair affixed with glue sticks and tacky glue.
It is possible that this problem might be due to the kind of paint used to colour the beads.
Another possibility is that the glossy finish on recent shipments of heads is the cause.

We have acquired better quality paint in the hope this problem will be resolved.
As hundreds of heads are already distributed, we have a couple of suggestions:
1. Greater use of turbans on bald heads. Angels with turbans do appeal strongly to our donors.
2. Before putting on glue, use some sandpaper and slightly roughen the area on the head where the hair will be attached. This will give a better surface for the glue to stick.
From the bodies that have been returned to Vic and Lorraine with hair, and the completed angels coming in, this does not seem to be a widespread problem, however we want to maximize the quality of the angels that go out to the public.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

Have an Angel Party!!

What a great idea! Each winter some Angel makers hold Angel making parties with their friends. If you would like to host a party, we can help. We have a kit of materials that can be borrowed for your party. The kit is suitable for up to eight people. We just ask that you have at least one experienced Angel maker included in your group. Email
for more information.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Important Tips for Angel-makers

If you're a new angel-maker or have been doing it for some time, please take a few minutes to review some points about finishing angels.

There are two parts to this information on the same page of our website under Sharing Ideas.

First, in the Angel Gallery there are 3 pictures at the beginning about the proper attachment of name tags. If you click on the photos they will enlarge, and the explanations will appear below.

Then scroll further down our web page to Quality Control where the diagram points out important qualities your angels need to display.

We still need hundreds of angels for fall in Victoria, and we're counting on your creativity which has always been great in the past. Just a few changes in construction can make a big difference so your angel is all ready for "sale" and there is no extra work for other volunteers. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saltspring Seeds for Malawi

The Seeds for Malawi project on Saltspring Island sent their newsletter for September. This hard-working group raises thousands of dollars through plant sales and other means. As the newsletter describes, they are developing relationships with gardeners in other locations.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Salmon Arm (B.C.) Gallery

The Cordova Bay United Church angel-making group in Victoria raises some of its funds by supplying an African shop in Salmon Arm BC. The Gondwana Gallery is run by relatives of a Cordova Bay member, and the exchange of angels (or 'adoption' as they call it) there has been brisk.

Recently they sent some photos to share with other angel supporters, showing African AIDS Angels among their other African works of art. If you click on a photo, it should enlarge.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

News from Thembalethu (South Africa)

We received an e-mail from Sister Andrea who heads the Assisi children's shelter. She writes that the children who attend a local school came home very excited a few days ago because they had done very well in their third quarter tests. She says this is due to the fact that funds from AAA enabled them to bring in a part-time teacher who gives the children extra after-school assistance.

"The garden project is coming along very well," she adds. A woman comes every weekday to work half-days in the garden. "The children, especially the boys, enjoy planting and watering the vegetables. We are now enjoying fresh cabbage, carrots, spinach, beetroot and lettuce.

"Now summer is coming in South Africa. All the places will look green, beautiful and warm."

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Roberts Creek Report

The Roberts Creek group led by Miki makes sewn angels as well as cone angels. They get together occasionally with some friends and relatives from Vancouver. They supply several Sunshine Coast shops and a gallery in Deep Cove, and do beautiful work. Miki sent this report in July:

“The angellers and four friends spent a beautiful summer weekend at a cottage making angels. There were nine of us, and seven from Vancouver. Packed with food and wine and angel supplies, we "worked" making almost 90 angels until late Saturday night. On Sunday, we finished and cleaned up and went for a refreshing walk. It was a wonderful girls’ weekend. One of the teachers had made angels with her class last year. We have planned another angel making weekend in early September.

We are now selling angels at Carola’s Quilt Shop in Gibsons. The owner became so interested that she has given us space on the front counter and donated two large bags of batik and African patterned fabric. A master spinner donated a huge spool of dark brown wool for hair, so we’re very pleased with the generosity of these ladies.

