HelpAge has worked in Uganda since the early 1990s with its Affiliate the Uganda Reach the Aged Association (URAA) and other partners.
Our work currently focuses on empowering older people to demand for their rights and entitlements.
We have a keen interest in building government commitment to continue and expand the senior citizens grant currently being piloted in only a few districts with donor funding.
Our work also focuses on ensuring older people benefit from the existing national poverty reduction programmes in Northern Uganda.
Health services are a major need and challenge for older Ugandans. HelpAge's projects try to influence more effective health services as well as ensuring older people are included in key national health and HIV and AIDS programmes.
Life story: Tubakwerwa, 58
(c) Antonio Olmos/HelpAge International Tubakwerwa received a loan from HelpAge's partner, Uganda Reach the Aged Association (URAA).
She invested it in a market stall selling fruit and vegetables. The money she earns from this helps her to feed the seven grandchildren she cares for but as she gets older, her working life is getting harder and harder.
She says: "Before my husband died, I used to work on the farm, growing fruit and vegetables. The produce was just for feeding the family.
"My husband used to look after cows. When he died, it was up to me to do all the work. I now wake up at 6am and often don't get to bed until midnight.
"I care for seven grandchildren, who all go to school. I wake up to get them ready and make their lunch. Then I walk 2km to the market and work there until 8pm.
"Food prices are a big problem. I try very hard to give the children three meals a day, but it is not always possible. What I can afford is what we eat. Sometimes the children go hungry and complain, but there is nothing I can do."
Supporting older people in Uganda
In the last year we have:
- Set up 16 older people's groups in northern Uganda. Older members use the groups to find out their rights and entitlements and then lobby local authorities to ensure they get them.
- Set up a civil society group on social protection which includes older people: This has created a foundation for them to press their district authorities for social benefits.
- Strengthening our older people's groups' work in all the districts where we work.
- More advocacy for age-friendly health and agricultural services.
- Generating evidence on the importance of a minimum level of income for older people.
Uganda Reach the Aged Association (URAA)
CARITAS Gulu, Health Alert Uganda