The International Day of Older Persons Event
"Leaving No One Behind: Promoting A Society for All"
The District Six Museum Homecoming Centre in the Cape Town CBD hosted the 24th International Day of Older Persons for the elderly of the Cape Flats.
Various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) participated in the day-long event that celebrated older persons with an emphasis on taking action with regards to challenges they face.
These many challenges, according to the organisations, range from homelessness, to health and, most importantly, to the issue of home-based primary care givers.
The theme for this year’s commemoration, “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for all” is a proactive attempt at supporting the United Nations call to necessitate an understanding of the challenges facing the growing older persons’ population.
Addressing the audience, Ms Lulama Sigasana from Ikamva Labantu, an NGO providing health care services; nutrition (two meals a day); aromatherapy; a reading club and exercise programmes to the elderly expressed being ‘very excited’ in being part of the event.
Ms Sigasana said her organisation has been making tremendous strides in ensuring that the elderly are not left behind. She said their programmes offer the "gogos" and "papas" time and space to relax and to engage one another in a care-free environment.
Western Cape Social Development Minister Albert Fritz also took to the podium and applauded the NGOs on the job well done in ensuring that the older persons are taken care of.
The Minister went on to tell the audience that through its Older Persons Programme, his Department has, over the past five years, increased its funding to NGOs rendering social support services to the elderly; a total of three hundred and forty-five organisations providing key services with a special focus on promoting a developmental approach to ageing, which itself seeks to keep older persons in their families and communities for as long as possible.
A delighted Ms. Zuziwe Mathe, a gogo from the Age Well group, said she was very happy to have been taken care of by the group as they proved to have their best interests at heart. She was also very happy to spend the day with the other elderly people to celebrate the day specially dedicated to them.
The elderly enjoyed themselves as they were also treated to a live music band, to which they danced and sang along whilst reminiscing over the good old days.
The Western Cape Government provides Older Persons with care and support, so that they can make use of facilities to benefit their lives, Better Together.