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Great victory for thousands of older people

07 Oct 2013

1 October 2013 marked the 7th year of our Age Demands Action campaign. Campaigners in 59 countries took part in this massive global campaign. It was an extremely successful day and we want to thank everybody across the world who participated in these activities, we are overwhelmed and appreciative.

It was a day packed full of political engagement and awareness raising. Many older people came out of the meetings feeling a sense of pride, happiness and reward. Here is what happened...

South Africa: A remarkable success!

With one of our partners in South Africa we offered Optometry and Ophthalmological services at the Sabona Eye Centre. The eyecare testing (and advocacy around it) provided opportunities for older persons' voices to heard and acted upon.

During Age Demands Action, the government announced universal pension in South Africa. Age Demands Action and the advocacy effort by civil society organisations has made this happen!

Albania: More centres for older people

In Albania ADA campaigners met with political leaders including the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs who promised four more centres for older people. Campaigners managed to mobilise media interest and did a great job in getting the message out.

Nepal: Time to celebrate!

HelpAge Nepal worked with the Government to revise the Senior Citizen Act, regulation and policy guidelines for setting up of old-age homes. On 1 October for Age Demands Action campaign, the final draft was submitted to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare. Many commitments were announced and included a separate section for senior citizens in the Ministry as well as special facilities for senior citizens in public places.

Philippines: Shopping will not be the same again!

In the Philippines the International Day of the Older Persons has become an empowering symbol of a recent success story. Over 260 older people were hired by ‘Mall of Asia' and a thousand older people took part in a celebration. This is a result of successful negotiations with Human Resources team at the shopping mall and civil society. Everyone should be very proud of themselves as they have made a step towards age equality.

Haiti: Service improvements needed

Haiti celebrated ADA and International Day of Older Persons with drama performances at the Léogâne association. After the performances there was a peaceful walk to deliver a message to the local UN mission. The message was about the need to improve quality of services to older citizens. 

Ethiopia: Building to profit older people

In Ethiopia a series of activities took place for ADA. The day started with a viewing of a building whose profits will go to improving lives of older people in Bahir Dar region. In addition, a panel session was held with Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, the Minister of Women, Youth and Children Affairs and the Director of Human Right Commission, Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs, and the Social Security Agency. At the closing ceremony, awards were handed out to non-governmental organisations.

South Korea: UN convention on the rights of older people

In South Korea activists collected a huge amount of petition signatures and photo actions in support of a UN convention to protect the rights of older people. On 1 October, a performance with a dance and songs entitled ‘What's wrong with my age?' was held in the heart of Seoul, along with more photo actions and petition signings.

Bangladesh: It's all about the media

In Dhaka many older citizens were out in force on the streets drawing attention to issues which affect them. Also HelpAge International ran a media workshop with 20 important Bangladesh journalists. Monjurul Ahsan BulBul was the honourable guest and pledged his support for the ADA campaign. In addition, over hundred journalists attended a press conference talking about the status of national policy on ageing and the UN convention on the rights of older people.

Fiji: Massive report launch

In Fiji International Day of the Older Persons was celebrated with a release of a publication titled "A Compendium of Actions for Seniors Well Being in Fiji". The report and the launch party was a great event that drew attention to policies which the government could implement to improve the lives of senior citizens.

Indonesia: Dementia on the agenda

HelpAge International and its partners organised a "memory walk" to raise awareness on Dementia. A great mix of older and younger citizens attended.

Kyrgyzstan: From press to art

In Kyrgyzstan it was a busy day for ADA campaigners as they gathered with policy makers in a press conference and organised an art and dance fair.

Lesotho: Grandmothers taking action

An ADA event was held in rural Lesotho which included a song contest for the grandmothers and ritual dancing to raise awareness for the plight of the older community. Many government members and local officials attended.

Argentina: Age friendly cities

In the city of La Plata, many of its older citizens gathered to sign a petition to make the city more age-friendly. They also attended road awareness workshops.

Your comments

Mohammad Mosaddek Hussain

Thanks for highlighting the information on the aged people of different countries. I would like to work with the older people living around the world both developed and Latin American countries to gain international experience and eager to conduct coprehensive research on aging and Gerontology. Pls. send me full information as soon as possible.Waiting for reply from the organizations working for the older people.

Kitaw Negussie

Thanks for the update! There are promising signs for the betterment of older persons around the world. We are seeing changes in my country, Ethiopia; thanks to HelpAge and those devoted Older persons the gov. the public and different civic organisations are giving practical attention for the issue!

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Author profile

Barbara Dockalova
Country: London
Job title: Campaigns Co-ordinator

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