NGO shows seniors spirit of care, love

Senior citizens listened attentively

Senior citizens from the Philippi area were treated to a sumptuous lunch when the Dream Time Project held an event organised to commemorate Human Rights month.

In addition to raising awareness about human rights among the seniors, the event was also aimed at encouraging them to stay active as they got older.

Most importantly, however, the event strived to show them that they are loved and deeply appreciated for what they have done for the younger generation.

Dream Time Project founder, Sibonile Tubeni, said it had made him emotional to see the senior citizens in a happy mood.

Mr Tubeni said they addressed their rights and crime issues affecting the elderly and after the brief interaction, the senior citizens participated in games.

He said it is essential for the youth to take care of the elders in our communities; many of which become vulnerable citizens who need a bit of assistance to take full care of themselves.

“It is critical that young people understand and remember the struggles our parents and grandparents went through in order to make sure that they enjoy the privileges they have at their disposal.

“Some of these senior citizens have raised their grandchildren from the old pension grant and we need to ensure that every day they are loved,” he said.

Mr Tubeni said they run their programme three days a week, providing a safe space for the seniors and an opportunity for them to relax and forget about their daily struggles.

The organisation, which was established five years ago, he added, also helps to find funding for Early Childhood Development centres as well as assisting them with administrative functions.

Among their main challenges, however, is that they do not have premises of their own, so they often have to have their meetings at the creches they assist.

Ziyanda Baba, founder of Young Minds organisation, which deals with youth empowerment, said her organisation joined this event because it was about giving back to the elderly.

She said it was critical that as young people they return the favour of looking after the grandmothers and parents as it is because of them that they are where they are now.

Christina Phika, founder of Mama Afrika Ithemba labahlali organisation which deals with community empowerment, said during their teen years they were raised with the understanding that everyone that is a parent is also your parent and you are required to give the same respect that you give your biological parents.

But these days, she said young people only respect their biological parents and at times they do not care about them.