The rise in AIDS death rates in Botswana has led to a burgeoning new category of neglected individuals who are the senior citizens. Research has shown that the last steps of life for the elderly give them the worst experience, which is a bitter pill to swallow.
They are hardly of any importance to their children when they are taking some last steps of their journey. Life has played an ironic game with the elderly and respectable citizens.
Mabaila Foundation, a newly formed organization has sought to bring a turnaround to their plight by hosting the first ever health and wellness symposium for senior citizens. The foundation aims at promoting the wellbeing of senior citizens and fight against domestic violence, which continues to grow in Botswana.
Tshepang Mabaila, the founder of Mabaila Foundation, said the foundation is proposed to raise awareness and tackle major issues of concern, such as domestic violence, poverty and health-related issues amongst the elderly.
“It is our intention to reduce senior citizen’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and mitigate violence, abuse, neglect, discrimination and exploitation of senior citizens,” said Mabaila.
This will be done through educating the elderly about social issues of concern, which are HIV/AIDS, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, and juvenile delinquency negatively affecting the target group.
The symposium is conducted in conjunction with the rest of the private, government and nongovernmental organizations, to participate in maintaining a conducive environment for empowerment.
It is his expectation that through the meeting the elderly are empowered to participate in community development, enrich their talents in the fight against HIV/AIDS, crime, drug abuse and other related issues.
“This will enhance preservation of culture through engaging the elderly in community development programs,” he said, to engage the elderly as a measure to fight against existing and upcoming social problems all in favour of Vision 2016 pillars.
This will be a 3-day event covering a variety of activities.
The first two days will comprise of activities, such as health screening of hypertension, cholesterol, glucose, and Body Mass Index tests, body and face massage, oral testing, eye testing and others.
On the third day, they will engage in various exercise games that include mass aerobics, egg races, 100m and 400m relays. The symposium will be held at UB Stadium, on the 21-23 February 2013.