MAURICE OKAFOR writes that an Enugu based non-governmental organization [NGO] known as ‘Lift Saxum Ltd/Gte in partnership with ‘Voice Global’ an international organization, has initiated a programme of giving care to the elderly to enable them live longer and contribute meaningfully to the development of the society with their wealth of experience.
The project is aimed at capturing the discriminated groups of the elderly and youths in the society and teach them some functional life skills, while the Caregivers will be trained on Psycho-social rehabilitation services, skill acquisition, and a lot more.
Towards this end, ‘Lift Saxum’ has embarked on rehabilitating one hundred elderly persons in Ugbo- Owa community in Emene, Enugu East local government area of Enugu state, during which Fifty (50) persons will be trained as caregivers for the elderly people. Forty youths from the same community will be trained on skill acquisition. Furthermore, five adults and five youths from the groups will be trained as community mobilizers.
The Executive Director of ‘Lift Saxum’ Barrister Mrs Nwanneka Okolo dropped this hint at the maiden town hall meeting held at Ugbo-Owa where members of the community turned out in large numbers.She explained that Lift Saxum came up with the initiative after a survey was conducted on challenges faced by the elderly in their community in Ugbo-Owa.
She assured that some of the young men/women from the community who will be enrolled into the project will receive training on how to care for the elderly, stating that the training will last for a year.
Throwing more light on the essence of the programme, ‘Lift Saxum’ project coordinator, Mrs Ukamaka Udegbunam stressed that the elderly will equally be taught various physical exercises, functional and life skills that would help them to remain fit, age gracefully and be useful to themselves and their community. The caregivers will be trained on how to cater for the elderly, psycho- social rehabilitation services and skill acquisition.
She further disclosed that the age range of adult male and female members of the community who are qualified to participate in the programme is 55 years and above for the elderly and 40 years and below for the caregivers.
Most of the participants, especially the elderly who spoke during the town hall meeting expressed gratitude to ‘Lift Saxum’ for bringing the project to their community and assured them of their cooperation. They however, also pleaded for provision of some social amenities like pipe borne water, health care center, good roads, schools, electricity, etc in their community.