Both Gaia and Carola's carry the cone angels as well as the sewn angels. We did have angels at Vortex, a high-end dress shop in Sechelt, but the owner apologized for the lack of angels being sold. She would like to start afresh closer to Christmas. I'm feeling more optimistic about certain businesses who might be willing to handle the angels in the fall, especially the Christmas season. We're working on it. We're still glueing and sewing along, producing African Aids Angels gladly.”

Thursday, September 03, 2009

News from Nova Scotia

A long article with photos about the Nova Scotia angel-makers led by Judy Starritt is published in the September issue of Shoreline Journal, a community monthly publication. Their fund-raising efforts have been really successful.

The link to Shoreline Journal is currently direct if you scroll down the page. In future months it will be moved to the Archive for September.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Calling All Angels

Our stock of completed angels in Victoria is a bit lower than we need for the forthcoming busy season. If anyone has completed angels please contact Lorraine or Vic at or 250-472-6499.

Also, we are great need of finding volunteers who are willing to do hair. Many thanks to those who are working on this task now, and have done so in the past. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Welcome Moziro Coffee & Chocolate Shop!

Thank you Moziro Coffee & Chocolate Shop for being the latest shop to carry African Aids Angels. If you are up in the Shawnigan Lake area, please drop in for a coffee or chocolate! Yummy! Visit them at

Help Wanted - we are looking for a volunteer to take Moziro Coffee Shop on as their project. If you live in the area or don't mind driving up approximately once a month, let Erin Ruff know ( Erin will assist you with any questions you have. Basically you would supply angels to the shop and/or collect the cash from the shop. If this is something you would be interested in, we would love to hear from you. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good News from Malawi

Teddy Phiri is Recovering

Teddy Phiri, one of our four volunteers in Malawi had a stroke several months ago. His right side was severely affected. We have been very concerned about the state of his health but communication with Malawi has been erratic over this time period. A few weeks ago we had a brief message from Jean Phiri. Jean is a colleague of Teddy (no relation) and she travelled with him to Victoria in 2005. (They were funded as part of a CIDA project at that time.)

Jean wrote:

Teddy is improving. Delirah (his wife) told me today that he may be going to South Africa to see a doctor, we are praying for his healing. The only challenge remains his right hand which still remains paralyzed. I will be going to Kenya next week. (see note below)


On July 14th we were delighted to receive the following message directly fron Teddy

Am very happy to tell you how I am now. I was very sick with the stroke which affected my right hand side, I could even fail to speak, walk or write. But now I am able to speak and walk. The only remaining problem is that I cannot yet use my right hand which was heavily affected. I also do have a lot of memory lapses. I would like to thank you for your concern on my health. The constant encouragements that I received has gone a long way to improve my well being. I wish your family all the best. I would like to inform you that I will start work in August.

Teddy attached the budget request for the next growing season and concluded:

As I mentioned before the beneficiaries are very thankful of the support they receive. They even came to see me during my time of sickness.

I thank you.


Note re Jean Phiri.

Jean is going to Kenya to take up a scholarship for a course in Agriculture for women leaders. The scholarship was announced in the Victoria newsletter of Positively Africa. The information was forwarded to Jean who applied and won. This demonstrates some of the positive spinoffs that come from AAA work assisted by the cooperative relationships that exist among the various Victoria organizations which have community to community connections with Africa.

Monday, July 13, 2009

South Africa Sends Thanks

We have received "thank you" e-mails from the two South African projects for funds sent recently.

Sister Andrea, who heads Thembalethu orphanage, writes: "Thank you very much. This money will help to pay for the training of 6 Child Care Workers. I am trying to equip the workers with the skills to handle problematic children and to improve the quality of children produced from our shelter."

We had mentioned to her that the question was raised at the AGM about the efforts made to prepare children for life after the orphanage.

Sister Regina, administrator of St. Mary's Hospital, which runs the Born to Live program, says:
"You people are just incredible! Many, many thanks again for your tremendous support. May the Good Lord bless all involved in this project."

