Older people count: Archbishop Desmond Tutu joins our action/2015 campaign


By Beth Howgate

Today, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is backing young and old to demand that everyone counts when governments agree global goals to reduce poverty at the UN later this year.

"As we get older our rights do not change. As we get older, we are no less human and should not become invisible," said 84-year-old Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a video released today.

"I want to tell the world that I count, that older people everywhere count and that people of all ages should be included in the Sustainable Development Goals," he said as we host Action All Ages Day as part of the action/2015 campaign.

A month of action on the SDGs

This May, action/2015 will highlight the importance of people of all ages in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are being being set for the next fifteen years.

The action/2015 May Month of Action will feature 14 Global Action Days – organised on themes of ageism, child health, faith and climate change, gender equality and hunger and nutrition – as well as hundreds of events including marches, concerts, flash mobs, workshops and debates throughout the month.

"This year decision-makers have the chance to include people of all ages in their plans for the years ahead," said Toby Porter, Chief Executive Officer at HelpAge International.

"Across the world, from the Philippines to Zimbabwe, we are joining hands with the world's older people, who too often go unheard and uncounted. We want to make sure older people are included in these goals to ensure they are legitimate," he added.

Bringing young and old together

Action All Ages events will take place in ten countries around the world. Singer-songwriter, actress and entertainer, Avril and fellow older musicians from Kenya have developed a campaign song, Hoja Zetu (Our Views) which will be shown at an event in Kenya.

"I want to grow old knowing I will be listened to just as much as anyone else, at any age," said Avril, best known for singles, Mama, Kitu Kimoja and Hakuna Yule.

"I have learnt so much from the older musicians I've worked with on this song. We love what we do because music connects people. I know, like them I'll be singing into my old age," she said.

Age Demands Action campaigner in Kenya, Mama Rhoda Ngima will be taking part in the day and said: "Just because I am old does not mean I am not passionate about my rights. I want this year to be the year I am heard, the year I am recognised and counted."

Action All Ages around the world

In Mongolia, the Mongolian Women's Fund, MONES, is planning an event for older women and young people to inspire and mobilise communities to act together.

In Zimbabwe, an intergenerational panel will review the Millennium Development Goals and come up with recommendations for the post-2015 agenda that focus on ageing.

In Malawi, older and younger people are organising an intergenerational public debate. Younger and older people will talk about what they hope to see in the SDGs.

Get involved in Action All Ages Day!

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