HelpAge Zimbabwe is an affiliate of HelpAge International established in 1989. It works in several areas including:
- HIV and AIDS: Recognising older people as care givers and addressing their needs and rights.
- Social Protection: Helping older people access their right to a pension and additional support where they are carers of others, notably orphans and vulnerable children.
- Livelihoods: Ensuring that older people and their families have access to secure work and livelihood programmes and activities. This includes work in disaster and conflict situations.
- Health: Securing access to free and basic healthcare for older people, particularly in times of emergencies or conflicts.
- Advocacy: Working closely with policy makers and government departments to improve living conditions for older people through developing legislation and policies.
Life story: Enia, 63
Photo: HelpAge Zimbabwe Enia, a 63-year-old widow from Zvishavane went completely blind at the age of 60.
"Getting blind when you are old is very painful," she said.
"I almost thought of committing suicide because I couldn't bear waiting for people to tell me what to, what to wear and what food to eat."
HelpAge Zimbabwe (HAZ), Eyes for Africa, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the National Council for the Blind, Rotary Club of Avondale and World Vision Zimbabwe conducted cataract operations in February 2010 in Zvishavane.
Enia is one of the 54 older people from rural Zvishavane who benefited from this project.
She said: "After the operation and the medical staff took off the bandages, I couldn't believe I was seeing so clearly."
Supporting older people in Zimbabwe
- As part of our advocacy for older people, we successfully engaged with the media several times including producing two television discussion programs and one documentary, four radio spots and four articles in national newspapers.
- We trained 275 older people in palliative care and home-based care in the districts of Zvishavane, Mufakose, Bulawayo and Chiredzi.
- We also distributed food hampers and vouchers to 500 households, nutrition supplements to 500 infants and cash grants to 180 beneficiaries.
We are going to continue with our programme of work and also:
- research and produce publications,
- organise a symposium for older people.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Services, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Home Affairs, Local Authorities, Traditional leaders, FACT, Island Hospice, WFP, IOM, World Vision, Action Aid, Farm Community Trust, CARE International, EC, Lotto, AUSAID, UNICEF, Royal Norwegian Embassy, GRM, Firelight Foundation, Practical Action, Save the Children UK.