Supplies July 17-Aug. 2

Lorraine and Vic Parsons will be away from Friday July 17 to Monday, Aug. 2. If you need angel-making supplies, excluding fabric, during that period, please contact them Monday to Thursday this week (July 13-16) to make arrangements.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Angel Quality Control

Tips for doing quality control checks on angels:
When gluing heads to bodies, ensure that there is enough glue to make a small lip of glue around the neck.
The robe is firmly attached at the neck and all adornments are well attached, without visible glue.
Wings are firmly attached and symmetrical. (Not too large, remember, the angels need to share space on a spinner!)
The robe seam is at the back and the body peg is completely covered, both around the neck, and 1-2" below the bottom of the peg.
All edges are nonfray, cut with pinking shears.
The name-tag is firmly hanging, aprox. 2-3" from the wire, with a neat looking piece of raffia.
Hold the angel upright and give it a little shake to ensure it will still look good when it has been handled a few times and is on a spinner.
Refer to the quality control suggestions under "sharing ideas" on the web-site.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Call for Volunteers (Victoria)

We have an opportunity to have an Angels table at Passion4Tango, Fri Aug 7 in Centennial Square. They are expecting 1500-2000 people and this may be a good chance to try a different type of venue.
However, this will require aprox 10 volunteers, as it will be a long day, from 11:00 to 9:30.
There will be concerts over the noon hour as well as in the evening.
Please email Gail, as soon as possible, at if you are able to help specifying any choice of, or availability for, hours. I would like to try 2 people each for 2-3 hour shifts, if possible.

Article in the Salmon Arm Observer

"Angels help to fight AIDS" was the title of an article in the Salmon Arm Observer. We have a store there selling angels, The Gondwana Gallery, owned by Marlene and Tibout Glazenburg.

Keep up the good work, Salmon Arm!

Please help us with selling our beautiful Angels!

If you hear of an event such as a fair where we might be able to sell Angels, please let us know!

Also, if you are in a store that feels like it might be Angel friendly, please talk to them about the Angels and the projects they support, and see if they might be interested in selling angels for us. We supply the signs, display spinners, etc. along with instructions and a simple way of keeping track of the money.

Let us know what you come up with by emailing us at the email address on the right.


What to do with money

If you have collected money for angels, please write a cheque to African AIDS Angels and mail it
c/o 1855 Neil St.
Victoria BC V8R 3C6

If you have questions, please send an email as indicated at right in the blue box.

To make a direct donation not involving angels, you can mail a cheque to the same address, or use the credit card feature on our website. Donations are important to our fund-raising efforts in support of projects in southern Africa.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hair Problems?

The Cordova Bay group has reported that hair is not sticking to some angel heads that were distributed after the body construction open house. It's believed - though not certain - that this problem may be arising with hair that was affixed with glue sticks rather than the tacky glue that has been used in the past. We used the glue sticks at the open house, so there are many angels out there now with hair attached in this way.

If you encounter this problem, please let Lorraine or Vic know by calling 250-472-6499 or e-mail If the problem continues and is significant, we will have to go back to using the tacky glue only for the hair.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bling Available at Open House

Lorraine and Vic Parsons will be taking over the distribution of bling and ribbon for the next while, as well as angel bodies and kits. We will have some available for pickup at the Open House, at 1473 Banff Place, on Wednesday June 10, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Otherwise, just call if you need some. 250-472-6499.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

2008 Earnings

Here are some highlights from the 2008 financial report presented at the Annual General Meeting on May 28:

Income from angels and donations: $84,453.01
Expenses: $3648.44
Net Income: $ $80,804.57
Expenses as percentage of income: 4.6%

Disbursement to projects (mainly using 2007 income):
  • Zambia orphanage and agriculture project: $17,000, plus $6000 special donation for a well
  • Malawi agriculture, student support and food support: $3000 plus $21,000 special donation from Saltspring Seeds for Malawi
  • South Africa hospital Born to Live program: $20,000
  • South Africa orphanage and outreach: $14,000 plus $1260 special donation for schooling

Total disbursements in 2008: $82,260

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Drop in: Body Construction Open House

Ever wonder how our angel bodies miraculously appear, prepped and ready to be dressed? This stage of production is done by a small number of dedicated volunteers. To spread the workload, we are encouraging groups to tackle the early preparation of angel bodies, including gluing, putting on of hair, etc.

