RAISING AWARENESS: THE DEPARTMENT CHAMPIONS ELDERLY RIGHTS

0
16

Sharpeville resident Gogo Miriam Moabi at Ikageng Old Age Relief Centre

By Lorato Modisenyane

  • In an effort to raise awareness and educate communities about elder rights, the Department of Social Development has launched activities across the province in preparation for the Provincial World Elder Abuse Awareness Day campaign.
  • A two-day campaign in Rietvlei, West Rand Region, included training officials and volunteers on recognising, reporting, and addressing elder abuse, followed by a door-to-door outreach to apply their skills.
  • The campaign highlighted the importance of elder rights, emphasising community support, and the role of older persons in society, aligning with the goals of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and the United Nations International Plan of Action on Ageing.

In preparation for the Provincial World Elder Abuse Awareness Day campaign, the Department of Social Development has launched a series of activities across the province to raise awareness and educate communities about the rights of the elderly. As part of these initiatives, the department conducted a two-day awareness campaign in Rietvlei, West Rand Region.

The campaign began with a training session on 10 June, aimed at equipping officials and volunteers with skills to effectively approach households and educate them on elder rights, the different types of abuse, and how to promote and protect the rights of older persons. The training also covered recognising and reporting elder abuse, asking the right questions in cases of abuse, and handling and referring such cases appropriately.

On the second day, officials applied their newly acquired knowledge in a door-to-door campaign. During one visit, Gogo Rebecca Tselampe, 59, shared that she does not experience abuse and is aware of her rights as an elderly person. Although she does not yet qualify for the old age grant, she receives a disability grant due to a past injury. She lives with her three grandchildren, who all receive child support grants. Gogo Tselampe proudly stated, “I am well aware of my rights as an elderly person, and I know where the local Social Development offices and the clinic are. I even know who my local social worker is.”

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated annually on 15 June in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action on Ageing. This day highlights the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. WEAAD aims to spotlight the challenges and contributions of older persons in the 21st century. Older persons play vital roles in nurturing and supporting families, and their rights must be recognised and upheld. They should be supported to participate in the economic, political, and social lives of their communities and to engage in voluntary work, sharing their knowledge and expertise in line with the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing.

Picture taken by: Kedi Dube

Leave a reply