NSINDAGIZA Organization is committed to promote the rights and welfare of older people, through advocacy and community awareness campaigns, targeting older people’s families, community members, civil society and Government officials. This year’s global theme was “Recognizing older campaigners”, in Rwanda it was “Self-reliance for everyone: Foundation for ageing with dignity”. We applaud the effort made by the Government of Rwanda to make successful this year’s IDOP at all levels. Below are key highlights from the International Day of Older Persons:
NSINDAGIZA Organization, considering the integration of the elderly in the implementation of the SDGs, organized on May 24, 2018 a high level workshop on long-term care, palliative care, autonomy and independence for older persons. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Rwanda Bio-medical center, National Commission of Human Rights, with the support of MINALOC and HelpAge International, and different actors in palliative care, human rights institutes, Government and Civil Society attended the workshop and the MINALOC addressed the opening remarks. After the presentation made by NSINDAGIZA Organization, RBC, SDGC/Africa and the National Commission of Human Rights, the participants agreed on the following recommendations:
1. The Government of Rwanda and non-governmental organizations, to include in their programs to educate and give ability to the elderly, so as to help them reduce their pain and that they may be able to age gracefully.
2. RBC/MoH ought to raise community awareness on the existing palliative care to the people and put in consideration the elderly in particular.
3. The Government and non-governmental organizations should conduct the researches on the livelihood of the elderly, so as to promote the rights and welfare of older men and women and create awareness based on evidences.
4. The Ministry of Health to fast-track the in-service training and awareness for health professionals on how to take care of the elderly
5. The Ministry of Health to train specialists in gerontology and geriatric and establish geriatric services in all public hospitals and clinics
6. The Government of Rwanda to comply with the international and regional instruments/measures/mechanisms related to the rights of older persons and plan to attend annual meeting of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) that should be attended by the Government, the National Commission of Human Rights and the elderly representatives
7. The Government of Rwanda to fast-track signing and ratification of the African charter on the rights of the elderly (2016), putting in action the Madrid Plan of Action on ageing (2002) and to submit the due reports concerning the above.
8. The MINALOC to speed up the national elderly policy, and advocate for the mainstreaming ageing among all the sectoral policies, such as MoH, MIDIMAR, MINAGRI, MIGEPROF, SDGs implementation…
9. Civil Society and Private Sector to put into consideration the elderly in all their programs.
10. Put in place policies that will enable the older men and women of the society to take decisions on their own and be able to participate in programs to build the family and the country as a whole
11. The Government of Rwanda and civil society to increase community awareness on the violence against the older men and women and to celebrate the World Elder Abuse Day, every June 15th
12. Non-governmental organizations to work hand in hand with the Government in the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons, October 1st.
13. Put in place policies to make known the Law of the responsibilities of children towards their parents and the consequences of failing to do so.
Kigali, May 24, 2018
Elie MUGABOWISHEMA, President of NSINDAGIZA
Old women and men are interested in helping the Rwandan youth by teaching them the Rwandan values.
NSINDAGIZA Organization welcomes anyone interested in joining our efforts to promote the rights and welfare of older persons.NSINDAGIZA Organization is always ready to partner with any donor to support our elderly women and men with retirement package. We call upon well-wisher donors to support NSINDAGIZA Organization through the following ways
Activists advocate for particular policies
Well over 10 years through Age Demand Action (ADA), rights activists have advocated for international convention on the rights of older persons, participation of older persons in governments’ decisions that affect them and having choice about their lives in their respective families.
There is still a lack of international convention and local policies about the rights and welfare of older persons.We are urging the Government of Rwanda to set up particular platforms through which older persons can channel their concerns as children, youth, women and people with disabilities have theirs.
Most of older persons suffer serious depression and stigma resulting from isolation and creating space for them to participate in the country and family’s life would be the best solution as well as developing effective social protection schemes for older persons.
Madeleine Nirere, the Chairperson of National Commission for Human Rights, Told igihe.com that after the recent outreach in which the commission learnt about lack of proper protection of older persons, the commission recommends government to develop a policy on eldercare and support existing charitable centres for older persons.
She added that considering the frailty of older persons, they deserve special care, saying that Rwanda should ratify and implement obligations in international and regional instruments on older persons’ rights and protection.
Ms Nirere stressed that older persons’ close and extended family members, neighbours, close government entities and Rwandan society at large should take responsibility of eldercare.
Minister of State in charge of Social Affairs and Social Protection at the Ministry of Local Government,Dr Alvera Mukabaramba,Told igihe.com that government does its best to support all vulnerable people and older persons constitute the majority of beneficiaries of social protection schemes such as cash transfer under Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) and Community-Based Health Insurance (Mutuelle de Santé).
“Not all elderly persons need support. Some are receiving their pension while others have children or other family members supporting them. We are working on a comprehensive social protection policy considering together all categories of the disadvantaged as the current policy will expire in 2018,”Dr Alvera Mukabaramba said.
Dr Mukabaramba urged young people to save for their old age, saying that every working Rwandan, not only monthly salary earners but also informal sector actors including those on government support schemes, has to save for pension as a sustainable solution for ageing demands.
“Government seeks to strengthen pension scheme and poor people who will join the scheme will receive government’s incentives according to law which is now in Parliament. Meanwhile, children should not forsake their old parents and government will intervene where necessary,” Dr Alvera Mukabaramba said.