Our achievements

We've made strong progress in the past year.

Together with our partners, we're helping millions of older people lead more dignified, active, healthy and secure lives.

What we achieved in 2016-17

For the full report, download the Annual report and financial statements 2016/17.

Theresa is a widow from Sierra Leone who sells cassava leaves and cassava cake to support four grandchildren and two foster children whose parents died from Ebola (c) Simon Rawles/Age International

(c) Simon Rawles/Age International

Theresa is a widow from Sierra Leone who sells cassava leaves and cassava cake to support four grandchildren and two foster children whose parents died from Ebola

I have the income I need

Millions of older people still have no reliable source of income. But more governments across the world are recognising the benefits a secure availability of money in older age has for older people, their families and society.

We worked with network members to advocate for governments to expand tax-financed, non-contributory social pension schemes and other forms of social protection, and helped with their design and implementation. And we empowered older people’s groups to make sure governments are more accountable on the delivery of social protection schemes too. For those who want to run their own enterprises, we have provided loans and grants, agricultural inputs and small-business training to older people to enable them to earn a living.

  • In the past year, 1.91 million more people across Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, Peru, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam and Zanzibar now receive a social pension.
  • After years of advocacy and technical support from HelpAge International, Myanmar launched a universal pension in June 2017 for all people aged 90 and over worth 10,000 kyat (US$7.30) a month.
  • We have given 60,000 older people in 18 countries support to make a living in the last 18 months through loans and grants, technical training, and assistance to access credit and benefits. For example, in Sierra Leone 1,700 older people established enterprises to improve their income and change attitudes to older people and in Moldova we helped 238 older people set up small-scale agricultural businesses.
Fikru, a former long-distance driver from Ethiopia, receives daily visits from a volunteer home carer through Tesfa Social and Development Association (c) Lydia Humphrey/Age International

(c) Lydia Humphrey/Age International

Fikru, a former long-distance driver from Ethiopia, receives daily visits from a volunteer home carer through Tesfa Social and Development Association

I enjoy the best possible health and quality of life

Health and care systems around the world have responded inadequately to the changing needs of older populations. Many older people worldwide are living with more than one chronic health condition, and this can lead to the need for support with daily living in their later years. 

We worked with network members and other partners to deliver health and care services and health education to older people, enabling more than 500,000 older people in 21 countries access the help they need. We developed systems for collecting data and supported older people to monitor services themselves, using the findings to influence national and global policies.

  • In Kyrgyzstan, we supported 25 diabetes self-help groups to assist members in managing their condition and to advocate through Age Demands Action for better national policies to prevent and care for people who have diabetes.
  • Through three partners in Lebanon, we ran 10 health centres for older Syrian refugees, as well as older people among the host communities, providing them with medicine, psychosocial support and care for non-communicable diseases, as well as organising activities to promote social inclusion.
  • Our advocacy helped push through new or revised government health and care policies in Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, benefiting an estimated 5.62 million people.
Minami (centre) fled violence in Burundi after his house was surrounded by soldiers and is now living in a refugee camp in Tanzania (c) Ben Small/HelpAge International

(c) Ben Small/HelpAge International

Minami (centre) fled violence in Burundi after his house was surrounded by soldiers and is now living in a refugee camp in Tanzania

I am safe and secure, free from all forms of discrimination, violence and abuse

Older people are among those most at risk in disasters, but their needs and abilities are often overlooked in relief and recovery programmes. Many older people, especially women, face violence and abuse because of age and sex discrimination, and inadequate protection of their rights.

We responded to emergencies, influenced global policy, and advised humanitarian agencies and local communities on how to include older people in emergency responses and disaster risk reduction programmes.

  • Our humanitarian responses reached 276,000 people, including 100,000 older people, across 13 countries, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Lebanon, Ukraine and Yemen. Our support focused on distributing cash, providing shelter, managing non-communicable diseases and accessing healthcare.
  • We led an inter-agency group to develop the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, which has been signed by more than 30 governments, UN bodies and humanitarian agencies.
  • Together with our partners, we trained 36,000 people in 11 countries, including Myanmar and Nepal, to be better prepared for humanitarian crises.
  • We also worked with governments and specialist agencies to prevent elder abuse, particularly against women, in countries including Moldova, the Philippines and Tanzania.
Amarsanaa Darisuren from the Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia addressed the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing as part of our Age Demands Action campaign (c) Jemma Stovell/HelpAge International

(c) Jemma Stovell/HelpAge International

Amarsanaa Darisuren from the Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia addressed the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing as part of our Age Demands Action campaign

My voice is heard

Human rights do not diminish with age, but discrimination in older age and the violation of older people’s rights continues to be tolerated around the world. Older people’s issues are often low on political and development agendas and their voices frequently remain unheard.

Through the HelpAge global network, we connected a wide range of organisations to advance a human rights instrument for older people, influence new policies and laws on ageing, and support older people to form their own associations and campaign for their rights.

