By Omolara Omosanya
A non governmental organization, 60plus Advocacy Initiative, has embarked on an awareness campaign to revive the culture of caring and helping the elderly in the society.
The awareness campaign which was kicked-off in Lagos with a quiz competition to sensitize some primary school pupils selected from twelve schools on Lagos Island is to enable the senior citizens lead a comfortable and dignified life, while also passing on morals and ethics which will ultimately make the society a better place for all.
According to the Chairman of 60plus Advocacy Initiative Governing Council, Mr Adeyinka Obalade the campaign tagged “Respect and Help for the elderly” is aimed at checking the decline in the care of the elderly in Nigeria, beginning from the very young.
“The culture of respect for the elders must not be lost, we decided to catch them young so that they will also pass it on to their peers and while growing up, to the next generation too, we are going to do more, for example, an elder wants to cross the road, bit nobody wants to wait for them, that is not what is expected of us, so we will be going to other schools, secondary schools and even markets to create awareness” he said
The Chairman of the occasion and member representing Eti-Osa
Constituency two at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Gbolahan Yishawu pointed out that the lack of respect and care for the elderly is a global issue borne out of lack of empathy.
Mr Yishawu who recalled how Nigerians and the Nigerian system took care of the elderly in the past, commended the NGO for taking the awareness campaign to primary school pupils who are the future of the country
“That they can take us back to our roots, I think it’s best for everyone of us, the love for the elderly, it is what can drive you to care about them, sometimes they don’t need your money, they just need kind words from you and charity begins at home, our children should go back to their grandparents, during holidays, parents should cultivate the habit of taking children to visit their grandparents, call them, send them taext messages, phones and social media are readily available, converse with them, that’s what they need” Yishawu stated
On her part, the Project and Strategy Team Lead of the NGO, Dr Biola Mohammed stated that 60Plus intends to turn the campaign into a national movement.
Dr Mohammed said “We want it to become a movement, because we must begin to rebuild our society, everything has crumbled, people don’t respect anybody and a lot of the problems we see today is because the fabric of our society has been destroyed and this is where elders come in, elders know how to correct this and we are hoping that what we start is going to make great impact in the lives of everybody in this country”
The high point of the event was the presentation of prizes to the teams who came top in the quiz competition.