Southern Africa

Learn about HelpAge Network members in Southern Africa.

HelpAge Democratic Republic of Congo

HelpAge DRC is a national non-governmental organisation established in 2008 in Goma, capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It aims to advocate for the rights and needs of older people and their dependents to contribute to their integral development within the Congolese Communities.

HelpAge DRC provides humanitarian response on emergency, transitional and development aspects, including professional training oversight of grass roots community organisations and providing the institutional platform for these organisations through funding, management and business training. It also works to create a link between those institutions and those that can provide resources in areas such as protection, shelter, hygiene, agriculture-food security, health-nutrition, education and small business.

The activities promoted by HelpAge DRC to meet the needs of older people and their dependents include, among other, mobilising the leaders and the various decision-makers to establish a policy of good governance and promoting income-generating and intergenerational activities. It also provides counselling for those who are affected by physical or physiological issues. The organisation also works to raise awareness among older people about priority diseases, including sexually transmitted infections, HIV / AIDS, Leprosy / TB and Malaria and supports those who are victims of emergencies such as natural disasters, wars or are involved with armed groups in conflicts areas.

HelpAge DRC became a HelpAge global network member in January 2019.


The Maseru Women Senior Citizens Association

The Maseru Women Senior Citizens Association was established in 1997. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of older people, with particular emphasis on physical and mental healthcare and social and economic security. They encourage active ageing and combat all forms of discrimination and abuse.

The association arranges home-visits to older people who are housebound. It also raises funds by running sewing and knitting lessons for members, as well as cake sales. At Christmas, they hold parties for older people and distribute presents to those who cannot attend because of ill health.

From 2009-2011, the association also hosted Operation Crossroads. This is where university students from the US and Canada have the opportunity to spend six weeks working on development programmes with older people.

The Maseru Women Senior Citizens Association became HelpAge global network member in 2004.


Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC)

Established in 1997 by the Danish Centre for Human Rights, MHRRC is dedicated to fostering a human rights culture in Malawi. It collaborates with State and Non-State actors, specialising in grant management, research, and capacity building. The impact extends to developing civil society organisations (CSOs) into NGOs capable of managing donor resources.

The vision is a Prosperous and Just Society where Human Rights are universally respected. The mission is to promote a sustainable human rights culture through capacity building, resource provision, networking, and research. Guided by values such as solidarity, equity, passion, feminism, integrity, and responsiveness, MHRRC is registered under the Trustees Incorporation Act, with a diverse Board of Trustees representing various sectors.

Strategically, the focus is on empowering marginalised groups in decision-making, ensuring healthcare access and reducing stigma related to HIV, Gender-Based Violence, and Health Rights, disseminating human rights information and driving behavioural change at the grassroots level, establishing MHRRC as a key advocate for Non-State Actors (NSAs) and CSOs, fostering networking and consolidated systems for timely human rights data, and recognising improved resource mobilisation as central to implementing the Strategic Plan and Mission.

Find out more.

Malawi Network of Elderly Persons Organisations

Malawi Network of Elderly Persons Organisation (MANEPO) was established in 2010 and serves as an umbrella body for over 60 organisations implementing various programmes designed to improve the quality of life and promote the rights of older people in Malawi.

The network improves coordination, knowledge sharing and social inclusion of all the organisations through programmes and policies aimed at reducing poverty, maltreatment and prejudice.

The work of MANEPO is primarily focused on income security, health and care, abuse and discrimination, and advocacy, but also works on gender, disability and disaster risk reduction. In its advocacy work, MANEPO has been campaigning for age-friendly health services and for the introduction of a universal pension for all older people in Malawi.

MANEPO represents the Malawi Network in the Southern Africa Regional Ageing Network, SARAN. It became a HelpAge global network member in 2018.


Droits Humains Ocean Indien (DIS-MOI)

Droit Humains Ocean Indien (DIS-MOI) is an international NGO established in 2012 and operating in Mauritius and the coastal parts of East Africa including Rodrigues, Agalega and the Chagos, Madagascar, the Comoros and the Seychelles. It primarily focuses on human rights education and research, to benefit not only older people but also children, youth, women, migrants and people living with disabilities.

DIS-MOI has been instrumental in establishing Amicale de L’Ocean Indien, a national network of human rights activists. The organisation has also played a key role in convening a national platform to lobby the Government to participate in the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (United Nations) for the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights for older people.

Droits Humains Ocean Indien became a HelpAge global network member in January 2019.

Mauritius Family Planning & Welfare Association

Established in 1957, the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association (MFPWA) is the leading national NGO working on family planning and sexual and reproductive health. It promotes social justice, gender equality, individual and family rights and contraception, among other issues.

MFPWA supports older people in ten districts of Mauritius through advocacy, networking and care. Their most notable achievement was the introduction of the 2005 Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association Act. This legislation secured the creation of a National Executive Committee which supports older people’s welfare.

The Association supports the provision of health services for older people, including screening services for breast and prostate cancer. They also work in collaboration with the Senior Citizens’ Council and the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions on issues affecting older and vulnerable people.

MFPWA became HelpAge global network member in 2004.

Senior Citizen’s Council of Mauritius

Established in 1985, the Senior Citizens’ Council (SCC) works to improve the wellbeing and welfare of older people. This includes sharing information on gerontology and working with organisations engaged in similar activities.