To learn how body preparation is done, come to a drop in Open House:
  • Date: Wednesday, June 10
  • Time: Any time from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • Place: 1473 Banff Place, Victoria (off Doncaster, south of Cedar Hill Cross Road). For a Google map, go to the calendar at the bottom of the page and select June 10.
  • Contacts and questions: Lorraine and Vic Parsons, 250-472-6499,

If you have a glue gun, please bring it. No other items needed.

If this is a success, we will hold more sessions in future.

Message from Makeni, Zambia re agricultural project




After the successful distribution of the fertilizer and seed inputs for the targeted 21 settlers of Chisamba Settlement Village, our role as Makeni Ecumenical Centre concentrated on monitoring and exchange programmes with the settlers. At the end of June we should be able to compile the ground data on the total yields harvested by the farmers/settlers.


As the implementation of AAA Input Support Project started in February 2009 amidst the fears concerning timing and probable fears of having low yields, it worked out averagely well. The rainfall was good. We had the last rains in the last week of April, 2009. These rains worked to the advantage of our target group. For those who planted early (Nov/Dec) the latter rains, of course, threatened to damage the already drying maize. The yields of our target farmers would have been much better if we had planted early. With such a good rainy season a farmer, with inputs and has planted early, is expected to produce 20 – 30 bags x 50kg per Lima. For our target farmers, the expected yields per farmer shall range between 9 - 10 bags x 50kgs. This low yield is as a result of late implementation.

We held a field day for the beneficiaries (see pictures) so that experiences and lessons could be shared. The morale was high and is still high. They are grateful to African AIDS Angel. They have been saying, ‘Ni angelo chaiwo iwo’. This is Nyanja translating, “They are truly angels”.


The 21 beneficiaries did not only grow maize. As per tradition, the also grew pumpkins, cowpeas, cleome, gourds, beans, ground nuts and cassava. These are mainly grown for their relish. Sweet potatoes and cassava do supplement maize for the sources of carbohydrates. Maize is the major crop which is grown for consumption and for sale.


Although the yield of 9 bags x 50kg may be considered to be low from the agricultural technical point of view, to the beneficiaries it is a high yield they have never experienced ever since they settled in Chisamba Settlement Village. One beneficiary an old lady (Amai Moonga – whose picture I sent) a widow, narrated her experience of having been having poor yields as low as 2bags x 50kg per lima for the past 3 years that she has been in Chisamba. And she almost entirely depended on piecework in the nearby commercial farms to feed herself and her 2 grandsons (orphans). Now she has enough maize to eat through out the year and she will now concentrate in preparing her fields instead of doing piecework.

On average the previous yields of our target group has been 2 – 5 bags x 50kg per lima due to lack of inputs. Now the beneficiaries are happy. They believe that the assistance coming from AAA is the ‘hand of God’ that has rescued them from poverty and deprivation.


The farmers are full of joy and appreciation for the assistance. They believe ‘soon and very soon’ they would be able to have a decent life. Some have already pledged three bags of maize to help themselves get one bag of fertiliser. This years flow price of maize is K65,000 per 50kg bag. So they may be able to buy at almost one bags if the price of fertiliser go down of the season. They look so willing not to disappoint MEC and AAA for the support being rendered.

As was earlier mentioned, the actual assessment will be done in June. The expected average overall yield for 21 farmers is likely to be 189 bags x 50kg which is 9450kg of maize. This is a very big improvement as compared to the past record of 3150kg for 21 farmers.

Extension work will continue to ensure that farmers do not sell all the maize that they have produced and will also be educating them on how to prevent the maize corn from being damaged by storage pests such as weevils. The general view of our Settlement/Extension Officer is that this kind of assistance has had impact on the target group and if resources permit should continued for a few more seasons and could be extended to Mwomboshi settlement. It will certainly help and improve the living standards of most families that are badly affected by AIDS/HIV and the very vulnerable.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

July 1 Angels

We can have a table with angels available at the big Canada Day street event along Gorge Road in Victoria, put on by the Tillicum-Gorge Community Association.