  • Our campaigning and advocacy helped to encourage three more governments to announce their support for a UN convention on the rights of older people, bringing the total to 37.
  • Age Demands Action mobilised 164,000 people in 42 countries to campaign on issues important to older people.
  • The number of older people’s associations we support grew to 7,976 in 26 countries, with total membership of 403,000.

Post a comment | 29 comments

Comments submitted for this page

  • THERENCE NDAGIJIMANA (17 January 2018)

    I want to mention my gladness about the idea of helping Age people in world.In fact i had graduated in Social Work and Community Development and i work as a Health Mediator of vulnerable peoples.So i have a lot of numbers of Age people who have nothing as support.If we put together our efforts we cane ameliorate their living manner.If possible i need a partner in other to work in big team

  • Grace (17 February 2017)

    I believe that all older people deserve to be treated fairly and are just the same as everyone else. Everyone becomes an older person. So I don't understand why you say things that you wouldn't want to have said about you. Also, I can't understand why people are so critical, they are going to be old to. I don't understand why their has to be anything called ageism. It is like sexism and racism, they all don't make sense. I just hope that people will come to their senses and stop making ageism a thing when it doesn't have to be.

  • sahra (07 September 2016)

    Older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure and healthy lives.
    (SOMHO) care for a large number of elderly people in my country. And we need a partnership to keep protect older people's rights, healthy and secure.
    For those of you who are not familiar with our organization, (SOMHO) is organized many work very hard to provide food, shelter and healthcare to old people, SOMHO has also focusing on older persons who belong to marginalized groups and retired activists, people who spent their lives promoting, peace, human rights And they need to ensure their voices.
    We thank for your time and consideration; we look forward to your support
    If you require additional information about Somaliland Help Age Organization (SOMHO) please contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • Samuel (20 June 2015)

    It is truly a blessing to have Helpage intervention around. The forgotten yet vulnerable people in our society have an organisation that advocate for their rights in society thanks to Helpage.

  • Dr.Abdallah, SALEH (20 May 2015)

    Helpage International noble work needs support and encouragement. Every being who is blessed with years of living to the elderly will encounter issues related to the age. Our input support and encouragement are highly needed. Let's join our hands and support with advices and sharing of ideas towards improving issues, policies and practicability while dealing with issues of advanced aging. I do give myself and my time into input whenever necessary towards growth of this reputable International Organization. Let's not end in just praising the work done by this Organization. Let's avail either our time, our personal presence or even ideas into support done by the HAI. Wherever the person is, in the country level, in grass root level or even in the second country apart from our origin, can always support. Learners and researchers are highly motivated into sharing their research findings towards improvement of elderly. Researchers can as well think of questions to be researched towards improving elderly. Let other stake holders as well put up their input towards this noble work and very reality practice,being it in SOCIAL ARENA, HEALTH,EMPOWERMENT,DISASTER AND RISK REDUCTION,EMERGENCIES,HIV and AIDS and alike. Of course all these when we'll tackled will lead into dignified,secure,active and health life.

  • vaari matthew (23 April 2015)

    great, you are actually saving and extending so many lives who were neglected and abandoned. I am helping 125 aged people with ointment, food and protective clothes. I need your advice as how to improve upon it.

  • SHADRACK NZUKI (01 April 2015)

    No grown tree without its root and no big river without its source! at last you have rembered the source of humanity.Thank you for your aspiration.my local organisation in grassroot level endovours the same kindly do you collaborate or partner with local community based org in krnya?

  • margaret ayodeji olatoregun (28 January 2015)

    I am very happy with what you have achieved so far,but am caring for a large number of elderly people in my country single handed due to no well defined policies for the elderly. I need to keep my NGO running kindly advice how you will reach out to us in NIGERIA. thanks

  • ntimarubusa Frederic (09 May 2014)

    I fully support HalpAge action when claiming old people rights. Tha's why we are creating HelpAge- Burundi to restore dignity to oldage people allover the world.

  • Md. Selim Uddin (17 January 2014)

    No body think like you about the older people in Bangladesh. This is the high time to do something for them.They are the store of knowledge.We need to create a good environment to mobilize their knowledge in the participatory and supportive way.It is very essential to protect their rights,secure future,sound health and joyful life.We should committed to do that.

  • Leonard Michael Kahema (02 January 2014)

    this internationalorganization of helping age people would be a good help for old people of our are in Sengerema district Mwanza Tanzania nyampulukano ward who has started a unity for old people to look for their rights and better lives. I look forward to get way out this is because we have noticed that our country has done a good job in improving health to childrens and this reflects that in few years to come we will be having a big number of old people so we think it is wiae to start programs of educating and preparing young people for their old age.

