The Journey to Age Equality: ROM celebrates International Day of Older Persons with the grandmothers of Luwero District.
The guest of honor, the Chief Administrative Officer of Luwero district hands over a goat to the winners of the drama presentation.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize that development will only be achievable if it is inclusive of all ages. It is in line with this that Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV /AIDS Initiative (ROM) with support from the Stephen Lewis Foundation held the International Day of Older Persons on December 13, 2019 at Kasaala-Luwero district.
The event brought together a broad range of stakeholders including; grandmothers, local council leaders, government officials, ROM staff, youth and children and was crowned with mass led by Rev. Fr. George Previdi who in his message called for trustworthiness and prayer to Mother Mary to intercede for us. He mentioned that the old are not able to do a lot, but they are capable of praying for others.
Grandmothers exhibit some of the natural herbal products they make.
The grandmothers also displayed various skills in presentation, creativity and business management through exhibitions. In her presentation the representatives of the grandmothers mentioned that before the coming of the Stephen Lewis Project, they had no support, they would languish from disease and luck of basic needs but now we receive medicines, mosquito nets, goats, mattresses to mention but a few.
The Executive Director of Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV/AIDS Initiative, Josephine Kaleebi commended the grandmothers for teaching the rest a lot about preparation for retirement and old age. She called for those who have benefited from the knowledge they receive during the trainings to teach others.
The Chairman board Mr. Katureebe Kizito suggested, that there is need for a local fund for sustainability of the support given to the elderly.
In his response, the guest of honor the Chief Administrative Officer Godfrey Kuruhira Akiiki, said his team is working to ensure services for the elderly are offered without them making lines. He also mentioned that the district leadership was working with the central government to ensure that medical suppliers for Non-Communicable Diseases like; pressure, diabetes do not run out of stock at Kasaala Health Center 4.
Also, mention was made of the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) Scheme under the Expanding Social Protection Programme which will offer the Senior Citizens Grant that targets older persons of 65 years who do not receive pension.
A group photo of the grandmothers and the guest of honor, Executive Director Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV/AIDS Initiative and Rev. Fr. George Previdi.
According to the World Health Organization, the world’s population is ageing at a fast pace. By 2050 one in five people will be over 60. The number of aged over 80 is projected to triple from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.
This calls for the need to improve care for the elderly and empower them in all dimensions of development, including promoting their active participation in the social, economic and political lives as a way to ensure their inclusiveness and reduce inequalities.
ROM under the grandmothers’ project is implements the project to improve the well -being of grandmothers and their households through the grandmother’s clinic that operates weekly where the grandmothers receive free medical care. Medical outreaches and home visits are also carried out. For the period of 2019- 2022, the project is targeting to reach 1, 800 grandmothers with services.
Grandmothers showcase how they keep records at the exhibition.
For the grandmothers at the event, areas for improvement included; the need for proper recording keeping and conceptualization of their business ideas.