• The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) programme provided a platform for elders to discuss their experiences and the importance of understanding their rights.
  • Attendees highlighted the need for government oversight and practical support for senior citizens, emphasising the programme’s value in sharing knowledge.
  • The programme underscored the significance of uniting elders from diverse regions, fostering a sense of community and shared learning.

Reporter Madali Chibambu of the Weekly Bulletin spoke with elders who attended the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) event, gaining insights into their perspectives on the significance of the day.

Thandi Shongwe, 68, from Lenasia in the Johannesburg Region, expressed her awareness of WEAAD but noted she had not previously attended any programmes. She emphasised the importance of older people understanding their rights as citizens and called for government oversight on services provided to seniors. “It’s crucial that we know our rights and that the government ensures we are well taken care of,” Thandi stated.

Mzimkhulu Khumalo, 70, from Springs in Ekurhuleni, was a first-time attendee and found the event invaluable. He appreciated the helpful responses from presenters and learned practical tips on caring for other senior citizens. “The information shared today will help me better support my peers,” Mzimkhulu commented.

As a speaker at the programme, Malefyane Phetla, 72, from Atteridgeville in Tshwane, felt the day was eye-opening for many seniors. He highlighted the opportunity for seniors to share their views and interact across regions, noting the immediate assistance provided by presenters. “This event has brought us together and provided much-needed support and knowledge,” Malefyane remarked.

Moses Mkhonto, 65, from Jameson Park in Sedibeng, praised the programme organisers for uniting seniors from diverse regions. He expressed a desire for the event to become an annual fixture, citing his newfound knowledge of departmental functions and types of elder abuse. “I’ve learned so much today; we need more events like this,” Moses said.

Nellie Moyeng, 73, from Kagiso in the West Rand, appreciated the programme’s comprehensive approach, particularly the involvement of various stakeholders. She highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by seniors, including protecting grandchildren struggling with addiction, which can sometimes lead to tragic outcomes. “It’s important that we address these issues and support each other as a community,” Nellie emphasised.

The WEAAD programme not only provided valuable information and support to the elders but also underscored the importance of government oversight and practical assistance. The shared experiences and insights from attendees highlighted the need for continued efforts to protect and empower older citizens.

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