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Senior Citizen Empowerment Society launched in Phikwe

Publishing Date : 22 May, 2017


A retired school teacher, Gladys Selelo on Tuesday launched Bagolo Society Centre, a registered society that will take care of the elderly people in Selebi Phikwe. The senior citizen empowerment society will also build an elderly Day-Care Centre where services like health care will be offered to the elderly at the comfort of their centre.

Selelo who is the founder of the society was confronted by loneliness upon her retirement as she stays home alone while her children have built homes and families of their own. She says the initiative was born out of the frustrations of staying alone and witnessing the elders endure long hours in queues to access various services.

Until it has managed to build the centre, the society will be operating from Adoni Church or any other place as may be decided by the committee.  The society’s objective is to build support systems where awareness of the aged persons shall be supported to nurture social morality as well as providing social activities designed to reduce loneliness among the elders and promote self-confidence and self-worth. “The society seeks to create a community where the old aged live happily together, share ideas, console each other and develop friendship,” she said.

Selelo added that the centre will promote senior citizen empowerment by engaging in economic activities like growing vegetable, pottery and knitting which can then be sold to the community at art exhibitions and agricultural shows. The society also seeks to promote cultural stability in the community through sharing of cultural norms of the different tribes in the country thereby creating an atmosphere where the aged citizens can trace their relations. This initiative  will see the elders enjoy free socialisation within the community they live in and help them bring back their dignity and pride as senior citizens whose contribution to the society is appreciated and recognised.

Membership is open to persons above 60 years of age, those who stay alone and lack care and the elders who need assistance on medical issues. In his remarks at the launch, the Deputy Mayor of Selebi Phikwe, Molefi Pilane urged members of the society to work hard to reclaim their status in the society as the fore bearers of today’s vibrant society in a modern economy. He urged elders to join the society and ensure that the centre is built so that they can enjoy its full benefits.

Pilane commended Selelo for establishing the society, indicating that it will foster important inter-generational understanding that will break down the barriers between the young and the elderly. He pointed out that the younger generation must appreciate the knowledge and experience of the senior citizens so as to foster common understanding between groups of people in the society. The Deputy President at Kagiso Customary Court where the launch was held, Francinah Legwaila also appealed to the elders to come together as one and ensure that they honour the scheduled meetings to discuss the business of the society.



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