There was an air of excitement at Bongolethu Primary School in Philippi when Kings and Priest Word Ministries International (KPWMI) handed food parcels to more than 250 senior citizens on Sunday August 21.
The event was also aimed at affording the senior citizens some leisure time, respite from their daily challenges and an opportunity to reminisce about their younger days.
Speaker after speaker denounced the senseless abuse faced by the elderly and encouraged them to report these cases and to form seniors’ groups in the community where they could discuss issues affecting them.
Junior pastor of the church, Zoleka Ngulube told Vukani that many senior citizens felt they had been neglected by the community but she wanted to re-assure them that they were still loved.
She appealed to the young people to take better care of their grandmothers and mothers and not send them to old age homes.
Ms Ngulube said the fundamental mission of the church was to bring change to the lives of people and encourage them to soldier on, despite the adversities they might be wrestling with.
Furthermore, she said, this was not an annual event but they were looking at ways of hosting it every year because they had seen the impact it had on the community.
She urged the younger generation to seek advice from the elderly to make informed decisions because they had seen it all.
“We need to ask our parents and grandparents to show us the way. It is that sad that when our parents are ageing we abandon them, forgetting that where we are now is because of them. We need to go back to our roots and where we highly respected them.
“It is sad that we are the ones abusing them while they had raised us through thick and thin days and they have never forsaken us.
“I urge young people to respect their grandparents and mothers if they want to receive the blessings,” she said.
The role of the church was not to preach the word of God only, she said, but to make a difference to the lives of the destitute.
A smiling Nokwakha Menziwa, 60, said she was thrilled to receive the food parcel and for once she would have a proper dinner.
She said she had lost her husband a couple of years ago and ever since had been struggling to make a living.
Ms Menziwa added that she had been living on handouts from her relatives.
“I have just turned 60 and my relatives had been assisting me to apply for the social grant and I’m just waiting for it to be approved. Maybe my life will be better after that. I thank the church for what they have done and they should continue with the good work,” she said.