In Belize, we work through HelpAge Belize. HelpAge Belize has been an affiliate of HelpAge International since 1984 and this year adopted the HelpAge brand and became a sister organisation.
The main thrust of our work has been around social pensions but we also run nine day centres across the country where older men and women come to socialise, exercise, receive health education and discuss current affairs.
The difference we made in 2010-11
- We launched a study HelpAge Belize 2011 into the feasibility of introducing a non-contributory pension for all older citizens. Fewer than one in five older people receive a pension so it's urgently needed.
- We took part in the Age Demands Action campaign by holding a panel discussion on a local radio station in Belize City. We received very positive feedback from the general public. The panellists included Mr Castillo, a 90-year-old HelpAge representative.
- We helped our partners to respond to disasters by helping them develop organisational disaster plans. We also conducted training in a number of disaster management areas.
- We reached thousands of older people through our day centres by providing games, exercise, meals-on-wheels, food parcels, eye care and home visits.
We will continue to work with our partners and older people to get the Government to introduce universal social pensions and to improve health care services for older citizens.
Grace Kennedy Belize, Belize Mills, Belize Sugar Industries, Rotary Club, Belize Natural Energy