The Council organises cultural shows, seminars, talks, workshops, literacy courses and exhibitions with and for older people. SCC organises exercise classes and dances for older people and actively encourages them to join older people’s associations.

It also participates in seminars, workshops and conferences on ageing, both in Mauritius and abroad. The council continues to work with and for older people by advising the government on the challenges older people face.

SCC has been working with HelpAge International since 1991 and became a global network member in 2004. Since then the two have worked very closely together on securing better social protection for the older people of Mauritius.


Association of Retired Persons Mozambique

Founded in 1993, the Association of Retired Persons Mozambique (APOSEMO) now has 25 members of staff working in Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane and Zambézia provinces. They are well-known for lobbying at ministerial level, where they focus particularly on social pensions. Their aim is to ensure pensions are on a par with the minimum wage.

APOSEMO has operated a health centre since 1998, which includes a pharmacy and a laboratory and is staffed by volunteer doctors. They also work with a local hospital to offer free treatment to older people and people.

HelpAge International has funded some of the organisations’ projects, including emergency work in 2003 when Mozambique experienced floods and an advocacy programme to stop the violation of older people’s rights.

APOSEMO has been a partner of HelpAge International since 1999.

Association for Community Development Action in Sofala

ASADEC works with children, youth and older people to promote social-economic and cultural development actions in rural communities, and in collaboration, and coordination, with various partners to tackle problems affecting local communities throughout Mozambique. ASACED is HelpAge International’s implementing partner who shown a high sense of commitment to the rights of older people. They achieve success in challenging environments by working closely with community volunteers. For instance, immediately after cyclone Idai impacted the country, ASADEC mobilized its community volunteers to support HelpAge with the distribution of essential items and to conduct the Rapid Needs Assessment for Older People in three districts.

ASADEC’s vision is to contribute to the improvement of living conditions of the most vulnerable and deprived communities, promoting the economic and social-cultural development of older people, children and people living with disability. They are committed to doing this through supporting people’s capacity building and growing their competencies.

HelpAge International, Mozambique

HelpAge has been working in Mozambique since 1988, partnering with local organisations and the government to improve older people’s access to healthcare, social and financial security and protect them from injustice and abuse.

HelpAge works in Mozambique to facilitate access to health services for older people, reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS, ensure secure income for older people, promote the rights of older people and ensure older people’s needs are met in emergency relief efforts. Find out more about HelpAge’s projects in Mozambique here.

South Africa


Founded in 1956 as the South African Council for the Ages, Age-in-Action is a NGO representing over two million older people in South Africa. The organisation has over 800 NGO members that provide vital services to more than 150,000 older people.

Age-in-Action’s mission is to uphold older people’s rights through advocacy and lobbying. Their programmes are designed to ensure older people have access to care, support and protection, training and development and sustainable income. To deliver these, the organisation has initiated community-based healthcare and empowerment programmes.

In June 2009, Age-in-Action organised demonstrations, exhibitions and educational seminars as part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Their aims were to create awareness of the abuse older people face and to stir people to take decisive action against it.

Elim Hlanganani Society for the Care of the Aged

Elim Hlanganani Society for the Care of the Aged is a non-profit organisation established in 1993. Its mission is to care for older people in their homes and help them fight poverty in their communities.

They encourage older people to be active in their community and improve the lives of those who are disabled, affected by HIV and AIDS or have problems with drug or alcohol abuse.

Their “Bread for thy Neighbour” programme currently helps older people and those they care for by providing them with food, clothing and blankets in the winter.

With support from HelpAge, the Society has also been able to train voluntary caregivers and organise workshops for older people on their rights. Elim has also collaborated with HelpAge to help older people collect the pensions.

Elim Hlanganani Society for the Care of the Aged has worked with HelpAge since 1994 and became a HelpAge global network member in 1996.

Muthande Society for the Aged

Muthande Society for the Aged (MUSA) was formed by a group of community nurses, social workers, health educators and community leaders in Durban in 1982. Today, MUSA supports more than 2000 older people.

MUSA’s aim is to meet the social, physical, economic and emotional needs of older people. To do so, they have a range of services and programmes, including projects preventing social isolation and providing meals.

MUSA has worked with several national and international NGOs to secure older people’s rights.

MUSA works with HelpAge on areas such as supporting older people living with or caring for relatives who are affected HIV and AIDS. Trained caregivers visit older people to offer counselling, nursing, care and guidance on healthy eating and living. They also take part in the Age Demands Action campaign, coordinated by HelpAge.

MUSA has been working with HelpAge International since 1997 and became a global network member in 2004.


Support to Older People (STOP)

STOP was established in 2015 after the launch of the National Ageing Policy by the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
This policy called for concerted efforts from stakeholders to holistically address the various socio-economic challenges which the majority of Zambians face as they grow older. STOP found that some older people were stranded after getting discharged from hospitals because they lacked transport to go back to their homes while others were neglected by their families among other challenges.
STOP has a vision of a Zambia where older people are healthy and productive enjoying improved standard of living. The organization commits itself to its mandate of promotion of basic rights of older people through advocacy, policy engagement, community participation and other innovative approaches for sustainable livelihood of older persons.