If you are able to help for two hours on Wednesday July 1, please contact Gail at 250-881-8600 or Thanks!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Saltspring Grapevine for May

Read the latest newsletter from Seeds for Malawi on Saltspring Island. It outlines the content of the Malawi program.

Click on the image to enlarge it. (If the type is still too small, try pressing Control and +. [On a Mac use Command and +.] If that doesn't work try View and Increase Type Size or Zoom.)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Annual General Meeting May 28

Mark your calendar for the African AIDS Angels' Annual General Meeting on Thursday May 28 from 7 to 9 pm. Location is James Bay New Horizons Centre, 234 Menzies St., Victoria.

The Annual General Meeting includes the election of the Board of Directors and the financial report for 2008. We will have reports from all four projects in southern Africa, and a special first-hand report on Malawi.

Stan Shannon, an Angels volunteer from Pender Island, visits Malawi with another charitable organization. He has taken the time (and effort) to visit the projects supported by African AIDS Angels in Malawi, and he will be reporting on his recent experience.

Following the short meeting and Stan's presentation, there will be demonstrations of how to attach hair and other construction techniques. Bonus: If you have pinking shears that you would like to have sharpened, please bring them to the meeting with your name attached and hand them to Gail Blais. We'll also have a display table so you can bring angels you would like others to see.

Please take this opportunity to meet other angel volunteers, exchange information, and learn about the projects we support.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Coverage in Parksville/Qualicum

Below is a link to an article about some dedicated Angel volunteers which appeared recently in the Oceanside News. The paper covers the Parksville/Qualicum area on Vancouver Island.

Angels helping AIDS victims

[The link may stop functioning after a few weeks, so a version of the article without the picture is saved through this image on the right.]

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Container arrives in Makeni - Zambia

Hello to all who donated items for Makeni orphanage (Zambia), sent by container last year. This is an extract of an e-mail received from staff at Makeni:

"Just to let you know the good news that the boxes, via Namunyanga, have arrived safely! It was an awesome effort, and I want you to know how grateful we are.

Our very sincere thanks to you, all that packing and sealing of boxes, not to mention the collecting of the goods. Please will you give a tremendous thank you to yourself and to everyone else involved.

Today Tina (Lily's daughter, who is in charge of stock-taking) started opening boxes, with someone from accounts, and making a list, and tomorrow afternoon, I will be able to go and get get sheets for the boys, who I am told do not have any, and also a second sheet for each of the girls. They have usually got one sheet, but have never had the luxury of two.

At present we have 26 towels among the 36 children, so there has been a certain amount of sharing, and a real dirth on washday, if the weather has not been favourable and the towels have not dried before bath time.

Now we will be able to give each child two towels, and I will be rushing to town to buy a laundry pencil, so that we can put their names on them. We also have a functioning hot water cylinder these days, so bathing and keeping clean will be much more of a pleasure for the children, thanks to our donors.

Thanks again for a thoughtful job well done!

Much love from the staff and children, who say thanks too!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Attention Angel-makers in Victoria

Temporary change in procedure:

From April 16 to May 27/09, your contact in Victoria for angel-making kits and bodies will be Erin Ruff. Her phone number is 250-893-3686 and e-mail is

Lorraine and Vic Parsons will be back on May 27.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Seeds for Malawi Newsletter

Saltspring's latest newsletter. Note two plant sales coming up on April 25 and June 7. They sell out early! For more details, contact

Click on newsletter to enlarge it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

St. John's Deep Cove Invitation

St. John's United Community Fair

10990 West Saanich Road

May 2 from 10 -2

We are invited to have a free table for African Aids Angels fundraising at this event.
We have participated in this event in the past and we have raised about $100 each time.
We would encourage volunteers who live in that area to consider hosting the table.

If you are interested contact Mary at

Angels and Anawim

African Aids Angels is pleased to announce a new partner.

