The HelpAge Global network is growing!
We are delighted that, after the recent meeting of HelpAge International's board, three new Affiliates from Uganda, Cambodia and Finland have joined our global network. This brings the total number of organisations in our network to 114 in over 70 countries.
We asked our new Affiliates what their key motivation was for joining the network:
Kenneth Edmund Mugayehwenkyi, founder and Executive Director of the Reach One Touch One Ministries (ROTOM) in Uganda said:
"We're joining the HelpAge Global network because we want to learn and share experiences with HelpAge International and other Affiliates from across the world.
"We're also keen to increase our international profile by taking part in global campaigns and advocacy activities to promote older people's rights."
ROTOM was established in 2003 and has grown rapidly to become one of the most effective organisations reaching out to older people in Uganda. They work closely in partnership with the longstanding HelpAge Affiliate, Uganda Reach the Aged. Together they have raised awareness about older people's issues and advocated for policies that promote their dignity.
In October 2013, ROTOM celebrated the ten year anniversary of the Ministry for Older Persons in Uganda. As part of the anniversary, Mr Mugayehwenkyi led a 400 kilometre walk from the south west to the centre of Uganda. The walk attracted hundreds of walkers most of whom were older. The celebration also included the official opening of two health centres dedicated to the care of older people in Kabale and Mukono districts.
Vira Tum, Interim Executive Director, HelpAge Cambodia said:
"As a local NGO and an Affiliate of the HelpAge global network, we will strive to maintain the quality of our work and ensure that older women and men in Cambodia fulfill their potential to lead dignified, active, healthy and secure lives.
"We welcome any opportunity to participate in campaigns and activities initiated by HelpAge International and its partners. We are very happy to share our achievements and lessons learnt with Affiliates from the network."
Since 2011, HelpAge Cambodia has undergone a transition from a HelpAge International country office to a fully localised national NGO.
Their key areas of work include working with older people's associations to support the older population and their families to improve their livelihoods and wellbeing through sustainable community development.
HelpAge Cambodia is a national leader in ageing issues and works closely with the Royal Government of Cambodia, including several central ministries and provincial departments, to support old age inclusion in their programming and policy efforts.
Virpi Dufva, Executive Director of Valli, the Union for Senior Services in Finland, said:
"HelpAge opened our eyes to the global situation of older people. We wanted to join the HelpAge family because we're very interested in international work and want to know more about the real situation of older people worldwide.
"The Global AgeWatch Index has been an inspiration to us. Valli wants to bear our share of responsibility for older people who are poor, lonely and starving. We believe HelpAge is the best partner for our future activities."
Valli is a national non-profit umbrella organisation working for the care of older people. It has 71 member associations across Finland, which serve about 20,000 older people.
Finland is one of the most rapidly ageing societies in the world. Valli's vision is to promote a welfare society where everyone can grow up and grow old in harmony. Valli promotes age inclusive policies and services.