Having successfully concluded the one – year project on transformative leadership in Umuode Community (Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State), which saw the ground breaking achievement of amending the community’s constitution to include women, DDF is currently upscaling a key outcome of the project in 10 communities in Enugu State. This project is focused on “Curbing elderly persons’ abuse in local communities in Enugu State”. It is also being funded by the Oxfam – Voice as an “Innovate and Learn” grant, from July 2019 – December 2020
Dewdrop Foundation is currently co-implementing the 18 months project; CURTAILING ELDERLY ABUSE IN TEN COMMUNITIES IN ENUGU STATE, with Centre for Gender Economics Initiative (CGE-Africa) from July 2019 – December 2020. The project which is being funded by Oxfam’s Voice initiative, seeks to reduce the incidence of physical, verbal or psychological violence against elderly persons by strengthening the voices of the elderly through:
a. dialogue and engagement;
b. improving the health and social welfare of the elderly;
c. promoting the acceptance of the elderly within the community;
d. empowerment through capacity development and skills acquisition on Eldercare.
The objectives of the exercise is to celebrate the end and outcomes of the Voice sponsored project of Curtailing Elder Abuse in Enugu State and to officially hand over the Seenagers Association of the community to the community leaders/stakeholders for sustainability.
The event began with an opening prayer said by Fidelis Igweshi, the community mobilizer. A formal introduction of the Dewdrop Foundation/CGE Africa team was made. Ginika Isu of Dewdrop Foundation in a brief remark, thanked the Seenagers on behalf of the ED Dewdrop Foundation and CGE Africa for making out time to celebrate the end of the project. She stated that elderly people in our communities are the custodians of culture and norms and the society thrives well only when there is a harmony between all age categories where they are able to work together effectively to bring about growth and development. She went further to reiterate the aim of the project which is to strengthen the elderly by giving them a ‘Voice’ and granting them access to social support through the creation of the Seenagers Association.
Ginika Isu intimated the Seenagers on the draft Policy brief on Welfare and Social Protection of the elderly which was presented to the State House of Assembly and the Executive Governor during our walkathon which was held October 2019. She further informed them of our recently concluded meeting with the State legislators where a model of the Elderly Persons Welfare and Social Protection Bill was presented as well. She stated that the State legislators who were impressed with the project pledged their support and promised to use their good office to see that the bill is discussed in the State House of Assembly and subsequently passed into law in the State.
Mr. Felix Agbo, the chairman of the Seenagers Association of Akwuke community, expressed his gratitude to the Foundation for the project which has been of great impact to the elderly people especially the medical sensitization. He pleaded with the Foundation to try and organise another medical sensitization as the major challenge of elderly people is health related.
Mr. John Ogbodo, a Seenager, thanked the Foundation for remembering elderly people through the Voice sponsored project, he stated that through the project elderly people have been accorded more honour in the community.
Mrs. Agatha Nnaji, ED Dewdrop Foundation, enquired from the Seenagers to highlight some of the project activities which they would want the community stakeholders to sustain. To this the Seenagers highlighted the medical sensitization and health talks at the Seenagers monthly meetings.
Mrs. Nnaji stated that the Foundation would work with the community stakeholders to revive the community health centre, equip it and have medical experts attend to the health issues of the elderly people in the community. She encouraged them to continue attending their monthly meetings as the Seenagers Association would not end.
The Seenagers were all full of praises for the ED DDF/CGE Africa for remembering elderly people and prayed for blessings on them.
• The positive impacts of the project was talked about.
• The progress of the Elderly Persons Welfare and Social Protection was highlighted.
• The Seenagers highlighted the positive impacts of the project to them.