Residents of Anawim House have become partners with us in making parts for angel bodies.

They are using their well-equipped workshop to sand pegs, paint beads and glue bodies.
African Aids Angels needs to produce about 5000 angel bodies for dressing each year. Our partnership with Anawim will help us streamline this task and it will support those faithful volunteers who have done this detailed, labour intensive work for many years.

You can find out more about Anawim House at

Open Door at the Angel Store

Angel Store

April 6 to 10

The second week of the month is Angel Store week.

We have:

Angel bodies ready for dressing

Additional supplies for dressing: plain fabrics, buttons, ribbon, bling etc.

Make an appointment to pick up materials by emailing Mary at

Note: there will be no Angel Store pick ups in May. Please plan ahead!

Angel Making Sessions

Angel Making: Cordova United and James Bay Community Project.
Click on Calendar: upper right side of this blog page

You will find our new calendar. Click on the dates with notes on them and you will find times, dates, addresses and a map to guide you to our next angel making sessions.

Donations by Pay Pal

Pay Pal Donation

African Aids Angels can now receive donations by Pay Pal. This is for direct donations where the exchange of Angels is not involved.

Check our website for details.

There is a small fee for this service which is absorbed by our group. A cheque is still a welcome way to make a donation but for many Pay Pal could be more convenient.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

News fron Nova Scotia

New Groups in the Maritimes

Judy Staritt visited Victoria and Parksville Angel groups and then returned to Nova Scotia to start two groups.

Her message:

"Our small group met and made our first Angels together. We are starting with 210. I visited my mom on Yarmouth and she has a small group going there. Love dressing them! That is our news from Nova Scotia."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Teddy Phiri

Teddy and Delilah Phiri, Gilda and Vincent Munthali are the Malawiians who carry out the work of African Angels Association in the Mzuzu area of Northern Malawi. This group works tirelessly as volunteers to provide support for 190 individuals who are affected by Aids as widows, orphans, or are infected with the disease. Funds are provided by African Aids Angels based in Victoria. B.C.

We have been saddened by the news that Teddy has suffered a stroke about 4 weeks ago.

His wife, Delilah, sent a brief email last week,

"Teddy is recovering from the stroke he suffered. His right side is paralyzed and his speech and memory are also affected."

This morning, March 26th, we received the following email from Jean Sauti Phiri who travelled to Victoria with Teddy in 2005.

"I was with Teddy and Delilah yesterday. Teddy is now able to walk, though with some difficulties, but there is tremendous improvement. He used to be supported or even had to be carried a few weeks ago but now he can do without any support. One hand is still paralyzed.

Delilah says they have support from the university and from friends. His face could also tell that he is getting better. We were able to crack some jokes and he could show that beautiful smile again. ..he has some little problems speaking, he wishes to say something but in the process he forgets what to say. ....the doctors say he will soon regain his memory.

The good news is that there is great improvement and we hope to have Teddy, the laugher, back to himself.

Delilah expressed gratitude towards your love, concerns and prayers.

Lots of love and big hugs,


Malawi Project News

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Delilah Phiri sent photos and news of the people we are supporting in Malawi.

Delilah (in the sunhat) is shown meeting with the 20 members of the Doroba group. African Aids Angels supplies seeds and fertilizer for a total of 89 family groups. Most are headed by widows who have lost their husbands to HIV-Aids.

These women receive nutritional support to help them gain maximum benefit from the Anti-retroviral drugs they are taking to combat HIV-Aids. AAA provides the funding for their extra food and the Malawi government provides their medication.

Delilah on the lower left.

These are some of the 45 orphanned teens who receive funding to cover school fees, books, uniforms, and kerosene for lamps so they can study in the evening. In Malawi it gets dark at 6pm year round.

