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Leaders listen to older people in Mozambique

05 May 2010

Older people's associations in Mozambique and HelpAge have worked together to engage the government at the highest level and make a difference to their lives.

A true picture of older people's lives

Eight politicians from all over Mozambique, visited the distrits of Chókwe and Boane this April. The visit was in direct response to older people's requests.

They got a true picture of older people's day to day lives and were made aware of the contributions to society that older people make through their work in the community.

Older people raised the need for a secure income and laws to protect them. They also demanded that ageing issues be included in the national strategy of social protection, to be approved in the coming year.

Making the leaders listen

The pension that older people receive needs to be more widely available and raised to match living costs. Especiosa Muianga, from Pro-Idoso, said: "The 100 Meticais (about USD$3.3) the government is currently giving should be reviewed according to the current cost of living".

Mama Wamatharine Machava, 76, who cares for 3 orphaned grandchildren added: "Please take into consideration that the amount paid under PSA scheme is very little since it was reviewed a long time ago".

In response, politicians have committed to take these demands to the President of the Parliament and the Parliament Working Committee. They are committed to a law which will protect older people's rights. They also want to form a reference group for older people's issues, so that the link between older people and the government will stay strong.

"Older people are a living library"

Government representatives also supported all initiatives to ensure older people can lead dignified lives. In light of this, they urged older people's associations to design income generation projects, which they will support.

Casimiro Huate, head of the delegation, and Member of the Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Economic issues, said: "It was a pleasure to see the excellent work older people are doing. Our task now is to promote and approve laws to protect older people. We are open to more discussion with older people, I see them as a living library. They deserve to be respected and valued."

Read more about HelpAge's work in Mozambique.

Your comments

rose lin arouca

I am Mozambican currently living in the UK. my grandmother has dimentia and people do not know how to deal with certain issues, the family is giving all the support but the government could do so much more to help the elderly. i am very happy to have read this article older people need more help and support especially in third world countries. thank you for your blog.

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Sarah Marzouk
Country: UK
Job title: Digital Communications

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