Dear Members Join the world to honor the Elderly,

Every year, on 1st October the World honors the elderly day. International Day of Older Persons was adopted by United Nations General Assembly in 1990 and was first observed globally in 1991. It recognizes and affirms the contributions of older persons, and provides a platform to raise awareness, examine issues, invite dialogue and action on promoting well-being among the elderly. The event is also directed to encouraging the development of policies that integrate older persons in all aspects of national life.

Health Nest Uganda  is organizing a week long set of activities from 26th September to 1st October 2011, in Entebbe Municipality to commemorate the importance of the elderly in our community, and respectfully mark the International Day for Older Persons. The activities will include essay competitions among school children, home visits and contributions for support to the elderly in their homes. On the day we will have people marching, exhibition stalls, giving of gifts to the elderly and essay participants, and a communal lunch.


The theme for the day in Uganda is SOCIAL PROTECTION, A PREREQUISITE FOR EMPOWERMENT OF OLDER PERSONS. We have already stimulated the Community who have now formulated a committee to spear head the preparation. The Guest of honour  was identified by the elderly themselves as Retired Bishop Samuel Balagadde Sekade.


In their budget, they put sight seeing and funds for Old Music to remember. This effort has attracted the support of local leadership. The Mayor of Entebbe Municipality has pledged to take them to the Zoo to see animals, he has also pledged transport for the most vulnerable among them. 


We need all to come up to look at the needs of our senior citizens. They say 'where we are they were''. The activity will be inter generational. We have sent out essay question to students as   

  1. How can the elderly be empowered to be more productive in today’s society?
  2. Are the elderly relevant today and if so describe how.

We have written to all religious denominations within our community to dedicate at least a day to pray for our elderly people. We encourage and advocate for positive aging for those who are not sick and care for the sick.


The population for the aged is increasing rapidly. Its now time to come together before it becomes a total crisis.

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Comment by NAMARA ARTHUR ARAALI on October 24, 2011 at 3:50pm
Dear Jean-Louis and Rituu, The strengths that I saw in the elderly persons is that they agreed amongst themselves for form an Older Persons Forum that will act a platform where issues regarding them will be discussed. A number of them are retired civil servants with the capacity to analyze their concerns and lastly there exists a register for the elderly in the community. The interest and motivation the committee showed while organizing the international Day for Older Persons convinced us at HENU and the Elderly community was well stimulated into action.
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on October 22, 2011 at 8:07pm

Hi Namara,


Thanks for the update on Community Action with elders. What strengths did you see in the elderly population?


Warm regards,


Comment by Jean-Louis Lamboray on October 20, 2011 at 12:35pm

Fantastisch, Naamara!


This  experience is very relevant to us in Belgium.


Did SALT contribute in any way? If yes, how?


Many thanks



Comment by NAMARA ARTHUR ARAALI on October 20, 2011 at 11:27am

Health Nest Uganda in conjunction with Elders Concern Uganda and Entebbe Municipality organized a week long activities from 10th October to 15th October 2011.  The Community was Stimulated to Identify a committee of members from amongst itself to lead the planning andImplementation of the identified activities.

Planned activities included making an appeal to community members to donate to the elderly, home visiting, essay competitions among the school going children and marching. The committee sent out appeals to companies appeals for finances to facilitate the above activities.

 Home Visits

Home visits were conducted from 10th to 13th October 2011 by the community members themselves to assess the condition of the elderly within their homes. Reports indicate that most of the elderly who were visited and found needy were given donated items according to their need and they were very happy.

Essay competitions

The Organizing committee wrote to several schools within Entebbe Municipality requesting students to write essays on how the elderly can be empowered to be more productive in today’s society and on whether the elderly are still relevant today and to describe how. Students were supposed to select one question, write no more than four pages and to pay attention to detail, neatness and presentation. This was done to raise awareness about the plight of older persons and enhance young people involvement. Due to tight school calendars, only seven students from German School in Entebbe wrote essays and were given gifts by the guest of honour on 15th October 2011

Sight seeing

As part of the week’s activities, on 14th October 2011, 60 older persons were taken for sight seeing around Entebbe. They visited Uganda Wild Education Centre [Zoo], Entebbe Zamugula; a place where Entebbe derives its name and were hosted for lunch at Aero Beach by Elder Kodet who provided on top of lunch, music to remember for the elderly. This activity was supported by the Mayor Entebbe Municipality who provided transport for the elderly and requested entry free to the Zoo for all the 60 older persons. This was a very important activity as most of the elderly had never been into these places while others had taken very long since their last visit. It also provided exercise for the elderly.  

Main celebrations  

The main celebrations took place on 15th October 2011 at Leisure Park in Kitooro, Entebbe Municipality. The venue was offered free of charge by Entebbe Municipal Council. The guest of honour was Elder Retired Bishop Samuel Balagadde Ssekkadde. It was graced by the Resident District Commissar (RDC), the Mayor Entebbe Municipality, Chairpersons Entebbe Municipality Divisions A and B and a Commissioner representing the Uganda Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development under which the elderly fall. It was attended by over 250 people the majority of whom were the elderly. It started with marching led by a band from Entebbe town to Kitooro; a distance of about 3 kilometers. Different messages were displayed as people marched

 During the celebrations, the guest of honour launched a Forum for Older Persons in Entebbe which will be chaired by the Bishop to look into problems of the elderly and how they can be sorted out. This was a great success as this forum is the first of its kind in Uganda. 

Comment by NAMARA ARTHUR ARAALI on September 17, 2011 at 6:39pm

Thank you for your encouraging Comments. The Ugandan national definition for older persons is 60 years and above. Yes we want to use Community Life competence approach. Our intention is to enable the community to recognize,analyze and find solutions for older persons within their communities. We want to promote Positive aging by stimulating self esteem of this very important group. We want to see the community in action starting with prayers in all mosques in Entebbe on 23/09/20011. SDA churcheson 24th/09/2011, catholic and Anglican churches on 25/09/2011. Home visits will start on 26/09/2011.    

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on September 16, 2011 at 7:48pm

Dear Namara,


Thanks for your blog. I am glad that you have combined Community Action day plans with International Day for elderly. Are you planning to apply community life competence with elderly population? What is the definition of elders, age criteria etc? I am looking forward to hearing all about it as I am very concerned about this subject.


Good luck for the events.




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