This young man has received training in market gardening in order to help him become financially independent and able to support family who depend on him. Funding from Aids Angels pays for the instructor from the Ministry of Agriculture, seeds, fertilizer and tools for the first crop. After the initial support the young farmer is on his own. 60 youth have received this training over the last two years.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Streamlining Body Production and Distribution

We are looking for new ideas from all those creative minds out there - ways to streamline the sanding of bodies, staining of heads, drawing of faces, gluing of heads and bodies, fixing hair, and all those other little chores that must be done before angels get to put on their clothes. At present a small number of dedicated people are tackling time-consuming chores like sanding, staining and doing hair. If someone has to drop out from one stage of the process, the whole line could come to an abrupt halt.

You might say that we are victims of our own success, a terrible burden to bear.

At 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 6, Lorraine Calderwood-Parsons is hosting a meeting of those involved in the early preparation of angel bodies to brainstorm new ways of production and distribution, and to share tasks. If you can't make it, but have ideas to share, let us know anyway. Lorraine's address is 1473 Banff Place, phone no. 250-472-6499, and email

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Saltspring Grapevine for March

Check out the March edition of Seeds for Malawi's newletter from Saltspring Island. The group is a major supporter of our agriculture projects in the Mzuzu region of Malawi.

Click on the newsletter to enlarge it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Saltspring Grapevine

Seeds for Malawi on Saltspring Island sent out this newsletter in February.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


African Aids Angels AGM

Thursday, May 28th


James Bay New Horizons

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


New Fundraising Initiatives

We have benefitted from a variety of fundraising initiatives in the past few weeks.

Ursula Adams of Crystal Lagoon Jewelry has generously made us the beneficiary of a percentage of her jewelry sales.

Maryl, a long time volunteer, invited us as guest presenters at a successful fundraiser at St. Aidan's.

Cathy, Kathyrn and Jeep presented Aids Angels at a large student gathering at Belmont School.

If you have an opportunity to bring Angels to a local craft fair or community gathering we can support you with posters, pamphlets, and angels. Email your plans to and we will arrange for you to pick up our Angel Fair tub with all the equipment you will need.

New Group

Welcome Cordova Bay United Church

Cordova Bay United joins us as a new Angel Making center.

This group is open to everyone, especially the community in the Cordova Bay area.

Join them on

3rd Wednesday of the month

1-3 pm

at 813 Claremont
(between Wesley and Del Monte)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Angel Making Sessions

James Bay Community Project: 547 Michigan

Monday, Feb. 23rd: 12:30 -2:30 pm

Cordova Bay United Church 813 Claremont

Wedneday March 18th 1:00 -3:00 pm

Friday, February 06, 2009

A note from Malawi

Teddy Phiri's email

Email has been down for most of that last 3 months between us and our group in Malawi.

We have just had a brief note from Teddy describing the progress of crops that have been planted with support from African Aids Angels.

"The rains are falling except that in some of our areas where we have beneficiaries it (the rain) is erratic but generally it is good. They should be able to get food security. As usual these people are very grateful. Sometimes we feel embarrassed how they express their gratefulness knowing that the people who deserve it are far far away in Canada."

What happened to my angel?

5000 angels were made in Victoria in 2008.

4000 were made by "Out of Town" volunteers

By Dec. 31, 2008 in Victoria there were less than 100 angels still available. Those were intended for an earlier craft fair but it was cancelled due to the snow.

Every angel counts!

Where do your angels go?

Some of the angels have made their way to the prairies and to Nova Scotia. We have three new groups getting organized because they were inspired by your angels.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Angels 2009

Angel Changes

The Angel Board is exploring ways to spread the workload and share the responsibilities of creating and displaying African Aids Angels.

We'll be posting these changes over the next few weeks so keep watching for the details.

Here are a few:

Pick up Points for Angel Bodies

There will be two pick up points:

at the homes of Vic Parsons and at Mary Bomford.

Send a note to to say you how many bodies you need.

We'll let you know where to pick them up. They can be left at the door so pick up times are flexible.

Bodies come packaged in 10's or 20's complete with tags, glue gun glue and raffia.

Fabric, Bling, Ribbons etc.

Mary will continue to store these materials. Gail assist in sorting and maintaining the collection.

You can make an appointment to come to the angel "free store" and collect materials for yourself or your group during the second week of each month.

