By Elias Hakizimana.
Elderly persons are experiencing hurdles including loneliness, being rejected and other issues that lead their lives into deep depression.
Others face legal issues when they are drawn into disputes and seek justice; while others are deprived of their properties by their descendants.
Vincent Karangwa, the representative of elderly persons within Nsindagiza organization from Kigali Sector in Nyarugenge District said that few years ago, some elderly persons in his location were registered in the third Ubudehe scheme category without financial capacity.
Nsindagiza Organization is a Rwandan NGO promoting the rights and welfare of older people in Rwanda and an effective member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People, a coalition of 300 civil society organisations worldwide working together to strengthen older people’s rights globally.
“In 2017, we knew some elderly people who were registered in the Third category of Ubudehe scheme that are not corresponding to their financial capacity, we joined local government officials and advocate for those issues and raise their voices to access to VUP, Girinka, etc, of which they were deprived before,” Karangwa said.
Verene Nyirabarinda from the City of Kigali is also among activists who advocate for elderly people. She said that they cater for over 50-year-old peaole who have different issues and backgrounds.
“We are in a group of elderly persons who have different educational and professional disciplines such as sociology, administration and laws. we try to assess the big issues they face and advocate for them,” Nyirabarinda said.
The elderly persons were sharing discussions with Journalists on March 29, 2019 in Kigali.
Aloni Mugemana, a pastor in pension leave from Remera-Kicukiro church embarked on depression which is another form of tale they experience most of the times.
“when a person has depression, he faces different hurdles as he/she lacks someone to cater for him/her and approaching them is very important. When we meet we comfort one another and call everyone to cater for them,” Mugemana.
He also expressed concerns of elderly illnesses that require expensive treatment, requesting for the government to ease access to healthcare for such persons.
Karangwa, another elderly person gave testimony on mismanagement and lack of follow up on the elderly allowances that are not given to beneficiaries.
“Recently, my neighbour old woman died waiting for elderly allowances, the government should check if the money reach beneficiaries,” Karangwa said.
Vincent Karasanyi, 65 from Kigali sector in Nyarugenge District said it was difficult for him to access to his pension allowances after he left his work due to accident. He said that elderly persons are also not considered at health centers where they are given aspirin for elderly illnesses.
“There is no policy governing what allowances an elderly person deserves, which is another issue we face to advocate for their pension allowances and regal issues,” said Elie Mugabowishema, the President of Nsindagiza, “we need that UN can be the international convention on elderly people’s rights,” he added.
Nsindagiza organization also said that it is difficult to advocate for some issues without regal frameworks in place, suggesting the local government officials to establish special spaces for elder people in which they can meet to expose their issues.
Contact the author @philos4hakizi
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