I realise I did kill my daughter says Magdalene. I didn't want her to sit outside and see the sun, to see the people. I just wanted to lock her inside a room.
Lucia lives in Alexandra, the poor township that Nelson Mandela first lived in when he came to Johannesburg. She is talking to Brenda Rooney, a granny from a very different walk of life. You didnt kill your daughter, AIDS did, says Brenda. You mustnt carry that guilt. Lucias face is distraught. Its in me, she says.
Brenda is one of the Wakefield Grannies, a group of twelve women who send money and letters to a group of South African grandmothers. AIDS has taken the lives of their children, leaving grandchildren to look after. Today in Wakefield snow is thick on the ground, and a letter has arrived from South Africa: I was excited to hear about the fundraising event you guys will be doing in Wakefield reads Norma. I am so glad I have met people like you.
The letter is from Rose, the nurse who looks after the AIDS clinic in Alexandra. It was in 2004, in the Wakefield general store, that Rose met Norma, and the link between these two very different communities began. So many elderly people have been deprived of communication, she explains, while the stigma surrounding the disease is terrible. They started laughing at me, explains Lucia. They started avoiding my house. They didn't want their children to play with my children. For these women, it is the friendship, as much as the money that is valued.
All over America grandmothers are forming groups inspired by the Wakefield Grannies and the help they are giving. Today one of the Wakefield Grannies has received a letter from Petronella. Greetings from far away South Africa, she reads. Your card shows that Canada is a very cold place
Thank you for all you are doing
My wish now is to see you personally. Now with all the attention the Granny Revolution is receiving, Petronellas wish comes true.
The UN fly out a group of the South African grannies and Rose the nurse to Canada. It is the first time many of these women have met, and hugs and smiles are everywhere. Rose makes a speech, and thanks them for the love, the care, the support. She is visibly moved. Ive never seen a community so united.
And Im just wondering why do we have to come all the way to find such love. She composes herself. Im just humbled, she says.
This is a simple story of ordinary people who are working to change a small corner of life for the better.
Directed by Brenda and Robert rooney