  • shom bahadur darlami (04 December 2013)

    fantastic job well done, helpage international, this god job for every one

  • Francois DRAMOU (11 November 2013)

    je viens travers ce message vous demande un partenariat avec mon ONG Espoir pour la Communaut qui agit dans les domaines suivants la protection des personnes age dans le millieu rural, education sexule dans le millieu scolaire travers la sensibilisation et aider les jeunes s'orienter dans les metiers pour viter la delequance
    Mr Franois DRAMOU
    BP: 6072 Conakry
    Rpublique de Guine

  • Alfredo Gomez Samaniego (12 October 2013)

    I am a retired civil engineer 71, I receive a good pension and I want to help other elderly people in my country, Paraguay. Please write me if I can be of help

  • Daniel samwel (20 March 2013)

    Itake this opportunity to thank Help Age Internation to support olders

  • amanuel della (16 December 2012)

    i really support the work of helpage for their highly valuable contribution on breaking the yolk of poverty from the shoulder of old people. I like to support your action as a volunteer...!!! But currently I am working on the area of Young people empowerment through education, formal and informal training for all young and capacity building for street business entrepreneurs specially in shoe shine business. May God bless You all!!!

  • amanuel della (16 December 2012)

    u are doing a great job with in the generation and it will pave the way for many volunteer workers to do such works in social, economic and humanitarian works ...i believe u really will bring a change in our continent in near future,May God bless u!!

  • PAUL SAGNA (19 September 2012)

    I really like this organisation. Older people need our assistance and our attention.Age is a gift from God and all of us wish to live as longas possible. In Africa, there are many needs for the older people and there are many actions for them, above all in West and Central Afrca, please do the best to implement activities in that area. Thank you.

  • Hodan (11 September 2012)

    Many old persons lost their family member in war, when they are unable to work anymore to earn a living, they are exploited.

  • Berhanu Girmay (31 July 2012)

    I appreciate help age International.I am interesting in working social protection of older people. So would you mind you tell me how can I start the operation and How can I find sponsor in the world?
    Thank you!

  • Behafta Abreha Haftu (31 July 2012)

    It is nice information doing in the age helping.
    We need to be your partner.
    There are so many vulnerable older people in our region and town currently we are working and supporting them.Every one will have an appointment to be older,Age is not a disease but gift of nature.
    Thank you!

  • ocan godfrey (24 July 2012)

    i like the work of helpage international

  • sheer abbas (16 July 2012)

    its very noble work which helping age is doing and i really appreciate feelings of humanity to give courage,respect,care,love to old people because one day each and every person will have to come at at this age.i silute helping age for great human being giving due privilege to olds

  • Norman Mombeshora (21 May 2012)

    I find it morally inspiring that this organisation has uniquely focused on standing up in solidarity with the elderly. Is overwhelming to note how the organisation has made gigantic strides in championing the health, social and economic rights of the elderly. Keep up the sterling work and continue to spread your wings wider. In this day of HIV/AIDS, political & civil strife and economic upheavals, our elderly need more help than ever before.

  • Mr Sakwe Maurice Itoe (02 May 2012)

    I appreciate the work of the organization which is centered on improving the health,social and economic conditions of the aged.Fighting loneliness,social discrimination adds dignity and hope to them.
    In cameroon,our organization is promoting health and positive living among the aged by organizing functional adult literacy at the level of the communities.This is just one of our activities among others.Literacy has a transformation power in the older people.I suggest that,Aged International should support Adult Literacy programs which will liberate older people from ignorant,mental bondage,economic,social and political slavery.Literacy opens the doors to information,communication,empowerment,knowledge,skills etc and the results are poverty Alleviation,jobs creation through vocational knowledge and skills.Expect more of my comment.I am willing to work with you to realize the good objectives you have for the Aged in the world.

  • anurag sharma (23 March 2012)

    i hope you do very well work i pray to god do best. but i know you do work in india

  • Navdha (28 December 2011)

    Hi Zena, Thanks for writing. Please contact our office in Kenya for more information on how you can support our work. Here are their details-Email: helpage@helpage.co.ke
    Tel: 00254 20 263 7854
    Thanks, Navdha.

  • Zena (23 December 2011)

    I am a kenyan and runs an organization in kibera on the plight of the senior citizens.I would like to NetworkI

  • Harriet Abalo (14 November 2011)

    Yes,I totally support the efforts help age international has taken to support older persons claim their rights and have a more meaningful and dignified living when they retire from active work.This is because most often than not older persons are seen as burdens or dependents who have little or no contribution to the family or community in which they live yet and sadly forgetting their invaluable contributions made while in active work that built the today we are living in and enjoying!We"younger persons" do this forgetting that we are growing and will be old at some one time in life and will need support from those who will be young! Few governments in sub-saharan Africa have come up with welfare support systems for the age whether they could have been in formal or informal employment and when the men and women grey they do not have any concrete stand point to fall back to.Even for those who could have been in formal employments,they either die before getting their benfits in terms of pensions or gratuity depending on how it is called elsewhere or get it on a piece meal basis which makes it not very useful to them.
    It is high time governments come up with clearly streamlined policy statements that can attract programming for the older persons and budget as a means to providing social protection for the older persons.Let us join hands and support the older persons to grey gracefully!

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