World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2024 -Zomba, Malawi

Spotlight on Older Persons in Emergencies

This year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Campaign Event has taken place on 5 July, Gymkhana Ground in Zomba. The theme for this year, “Spotlight on Older Persons in Emergencies”, highlights the unique challenges older people face during crises in Malawi.

Andrew Kavala, Executive Director of the Malawi Network for Older Persons Organisation (MANEPO), emphasized the importance of raising awareness about the rights of the elderly. He called on stakeholders to intensify their efforts in promoting these rights, ensuring that the voices of the elderly are heard and respected.

Steve Vinkhumbo, Chief Elderly Affairs Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare, and Community Development, expressed hope that the Older Persons Act would significantly reduce the incidence of abuse against the elderly in Malawi. He shared his thoughts during the commemorations in Zomba, underscoring the critical role of this legislation in protecting senior citizens.

One of the highlights of the event was a heartfelt performance by Christina Malaya (72), a Malawian musician affectionately known as Jetu, who serves as the MANEPO brand ambassador. Jetu urged the youth to take an active role in caring for their grandparents and older relatives. Her beautiful songs carried messages of encouragement, reminding her fellow seniors to enjoy life’s small pleasures and to embrace the notion that age is just a number.

MANEPO is dedicated to transforming the lives of older men and women in Malawi. Through events like the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we continue to shine a light on the needs and rights of older persons, advocating for a society where they are valued and respected.

This year’s event was a touching reminder of the resilience and spirit of the elderly. It called on everyone to recognize their contributions and to work together in building a more inclusive and supportive community for them.