The Accra International Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10k, 5k, & Charity Relay
AIMing to engage our elders 16 October 2018
The old woman looks after the child to grow its teeth and the young one in turn looks after the old woman when she loses her teeth. ~ Akan proverb
The sad but undeniable truth is that in a country that used to be known for respecting and valuing its elderly, many of Ghana’s aged are leading lonely and difficult lives. Those that served their parents and children so well often have no support in their own old age, their parents’ generation having predeceased them and their children scattered far and wide and increasingly concerned primarily with their own nuclear families.
As the traditional safety net provided by the extended family system gives way to the upheavals inherent in an increasingly mobile society, our elderly are increasingly vulnerable and often left bereft of meaningful companionships as well as essential feelings of being useful and valued.
The late American actress, Bette Davis, once remarked that “[o]ld age is no place for sissies.” Indeed, even as they struggle with increasing bodily aches, failing health, and diminished vigor, they must also contend with discrimination, neglect and sometimes even the danger of abuse from caregivers.
Enter AGE, the Association of Ghana’s Elders, which AIMs to provide programs and to support institutionalized systems that cater to the needs of the growing aged population. AGE seeks “to give senior citizens a voice and multiple platforms on which they can engage, and create an environment in which they can enjoy healthy, happy lives.”
The constituents of AGE are the aged themselves as well as those concerned about their own aged loved ones. Those who are interested in community, cultural, and human development in our society are also encouraged to join. All of us are aging after all; it behooves us to ensure that ours is still a country that values and safeguards its elders.
At the individual level, the organization will help improve access to products and essential services for our elders. AGE members will enjoy “a support group that speaks to their specific needs and empowers them to support others as well. They will not only be consumers, but will find ways of providing goods and services to meet market needs.”
To paraphrase the late Hubert H. Humphrey, the moral test of our society is how we treat the vulnerable, including those who are in the twilight of life. The AIM is happy to join forces with AGE in its mission to improve the quality of life of our respected elders.
The AIM Charity Partner matching funds program supports those who help themselves by matching funds raised by the Partners. Charity Champions advance the cause of their chosen Charity Partner by registering one or more 4-member team to run in the Challenge for Charity Relay and by persuading friends and networks to donate to the chosen Charity. You can support these efforts by visiting their pages and sponsoring your chosen Charity or Champion.
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