"Promoting the rights of older persons"
Elder abuse is a global social issue which affects millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the international community.With a growing global population of elderly people, and as longevity increases, abuse of the elderly is an increasing and serious problem that affects health and human rights and can cause death, so it is vital to raise awareness of it and thus prevent it whenever and wherever possible.The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generations.
1st October is international day of older persons. The observation of this day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly on December 14th 1990. This day celebrates the importance of this Declaration. It reaffirms the commitment to promoting the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons. It is also a day to appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.
“Growing older does not diminish a person’s inherent dignity and fundamental rights”.
Almost 40 years following the adoption of UDHR, issues of human rights for older persons were taken up in 1991 in the formulation of the United Nations Principles for Older Persons, which provided guidance in the areas of independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity.
A decade later, the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), adopted in 2002, represented the first time Governments agreed to link questions of ageing to other frameworks for social and economic development and human rights. The interdependence between older persons’ social integration and the full enjoyment of their human rights cannot be ignored, as the degree to which older persons are socially integrated will directly affect their dignity and quality of life.
The 2018 theme of UNIDOP is "Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions". What better way to celebrate this Day than by celebrating the older people around the world who dedicate their lives to championing human rights? Older human rights champions today were born around the time of the adoption of the UDHR in 1948. They are as diverse as the society in which they live: from older people advocating for human rights at the grass root and community level to high profile figures on the international stage. Each and every one demands equal respect and acknowledgment for their dedication and commitment to contributing to a world free from fear and free from want.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. .
This year’s IDDR was held on 19th October, 2018 at Masintha ground, Kawale 2 in Lilongwe, preceded by a National Disaster Risk Management Platform Symposium held on 17th and 18th of October, 2018 at Crossroads hotel in Lilongwe.
National Disaster Risk Management Platform Symposium
The theme for the symposium was "Building Integrated Resilience and Strengthened Policy Dialogue." It called upon non-governmental actors in DRR, academicians, government officials and people from different communities that were once affected by disasters. As MANEPO we did a presentation under the theme "Building resilience for vulnerable groups."
Theme for this years’ IDDR was "Reducing Economic Losses for Disasters has the Power to Transform Lives."” The event started with a solidarity match at Chipasula Bridge, with the Malawi Defense Force Band in the background. Upon arrival at the Masintha ground the guest of honor toured pavilions that were displayed by different organizations in relation to the Disaster Risk Management Cycle among which MANEPO also displayed a pavilion focusing on the inclusion of older men and women in emergencies.
On 8th September 2018, Total Malawi in collaboration with Malawi Network of Elderly Persons’ Organization (MANEPO) donated LED lamps to the elderly in Lunzu, Blantyre District. Each lamp costs K21, 000 and the whole donated lamps were worth K5 million in total.
Speaking when handing over the donation on Thursday afternoon, Managing Director for Total Malawi, Salamata Ball said as an organization, they have always had the elderly best interests at heart. "Normally where a company operates is always where they render support to. Considering that over the years our existence in Malawi has been quite fruitful, we thought it wise to donate the state of the art lamps to our elderly so that they can be assisted in terms of lighting their households," she said.
She went on to narrate how these lamps would not only assist the elderly but also their grandchildren who in most case scenarios are school going children.
Executive Director for MANEPO, Andrew Kavala hailed Total Malawi for the timely donation, stating that it was an indication of the corporate world opening up to the most vulnerable groups like the elderly. “I would like other companies to borrow the gesture that Total Malawi has done. Most companies conduct corporate social responsibilities in sectors where they see return but unlike Total, it has donated to the most unexpected group which are the elderly,” he pointed out.
One of the beneficiaries, Jamia Samson commended Total Malawi for the timely donation as it will assist her grandchild to study during the night. “I am so happy to receive this lamp. It will assist my grandchild in studying and am hopeful that she will excel in her studies,” she explained. .