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Age Demands Action kicks off in Kenya!

01 Oct 2010

ADA campaigners march in KenyaWhat a great day!

What a great day. We left Misiani quite early in the morning. By 5:30 am, we were on the way to Nairobi. As expected, the traffic was heavy, but we eventually got to Uhuru Park where we met other older people from Nairobi and Thika.

We waited a while before the march started. We had to wait for other groups who were stuck in traffic. Two vehicles broke down, but the groups made it before we started marching. As we waited for the groups, I was interviewed by some of the media. When all were assembled, there were short speeches, and there was a prayer as well. Eventually, Joe Kadenge, a football legend that my generation remembers well, flagged off the march.

Joe Kadenge starts the march!You could not believe these were older people!

We didn't have far to walk since our initial route had to be changed because Parliament was reopening and the President was coming back from the US. Instead we had to march from one end of Uhuru Park to another, ending up at the Railway Club where the band played outside the hall and we danced and danced. You could not believe that these were old people!

We got in the hall and there were dances and skits by the different groups, all of which were empowering and they had strong messages for the government and our leaders to show concern for older people. There were speeches too, and I got to make one as the spokesperson.

We met the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance

Marching in KenyaAround 4 pm, a delegation left for the Ministry of Finance. I was fortunate to be selected to be in this delegation. We got there and we were cordially invited into a boardroom. To our surprise, a high-powered delegation was there to meet us, led by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Kinyua. The entire Budget Planning team was also present. I got to make the presentation on behalf of the team, with assistance from Josephine Napkonde and Rhoda Ngima, two of my fellow ADA activists. We stressed to the ministry that older people needed to be cared for better by the government and that they should take care of our needs through the pension. We stressed that the cost of living was very high, and it was necessary for the pension to be increased.

We left feeling very positive

We left there feeling very positive. The Ministry seemed to have listened to our petition. I am now resting until Monday morning when I appear on the Breakfast Show on NTV, a television station.

Show your support by signing the Age Demands Action global petition!

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Pius Musimba
Country: Kenya
Job title: ADA spokesperson

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