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Photo exhibition in Colombia celebrates older people

25 Oct 2011

Older people enjoy the photo exhibitionWith an opening ceremony HelpAge Colombia launched the photo exhibition "Ageing of the Montes de Maria" at the Museum Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, one of the most visited in Bogotá city.

The exhibition shows the rural northern region of Montes de Maria where HelpAge works with Fundación Red Desarrollo y Paz de los Montes de Maria, supporting older people in communities that were affected by the internal armed conflict and who now experience high unemployment rates and little access to basic services.

With the support of CESTRA - (Centre for Labour Studies), we invited about 35 leaders from different parts of the city to share the successful experience of working in Montes de Maria, a project funded by Irish Aid. We also talked about the progress and challenges of HelpAge's Age Demands Action campaign in Colombia.

Tribute to older people's strength

The 40 photos were taken by Louise O'Gorman and Antonio Olmos to capture the experiences that older people from this part of the country have faced and how they are working to overcome them. The exhibition is a tribute to the communities of Caracol, Libertad, Mampuján and El Salado, highlighting the significant role that older people play in their families, communities and in society.

The exhibition demonstrates the strength of older people to survive the violence of the internal armed conflict and how they have helped to rebuild their communities. It also highlights the difficulties they currently face in accessing health or social protection services in a region where the trend is increasingly of young people migrating to the cities in search of work.

However, older people have been empowered through knowledge of their rights and the services they are entitled to. Now they can work with local authorities to raise awareness of older people's rights and encourage them to include older people's suggestions for improving their services.

The exhibition will be at the Museum until November 11.

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Angela Sanabria
Country: Colombia
Job title: Communications Assistant

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.