23 November 2017
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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:40

Malawi celebrates older persons day

Written by  Chimwemwe Njoloma
Kalilani: Malawians must recognize, respect and appreciate older people - File Photo Kalilani: Malawians must recognize, respect and appreciate older people - File Photo

Lilongwe, October 10, 2017: Malawi will on Wednesday October 11, 2017 join the rest of the World to commemorate International Day of Older Persons.

Organized under the theme ‘Stepping into the future- Tapping the talents, contributions and participation of older persons’,

The day will be celebrated at an Old Airfield Ground in Chitipa district.

Briefing members of the media, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr Jean Kalilani said this year’s theme is about enabling and expanding contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large.

She said it focuses on the pathways that support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences.

“The theme will direct us to explore and encouraging effective means of promoting and strengthening the participation of older persons in various aspects of life,” The Minister pointed out.

Kalilani explained that it is important that older persons are given the rightful role to continue socializing with younger ones providing guidance to men and women.

“The current social and economic development is impacting negatively on older persons. Changes in the structures and values surrounding family and community caregiving have resulted in the violation of the rights of the elderly accusing them of witchcraft other related ills hence the need for government to break the barriers between the young and the elderly,” she viewed.

Kalilani called upon all Malawians to recognize, respect and appreciate the wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom that older persons have.

“Ageing is not a crime. It is a process of human growth. Let us respect our senior citizens in our homes and communities,” she added.

Executive Director for Malawi Network of older Persons Organization, Andrew Kavala said it is necessary that as a country we join hands and break the barriers that limit the elderly to be part of the society.

He said government is working on reviewing the act that would help improve standards of older persons in the country so that they are protected from any form of abuse and torture.

“We are hopeful that early next year we would have a new act that would help address issues of witchcraft across the country and protect older people in this country,” Kavala hoped.

He said it should be each person’s responsibility to respect the elderly and give them the best life as they age.

During the commemorations, a number of activities will take place such as showcasing the work of elderly people, drama and dances.

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