Older people in Thailand voice their needs to the government
Hello, my name is Sawang Kaewkantha, Executive Director of the Foundation for Older Persons' Development (FOPDEV). Like in previous years, the reason that I am involved in Age Demands Action is because the voice of the poorest of the poor is hardly ever heard by society or by policy makers at all levels.
Older people in Thailand voice their needs
In early August 2010, FOPDEV planned to organise consultative meetings with older people to provide opportunities for them to voice their needs.
Since August, there have been at least three meetings and one event:
11 August: we met 60 out of the 93 volunteers at a home-based care project in Chiang Mai. The discussion concentrated on accessibility to health services and old age pensions, particularly universal, non-contributory, social pensions.
19 Sept: we met 150 representatives of Trade Unions from Bangkok and neighbouring provinces. The meeting was held in Bangkok and the discussion was focused on job opportunities after reaching the retirement age of 55 years old.
20 Sept: 30 representatives of older people clubs (OPC's) met in Chiang Mai and Lamphun, a neighbouring province of Chiang Mai. The discussion focused on accessibility to national health security funds at a community level, as well as the universal social pension.
Special Age Demands Action event!
26 Sept: A special Age Demands Action event was held in a theatre in Chiang Mai where nearly 100 people, young and old, attended the activities. Activities included plays and dances performed by older people and the younger generation, the audience completed the Insights on Ageing survey and there was an interview on stage with an older person.
Two short-films from a previous short film contest were shown to the audience after which the film directors and short film producers were interviewed about why and how they paid attention to ageing issues. The directors said that they foresee the impact the ageing population will have on the country in the near future and they want to sensitise society at large to ageing issues.
We will present the voice of older people to the Department of Health
We plan to present the voice of the older people to the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Health who will preside at the opening ceremony of the National Seminar on Health Care Services for Older People on 1 October. We have been invited to participate in the seminar by displaying the photo stories of the ADA 2010 activities.