Celebrating the elderly
Celebrating the elderly
BY BEAUTY BOGWASI
The lunch was a great success. We had the usual Aglow volunteers preparing the day before and then more volunteerson the day itself. Maarc and Yvonne, the beef stew chefs, were at the venue at 6.00am.Karhii Kandjou came all the way from Gaborone, where he is studying, to be part of this event. Another young man, Bolelang Maekop, returned from leave all the way from Francistown to help.
The Polokong Aglow Project aims to alleviate some of the suffering endured by the destitute elderly folks in Maun. The start of the event was delayed due to the seemingly slow arrival of the elderly folks, many walking long distances. As they trickled in they mingled among themselves and chatted about the highs and lows of life. While the food was cooking they were kept busy by music. Many took to the dance floor and taught the younger folk a move or two. They danced as if oblivious of time.
The event was opened by Mme Kealetile Moremi, the Paramount Chief of the Batawana. She applauded Aglow for taking the time, effort and resources to celebrate the disadvantaged elderly folks in Maun. Dr Smitta Dipabile gave a word of encouragement, expressing how valuable the elderly are to society and how their contribution to thecountry has not gone unnoticed.
Everyone was served a sumptuous meal and received a grocery hamper. We noticed that a good number just held onto their plates after being served. They were not eating and when asked why, they said they wanted to take the meal home to share with their grandchildren. When they learnt that they were also going to get a packed lunch to take home, they relaxed and enjoyed the food.
Later we received 30 food hampers from a generous corporate sponsor, which we delivered the following week to the most needy in the group.
The success of the lunch was a result of the many involved; we thank them all.
Fact File – Poloking Aglow Project
In 2008 Beauty was touched by seeing the many elderly destitutes waiting at the postoffice for their old age pension. She felt that something needed to be done. IN 2009 cooperation was sought with the local authorities. The result was that they assisted in identifying the needy elderly.
In 2009 the first home visits started. There were fundraising activities and a Christmas lunch was held. Also a board was elected and there was assistance from 4 volunteers. The project was up and running. Since then about 30 elderly are being visited on a regular basis every year and a Christmas lunch is held.
The problem we are facing is that there are many more needy elderly, but we don't have the funds to look after all of them.
Quote from Clint Gielink, owner of Okavango Expeditions and a corporate sponsor of the project: “Witness an event like this and it puts your life in perspective -when you give a little to people who have nothing” .
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