Please plan ahead. Mary needs to be at home for these pick ups.

Angel Independence

Many groups are taking almost complete charge of their operation.

They collect their own fabric and bling with occasional support from the central supply.

The next step will be to find volunteers within your group who can begin to take responsibility for putting hair on the group's angels. Currently there is a very heavy load on 3 volunteers who do most of the angel hairdressing. We appreciate those volunteers who already do their own hair.

Angel Bodies

We will continue to supply bodies that are sanded, painted and glued. We are always in need of volunteers to glue bodies together.

Straight scissors and Pinking Shears

Gail and Erin, two board members, are working hard to find sources of donated shears and scissors.

Pinking shears are very expensive and we don't expect members to buy them. However, they are key to cutting fabric. We will let you know as they become available. Please let people know we are need of good quality second hand pinking shears.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Cloth Castle donates scissors

Thanks very much to Cloth Castle on Goldstream Ave. in Victoria for the donation of much-needed pinking shears and fabric scissors.

If anyone else would like to donate scissors or glue guns for angel-making sessions, please send an email to

Sunday, February 01, 2009

From the Heart, Quilt Project

From the Heart

Embellished Quilt Project

Auction and Sale
Sunday Feb. 8

Thanks to the organizers for including African Aids Angels in their very successful fundraiser.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Angel-makers Out-of-town

Powell River BC

Liz writes :"Despite family commitments I was able to make up some dolls with fellow staff members at my school, and with the Grade 7 class. The kids in the class really enjoyed the project and helped to offer their dolls at the school's Christmas concert. Some of the dolls were also offered at a local craft fair by a friend, and at Paperworks Gift Gallery in Powell River.
Thanks for the support you provide through the website. The blog is a great idea."

Campbell River

Jane sent a note from Carihi Secondary School in Campbell River: "Please find enclosed a cheque for AIDS angels that our Peer Support class made. These angels were then exchanged for donations with family, staff, and friends, and again at a recent school band concert. Our Peer Support Class is very pleased to offer our support to this worthwhile cause."


Susan writes: "I enclosing two donations. The first comes from angels picked up by staff at Charles Dickens Elementary School, made by a group in Vancouver. The second comes from two classes of grade 3 to 5 students. The students each made a cone angel and made a donation. They kept the angels for themselves or family or friend. We received help from a group in Vancouver so thanks to Marjorie, Leona, Pearl, Gladys and Miki for sharing their expertise. We were so proud of the students for their efforts to donate and also their thought and care in creating their angels."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


We've heard of the death on Dec. 18 of one of the young orphans at Thembalethu. Siyabonga Vezi was 2 and 1/2 years old. His mother had died from AIDS and he was being cared for by his blind grandmother before he entered the orphanage. When Lorraine and Vic worked at the orphanage in the fall of 2007, Siyabonga was admitted to the local hospital, an hour away, on two occasions. He seemed to recover, but was very weak and thin. The virus took a toll and he apparently died from a brain infection. His death is a poignant reminder of what African AIDS Angels is all about. The Zulu name Siyabonga means "We thank you."

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Angels with a Heart

Victoria Angel Makers

We have been asked to take part in a fundraiser Feb. 8. A group of quilters is raising funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. They have generously offered us space for African Aids Angels. We will use the funds we raise that day for our 4 projects.

"Heart" is the theme, as the event is close to Valentines Day. We will need 50 angels. Maryl, our volunteer, will have 50 small hearts to decorate our angels. If you wish to make angels with a Valentine's look you can submit them to this event. Contact Vic at , to arrange to deliver your angels. He will also have angel kits with bodies, tags, raffia and glue gun sticks.

Angel Making in 2009

2009 African Aids Angels

Angels will take a well deserved rest in January.

Sessions will begin again at:

James Bay Community Project: 547 Michigan

Monday, Jan. 26: 12:30 -2:30

Monday, Feb. 23rd: 12:30 -2:30

LDS Church, 2990 Quadra

Feb. 10: 7-9 p.m. , enter by back door