Workshop gives pensioners a platform to talk

PHIRI CAWE

Nomzamo Seniors’ Club and the Langa Community Legal Advice Services held a workshop on domestic violence and positive parenting on Thursday April 14, at Ikhaya Labantu in Langa.

Head of the seniors’ club Raymond Bokako called for the workshop to look at practical measures to help elderly people.

He said there was a belief that elderly people were not abused and knew nothing about positive parenting.

“Violence among family members leads to harm in some cases. These are things that we need to tackle. We also have problems of youngsters who rob seniors of their pension and grant money. These seniors need to know where to report such cases. Some are dumped by their husbands and wives but are not sure where to go. That is why we asked people to come here to advise us,” he said.

Mr Bokako said it was a concern that seniors felt as if they had no one to turn to for help.

He hoped the workshop would have a positive impact on their lives. “From now on they will know where to go. We all have listened to them sharing their life experiences. It is really not a good thing to hear them speak as if they have no shoulder to cry on. We will continue sharing information with seniors,” he promised.

Mr Bokako called on other seniors to join the club. He said it was not good for elderly people to sit at home alone. “We need them here. There are various programmes that we do for them. This is where seniors get help, good health information and entertainment. This is where they share their stories. We cannot have a situation where others are sitting, worrying at home. They must come and have some enjoyment,” he said.

Viwe Sandlana, Commissioner of Oaths at the Langa Community Legal Advice Services, said his office intended to educate the elderly and all residents about the law and their rights. He said he was happy to be helping senior citizens and young people. He praised the seniors for knowing most of their rights.

“These people were marginalised before but you can still hear they know better. They are pillars of homes and us as young people. The organisation is grateful to people like them,” he said.

He urged the senior citizens to always report bad treatment. He said social workers, councillors and many non governmental organisations are there to help everyone.

“We say hands off of their social or pension grants. We also taught them about the importance of drawing up a will and estates,” he said.